The Volvo XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept , a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid , will be unveiled at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Green-Car-Guide was one of the first to drive the Volvo V60 Plug-in diesel Hybrid ; however the XC60 Concept is a petrol rather than a diesel hybrid, and is therefore aimed at the North American rather than European markets. However both cars share many technological features, such as the three driving modes: Pure, Hybrid or Power.
? In Pure mode the car is powered solely by its electric motor as much as possible. The range according to the NEDC European certification driving cycle is 28 miles.
? Hybrid mode is the standard setting whenever the car is started. The petrol engine and electric motor work together. According to the NEDC European certification driving cycle, CO 2
emissions are 53 g/km (2.3 l/100 km) – which translates into fuel economy of over 100 mpg. The car has a total operating range of up to 600 miles (960 km).
? In Power mode, the technology is optimised to create maximum possible power. The petrol engine with 280 hp and 380 Nm (280 lb. ft.) is combined with the electric motor with 70 hp and 200 Nm (148 lb. ft.). The electric motor’s instant torque delivery contributes to the car’s acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds (0-100 km/h in 6.1 seconds).
The front wheels of the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept are powered by a four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine from the forthcoming VEA (Volvo Environmental Architecture) engine family. This engine produces 280 horsepower and maximum torque of 380 Nm (280 lb. ft.). Power delivery to the wheels comes via a newly developed eight-speed automatic transmission.
The concept car carries a “T8” badge, which emphasises the combined 350 horsepower of the high-performance four-cylinder engine and the electric motor. This moves the car into territory previously occupied solely by eight-cylinder engines.
VEA is a modular range of diesel and petrol engines. The petrol versions come with direct injection, minimised internal losses and balance shafts for maximised comfort.
The modular format is based on a standard of 500cc (30 cubic inches) per cylinder for optimum thermodynamics. It could also be used to develop three-cylinder engines. VEA offers several advantages:
? The number of unique parts is reduced. This promotes manufacturing efficiency, quality assurance and efficiency of new development projects.
? The new powertrains are considerably lighter than present engines with similar performance.
? Fuel economy is improved by up to 35 percent compared to engines with similar performance.
? Modularity and compact transverse design are also ideal for future electrification developments.
The engine in the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept has no conventional starter motor or alternator. Instead, there is an Integrated Starter motor and Generator (ISG) connected to the crankshaft, which is located between the engine and the transmission. The ISG is capable of delivering an extra 34 kW (45 hp) during acceleration. It also charges the battery during braking.
The rear axle of the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept is driven by an electric motor producing 70 horsepower. It is supplied with power from a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery pack installed under the floor of the load compartment.
The electric four-wheel drive in the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept is activated by pressing the AWD (All Wheel Drive) button. Instead of the mechanical power transfer of conventional four-wheel drive, the central control unit distributes power between the petrol-driven front wheels and the electrically driven rear axle.
The electric four-wheel drive system has been designed to provide better traction when starting and when driving on slippery roads, for instance, in snow or mud.
The driver can choose to save battery power for later in order to drive on pure electricity later in, for example, an urban green zone or in the heart of a city. When Save is activated, the generator charges and tops up the battery pack if necessary. The aim is to ensure sufficient battery power for about 12 miles (20 km) of driving on electricity.
The battery pack is recharged from a regular power outlet, at home or at a parking place. Recharging time varies with the current. If 220V is available, a full charge with 12A takes just 3.5 hours. With 110V/12A a full charge takes 7.5 hours.
It is also possible while recharging the car to heat or cool the passenger compartment. This also means that more battery power is available to propel the car.
The Volvo Sensus infotainment system in the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept keeps the driver constantly updated about various items, for example:
? Best route to the destination depending on whether the driver prioritises low energy consumption, the fastest route or the shortest distance.
? Low Emission Zones where sufficient capacity is needed for running on pure electricity.
? Charging stations with access to renewable electricity.
? Locations along the route with access to quick-charging facilities.
The driver can also connect to the car via a mobile phone application. This offers access to a wide range of data, such as the battery’s charge level, remaining range, and the location and capacity of the nearest recharging station. Via the app, it is possible to verify if the charger cable is hooked up and it is also possible to pre-programme the car’s interior climate.
Read about the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid