| 05/01/2012 | 0 Comments

At the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Volvo Car Corporation will unveil an innovative petrol plug-in hybrid based on the Volvo XC60.


The Plug-in Hybrid Concept 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.
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 with 280hp and 380Nm. Power delivery to the wheels comes via a newly developed eight-speed automatic transmission. 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 12kWh lithium-ion battery pack installed under the floor of the load compartment. 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.
Via three buttons on the instrument panel, the driver decides how the available power from the combination of the high-performance petrol engine and the electric motor is to be utilised. The buttons give the car three distinct temperaments: 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 European certification driving cycle NEDC is 28 miles. Hybrid mode is the standard setting whenever the car is started. The petrol engine and electric motor co-operate to provide maximum driving pleasure with minimum environmental impact. According to the European certification driving cycle NEDC, CO2 emissions are 53g/km (2.3l/100 km). The car has a total operating range of up to 600 miles (960km). In Power mode, the technology is optimised to create maximum possible power. The petrol engine with 280hp and 380Nm is combined with the electric motor with 70hp and 200Nm. The electric motor’s instant torque delivery contributes to the car’s acceleration from 0 to 60mph in 5.8 seconds (0-100km/h in 6.1 seconds).
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 34kW (45hp) during acceleration. It also charges the battery during braking.
The driver also 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 (20km) of driving on electricity.
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. It has been designed to provide better traction when starting and when driving on slippery roads, for instance, in snow or mud.
The Volvo Sensus infotainment system in the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept keeps the driver constantly updated on everything that makes the journey simpler, more efficient and more entertaining.
The driver can also connect to the car via a mobile phone application. This offers convenient 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-program the car’s interior climate.

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