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Volvo previews the S60L Petrol Plug-in Hybrid


April 17, 2014

Volvo will debut the S60L PPHEV concept at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show

Volvo will debut the S60L PPHEV concept at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show

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Pulling a bit of attention away from this week's New York Auto Show, Volvo has teased a plug-in hybrid concept ahead of next week's Beijing Auto Show. The S60L Petrol Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Concept combines performance and fuel economy with a turbo gas-electric powertrain. It previews a model that Volvo plans to introduce next year.

If you're wondering why Volvo chose such a long, clunky concept name, seeing as how the average hybrid uses petrol gas, it seems to be to distinguish the new concept car from the V60 diesel-electric plug-in. The S60L shares the electric technology of that production model, but loses the diesel.

The S60L PPHEV concept car packs a torque-heavy combination of a 238-hp 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder under the hood and a 68-hp electric motor hooked to the rear axle. The motor is backed by an 11.2-kWh lithium-ion battery that's charged from a port on the front fender. A crankshaft-driven Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) is mounted between the engine and eight-speed automatic transmission. The car takes 4 to 4.5 hours to charge from a 230 V hook-up.

"The creation of a powertrain with 238+68 hp and 350+200 Nm [258+148 lb-ft] of torque by combining a petrol turbo from our new four-cylinder Drive-E engine family and an electric motor proves that the most efficient car can also be the most fun to drive," says Peter Mertens, a senior VP at Volvo Cars."This is our most technologically advanced powertrain ever. It brings us closer to our vision to offer zero-emission motoring in the future."

The driver manages the efficiency and fun that Mertens speaks of with a three-mode powertrain, just like in the V60 Plug-In. The "pure" electric mode offers up to 31 miles (50 km) of emissions-free electric driving. The default "hybrid" mode manages output from both the motor and engine, returning about 117 miles per gallon (2L/100km) and emitting 50 g of CO2 per km. The car travels about 620 total miles (1,000 km) in hybrid mode.

When the driver is in a rush (or wants to feel one), he or she can dial it up to "power" mode, directing the might of the engine and motor toward performance, including a 5.5-second 0-62 mph (100 km/h). There's also a gas-electric AWD option available at the push of a button.

Volvo plans to launch the production S60L PPHEV in China early next year, manufacturing at the Chengdu plant.

Source: Volvo

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work. All articles by C.C. Weiss

What's the curb weight & drag? Could the range be extended by lowering the weight/drag? Of course, but extended range is not as important as pretending to be eco-friendly. I'll wait for a cheaper Tesla. Or maybe an Aptera type innovation. I want a serious EV, not a politically correct compromise.

Don Duncan

@Don Duncan Most Americans at least still drive large gas engine cars. To get people off of gasoline you have to build products people will buy and full size plug in hybrids are a great solution.

Tesla had to build charging stations around the US to support an electric only vehicle and there are many people who are not yet ready to go EV only.

The average commute distance in the US is 16 miles each way so the 31 miles of range on electric only is enough to tackle commutes almost entirely without gasoline even without plugin it at the office. For longer distance trips only takes 5 minutes to get gas and it still gets good fuel range. Tesla takes about 45 minutes to fully charge.

Once more people start using plug in hybrids and we equip the infrastructure with charging stations we can wean people off of gasoline.

Tesla is doing amazing work but pure EV is still a product that not everyone is ready for and we have to get people off of gasoline now.


this vehicle seems like the perfect compromise. Good range, pretty good acceleration, plenty of room and good comfort. If they release it in the US as a wagon, i'll be on the list to buy! The EV range won't quite make my commute, but the range extender is a nice feature.

Michael Wilson

Diachi & Mike: Two things will cut gas usage. 1. Higher milage. Seventy - eighty MPG would be available in the U.S. but TPTB won't allow those cars imported. How many people know that? The MSM is controlled by them. Until we get govt. out of our lives, our economy, our schools, we will see crony capitalists profiting at the expense of general prosperity. For example, Dr. Amory Lovins, the energy guru and founder of RMI, has said that all we need to achieve maximum energy efficiency is to remove all interference of govt. (No more subsidies or regulations.) 2. Public support of EVs. That won't happen if every manufacturer tries to build a car that appeals to a broad audience, but doesn't really satisfy anyone. Niche markets exist. Aptera filled one. The govt. would not approve a loan, but did so for rip-off companies (crony capitalists) and Aptera went busted waiting. But the public doesn't see all the innovation that is killed by govt. This is the "Tucker" political scandal all over, and won't be covered by MSM.

Don Duncan
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