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.
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