More V60 Plug-in Hybrid details

  • Offers low running costs with decent performance
  • Emissions of just 49g/km means its free to tax
  • Arrives in 2013, with prices starting at £47,000

Swedish manufacturer Volvo has unveiled further details of its all-new V60 Plug-in Hybrid.

It’s fitted with a 212bhp 2.4-litre five-cylinder diesel engine, which is twinned with a 69bhp electric motor. Combining the two means it can complete the benchmark 0-62mph sprint in 6.2 seconds.

While the performance is impressive, it’s the green figures that really stand out. It emits just 49g/km of CO2, meaning it costs nothing to tax, while Volvo claims it has a total range of 746 miles.

It features three different driving modes. First is Pure, which powers the car with just the electric motor. This can cover up to 32 miles depending on terrain, climate and driving style. The Hybrid option combines the electric and diesel engine to give the best balance between acceleration, emissions and economy. The final mode is Power, which gives drivers the highest level of performance.

There is also an AWD mode available. The front wheels of the car are powered by the diesel engine, and the rear wheels by the electric motor. This is different to other systems that tend to share the total power between the two sets of wheels and could mean it’s not quite as effective.

The Plug-in Hybrid can be recharged from a standard plug.  Recharging time varies depending on power, however. For instance, a full charge with 10A takes 4.5 hours. This drops to 3.5 hours with a 16A supply, while a 6A charge will take up to 7.5 hours.

Like the Nissan Leaf, this model comes with a smartphone app which allows owners to control the air-con and heating systems of the car while it’s being charged. It also has a reminder to connect the charge cable if it hasn’t been done by a predetermined time.

Buyers of the first models will all get cars with silver paintwork, aero-designed 17-inch alloys, integrated exhaust tailpipes and a number of unique bodywork details over the standard V60. A chromed “Plug-in Hybrid” badge will be fitted to the boot and front wings.

Potential customers also benefit from kit that includes parking sensors front and rear, a Bluetooth phone link and Volvo OnCall, plus a multimedia DVD audio system with an amplifier, eight loudspeakers and seven-inch display screen as standard.

This might all sound fantastic so far. The cost of the car, unfortunately, could be a major stumbling block. With a price tag of £47,000, the V60 commands a substantial premium. This does drop to £42,000 after the UK government’s £5,000 electric car grant, however.

Only 1,000 are going to be made. The order books open in spring 2012 and production starts in November 2012. The first deliveries to customers are expected in early 2013.