• Volvo unveils its XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept at this year's Detroit Auto Show
  • A 350-horsepower CUV capable of 100 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGE)
  • Three drive modes allows driver to tailor energy consumption to their needs


At the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Volvo has unveiled its newest concept car: the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid. Like other plug-in hybrids currently on the market, the Volvo XC60 will utilize an electric vehicle (EV) electric motor powered by a lithium ion battery pack in conjunction with a fuel-efficient 2-liter inline four-cylinder engine to power the vehicle. Unlike other plug-in hybrids on the market, however, the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept will have three driving modes for the driver to choose from: Pure, Hybrid, and Power.

"Pure" drive mode allows the driver to harness the energy solely stored in the onboard battery packs to power the vehicle for up to 35 miles per charge with zero tailpipe emissions, effectively driving as an electric vehicle.

"Hybrid" mode is the default setting for the vehicle when started. In this mode the gasoline engine and the electric motor work together to propel the car in the most fuel-efficient way possible, similar to other hybrids.

Lastly "Power" mode is what distinguishes the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid most from the competition. In this mode, the vehicle works to produce the most possible power at any given moment. Utilizing the 280 horsepower gasoline motor in conjunction with the 70 horsepower electric motor (350 horsepower in total), the XC60 is capable of reaching 60 MPH in 5.8 seconds.

Not only is the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept spacious and powerful, it's also capable off road as well. Volvo has designed an electric all-wheel drive system. Up front, the gasoline motor powers the wheels. In the back, the wheels are turned by the electric motor. At the push of a button, the onboard computer syncs the power and torque output to all four wheels thereby ensuring road traction and vehicle control.

What it means to you: If Volvo sends the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid into production; consumers won't have to sacrifice dynamic good looks, all-wheel drive capability, or power in order to save money at the pump.

author photo

Nick Jaynes developed a passion for writing about cars working his way through Journalism School as a Volvo mechanic. When he's not writing, Nick can be seen hosting the popular automotive web-show DownForce Motoring. In his free-time, Nick collects vintage cars, trucks, and motorcycles.

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