Plugged in and good to go
At the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Volvo Car Corporation will unveil an innovative petrol plug-in hybrid with the new XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept.
The Volvo XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept is an electric car, a highly economical hybrid and a powerful high-performance car all rolled into one. With one touch of a button, the driver decides how the available power from the combination of the engine and the electric motor is to be utilized.
"The technology in the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept is as ingenious as it is unique," says Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation. "You can make really green progress on the road without compromising on any of the luxury car's renowned properties. No other manufacturer has succeeded in delivering fuel economy and electrical range on this level in a capable, spacious performance car with 350 horsepower on tap."
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 45 hp during acceleration. It also charges the battery during braking.
The front wheels of the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept are powered by a four-cylinder turbocharged engine from the forthcoming VEA (Volvo Environmental Architecture) engine family. This engine produces 280 horsepower and maximum torque of 380 Nm. Power delivery to the wheels comes via a newly developed eight-speed automatic transmission.
While the front wheels are taken care of by the petrol engine, the rear axle is driven by electric power, and is charged from a household socket. 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.
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.
"This world-class petrol plug-in hybrid technology, featuring a state-of-the-art four-cylinder engine from our upcoming Volvo Environmental Architecture engine family, will reach our American showrooms in a couple of years. However, it is too early to say which model will be the first to feature this solution," Jacoby says.