Beijing, China – At the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, Volvo Car Corporation will display its new XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept. Volvo touts the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept as an electric car, a highly economical hybrid and a powerful high-performance car all rolled into one. At the touch of a button, the driver decides how the available power from the combination of the high-performance gasoline 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.”
“This world-class gasoline 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.
The driver chooses the driving mode via three buttons on the instrument panel. The buttons give the car three distinct temperaments: Pure, Hybrid or Power.
- In Pure mode the car is powered solely by its electric motor as much as possible. The operational range according to the European certification driving cycle NEDC is 45 km.
- Hybrid mode is the standard setting whenever the car is started. The gasoline engine and electric motor cooperate to motivate the vehicle. According to the European certification driving cycle NEDC, CO2 emissions are 53 g/km (2.3 l/100 km) – which translates into fuel economy of over 100 mpg. The car has a total operating range of up to 960 km.
- In Power mode, the technology is optimized to create maximum possible power. The gasoline engine with 280 hp and 380 Nm is combined with the electric motor with 70 hp and 200 Nm. The electric motor’s instant torque delivery contributes to the car’s acceleration from 0-100 km/h in 6.1 seconds.
The front wheels of the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept are powered by a four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline 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.
“In the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept we demonstrate that our forthcoming four-cylinder engines offer the same high performance as today’s sixes. At the same time, their fuel consumption will be lower than in current four-cylinder engines,” says Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Car Corporation.
The concept car carries a “T8” badge, which emphasizes the combined 350 horsepower of the high-performance four-cylinder engine and the electric motor.
“It’s time to stop counting cylinders,” Mertens says. “Four-cylinder engines are the most effective way to quickly reduce CO2 emissions and fuel consumption without compromising customer expectations when it comes to driving pleasure and performance.”
VEA is a modular range of diesel and gasoline engines. The gasoline versions come with direct injection, minimized internal losses and balance shafts for maximized comfort. The modular format is based on a standard of 500cc per cylinder for optimum thermodynamics. It could also be used to develop three-cylinder engines.
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 34 kW (45 hp) during acceleration. It also charges the battery during braking.
The rear axle of the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept is driven by an electric motor producing 70 horsepower. It is supplied with power from a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery pack installed under the floor of the load compartment.
The battery pack is recharged from a regular power outlet, at home or at a parking place. 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.
It is also possible while recharging the car to heat or cool the passenger compartment in order to make the start of the journey more comfortable. This also means that more battery power is available to propel the car.