Add Volvo to the list of automakers suggesting that they will build a plug-in hybrid vehicle in the near future.
Volvo President and CEO Stefan Jacoby said the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept it showed Monday at the Detroit Auto Show is the first vehicle to combine an all-electric range of more 35 miles and true luxury car performance capability all in spacious crossover.
“The technology in the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept is as ingenious as it is unique,” Jacoby said. “You can make really green progress on the road without compromising on any of the luxury car’s renowned properties.”
The system combines a new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 280 horsepower with an eight-speed automatic transmission and an integrated starter/generator generating 45 horsepower driving the front wheels. It also has a 70-horsepower electric motor driving the rear wheels.
The system includes three driving modes: Pure (all electric), Hybrid and Power. In Pure mode, Volvo said the system is capable of returning 105 mpg equivalent. The company said the combined fuel economy is 50 mpg, yet the small crossover is still capable of accelerating from 0-60 in 5.8 seconds.
One of the keys to the system is Flywheel KERS, which stands for Kinetic Energy Recovery System.
The flywheel drive system is fitted to the car’s rear axle, while the engine drives the front wheels. When the brakes are applied, the resulting braking energy causes the flywheel to spin at up to 60,000 revs a minute. Once the car starts moving again, the flywheel’s rotation is transferred to the rear wheels via a specially designed transmission unit. With this arrangement, the total power of the engine and KERS is applied to all four wheels, Volvo said.
“Both our new architecture and the new engine range will enable us to be on par or even beat our toughest competitors in crucial areas such as driving dynamics and fuel efficiency,” said Peter Mertens, Volvo’s senior vice president research and development.
While Volvo used the existing XC60 as the platform for the concept, it has not yet decided what vehicle it utilize the technology first.