First UK customers to drive Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid at Goodwood

World’s first diesel plug-in hybrid to make first UK public appearance

By John Silcox on June 25, 2012 4:11 PM

Volvo will showcase the new V60 plug-in hybrid at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, allowing specially selected UK customers their first chance of driving the ultra-efficient estate.

The Swedish manufacturer will display the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) on its stand at this weekend’s event (28 June to 1 July), but will also allow a select group of customers to get behind the wheel of it for a run up the famous hillclimb on Thursday as part of what Goodwood calls the ‘Moving Motorshow’.

The 2012 Volvo V60 D6 AWD is billed as the ‘world’s first plug-in diesel hybrid’ and boasts combined cycle fuel efficiency figures of 148.7mpg, through the combination of a 2.4-litre diesel engine and a 69bhp electric motor. These drive the front and rear wheels respectively.

Volvo expects that most of the customer’s driving will be done using the electric mode only, as it offers a very usable range of up to 32 miles per charge, depending, of course, on the terrain, climate and driving style. Despite having less than 70bhp, the electric powertrain can deliver an impressive 200Nm of torque, which is available from zero revs.

However, the standard setting when the car is started is hybrid mode, with the diesel and electric motors working together for optimal efficiency. CO2 emissions under NEDC certification are just 49g/km and the car can be driven 621 miles between stops.

But for those moments when you need to put you foot down, switching to ‘Power’ mode sees the two powerplants used to their full potential. This gives maximum horsepower and maximum torque of 440+200Nm from both motors at the mercy of the driver, allowing the V60 D6 AWD to sprint from 0-60mph in 6.2 seconds.

The cost of all this fuel-efficient tech? £42,000 (including the £5,000 government grant), which is around £10,000 more than the extended range electric Vauxhall Ampera. A limited run of 1,000 Volvo V60 D6 AWDs will go on sale in November 2012, with only 125 of these coming to the UK, however production is expected to hit between 4,000 and 6,000 units per year from 2013.

The Swedish manufacturer will also be presenting its new five-door hatchback V40 at Goodwood, which is the first car in the world to feature a pedestrian airbag. This innovation helps reduce the severity of pedestrian injuries in the event of an impact and could be extended across the Volvo range. Volvo has set a goal of making sure no one is injured or killed in one of its cars by 2020.