The new Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid will go on sale in Europe in November 2012, boasting the world's first application of a plug-in diesel hybrid powertrain.
Just 1000 of the 2013 model year versions will be made, although none of these will be headed for Australia. There is hope the model may join the line-up in the future though.
Jaedene Hudson from Volvo Australia told CarAdvice Volvo is "definitely considering" adding the Plug-in to the local line-up in the future, saying that it would be great to provide the technology to Australians. However, Hudson said there are no immediate plans.
Volvo Cars is planning to expand production to 4000-6000 per year after the initial 2013 model run is completed. Hudson admitted that if Volvo Australia did give it the green light, an introduction wouldn't take place until at least this second run.
The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid uses a versatile three-mode powertrain system which provides ultra-efficient electric only (Pure), normal (Hybrid) and sporty (Power) driving modes, switchable inside the cabin.
At all times, all four wheels are provided with power from either or both a 2.4-litre five-cylinder turbo diesel producing 158kW of power, and/or an electric drive system providing 51kW from a 11.2kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
When both systems are used, such as in Hybrid mode, the V60 is able to deliver 440Nm plus 200Nm of torque from the electric motor. In Power mode, acceleration from 0-100km/h can be taken care of in a brisk 6.2 seconds - the same as the top-shelf V60 T6 R-Design petrol variant.
A full recharge of the battery pack using a 10-amp socket (standard in Australia) takes around 4.5 hours. A handy feature when charging, the V60 is able to heat or cool the cabin in preparation for occupants before the vehicle even sets off. Power is used straight from the socket.
Volvo is really pushing the idea that the V60 Plug-in has three different personalities or characters, offering technology that can provide great versatility between each.
It's a shame that only 1000 will be made, at least initially. Volvo says around 30 per cent of the vehicles will be allocated to the Swedish market, while five to 15 per cent will be distributed to Germany, UK, Switzerland, Belgium, France, and the Netherlands.