Volvo XC60

Volvo will use the 2012 Detroit Auto Show to debut its XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept, a version of the automaker’s crossover fitted with an advanced gas-electric powertrain. Additionally, Volvo has officially confirmed that it will soon launch a production plug-in hybrid vehicle in the US.

The XC60 plug-in crossover combines a 280-horsepower, four-cylinder gasoline engine with a 70-hp, 148 pound-feet of torque electric motor. The turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine powers the XC60’s front wheel, while the electric motor spins the rear wheels. An integrated starter motor/generator (ISG) located between the engine and transmission delivers an extra 45 hp during acceleration. The ISG also charges the battery during braking. Electricity is stored in a 12-kWh lithium-ion battery pack located beneath the vehicle’s rear cargo area. Volvo says that the XC60 plug-in can travel on electric power only for up to 35 miles.

On the performance front, Volvo claims that the powerful XC60 can sprint from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 5.8 seconds, can hit a top speed of 130 mph and boasts a towing capacity of 3,300 pounds.

In terms of efficiency, Volvo states that the XC60 plug-in achieves more than 100 miles per gallon equivalent on Europe’s combined cycle and the automaker claims that CO2 emissions check in at less than 53 grams per kilometer. Total range is listed at up to 600 miles and recharge times are between 3.5 to 7.5 hours depending on the amperage of the power source used to charge the plug-in crossover.

The XC60 is, as of right now, only a concept, says Volvo chief executive officer Stefan Jacoby, stressing that the automaker has not confirmed which Volvo vehicle will be the first to be sold with a plug-in setup here in the US. “A world-class plug-in hybrid will reach our American showrooms in a couple of years,” states Jacoby. “However, it is too early to say which model will be the first to feature the solution.”