Print 31 comment(s) - last by Argon18.. on Dec 15 at 7:58 PM

World's first plug-in diesel hybrid will enter production next year

Volvo has announced what it claims to be the world's first diesel plug-in hybrid. Volvo is claiming that the V60 Hybrid is more than an economy car, even going so far as to call the car an EV, hybrid, and muscle car in one. The V60 Hybrid was first announced in February of this year.
The car will go into production and be offered only in silver for the first 1,000 units built. The initial production run will also have specially designed aero wheels, an exclusive interior, and a bunch of standard features. Sales are set to kick off at the end of 2012 and the first of the V60 Hybrids will roll off assembly lines in the fall of 2012. 
"Our plug-in hybrid has received considerable attention since it was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 2011. Now we're taking the next step by presenting the production model, which is graced with a distinctive profile featuring a spectacular silver color, exclusive interior and generous standard equipment," says Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation.
The car will have an entirely digital Driver Information Monitor that replaces the conventional analog gauges with a single LED screen. Menus in the system allow the driver to customize how they want.
The V60 Hybrid will also launch with a mobile app that will allow the user to communicate with the vehicle via a smartphone. The app will allow the driver to control the AC and set reminders if the car hasn’t been plugged in.
This is the first Volvo to wear the new D6 badge signifying a 5-cylinder turbodiesel and electric motor. The performance will be in the range of the normal gas using T6. The engine alone produces 215hp, has a max torque of 440nm, and comes coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission. The rear axle is powered by an electric motor that produces 70hp; the gas engine apparently doesn’t power the rear axle at all. That electric motor gets power from an 11.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack under the floor of the car.
The car can operate in “Pure” mode using the electric motor as much as possible with a range on electric power of 31 miles. The “Hybrid” mode is standard with low CO2 emissions and a range of up to 621 miles. In “Power” mode the car gets the 215hp diesel power along with the 70hp electric motor's grunt for a combined 660nm of torque. This pushes the car from 0-60mph 6.2 seconds.

Source: Volvo

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Possible win here
By FITCamaro on 12/14/2011 12:51:44 PM , Rating: 2
Not a terrible looking car. And the performance is pretty nice. Course I'd rather just have a pure diesel. And not a Volvo. But nothing's perfect.

RE: Possible win here
By Spuke on 12/14/2011 1:16:05 PM , Rating: 2
Too bad it's never coming to the US. Also, even with 487 lb-ft of torque, this car still only manages a 6.2 sec 0-60. I'm a little baffled on that one. Regardless, if it was available as a sedan in the US, I'd add it to the list (I imagine this will be expensive).

RE: Possible win here
By steven975 on 12/14/2011 5:43:42 PM , Rating: 3
487 lb-ft is nothing if it is not being applied quickly. It's not, hence the >6sec 0-60 time.

487 lb-ft @ 1500RPM is 139HP. 139HP is 139HP is 139HP, regardless of how much torque is behind it. 139HP with 100 lb-ft will accelerate a car just as fast as 139HP with 487 lb-ft.

RE: Possible win here
By Spuke on 12/14/2011 6:41:08 PM , Rating: 2
487 lb-ft is nothing if it is not being applied quickly. It's not, hence the >6sec 0-60 time.
Thanks for the info.

RE: Possible win here
By JediJeb on 12/14/2011 7:01:50 PM , Rating: 2
For acceleration at lower RPM it is usually better to have more torque regardless of horsepower. Higher torque will allow you to run through the gears more quickly at lower RPM which should lead to better acceleration. If you got 487 lb-ft @ 1000 RPM then that would be less HP but you would feel much stronger acceleration from it without having to rev the engine as high.

RE: Possible win here
By Mint on 12/14/2011 11:02:41 PM , Rating: 3
You obviously weren't paying attention in your highschool physics class.

Power is the only relevant metric in determining the ability of an engine to accelerate. The only reason torque matters is that it implicitly gives us another point on the power curve, and thus speaks to how broad the power band is, which in turn is only a factor due to finite gearing. An engine putting out 244 lb-ft @ 2000 RPM has identical ability to accelerate as your 487 lb-ft @ 1000 RPM example. The only difference is the fraction of a second it takes to get that engine from idle to 2000 RPM.

Torque is a pretty useless metric for engine output. I can put a 1HP motor in a box with some gearing, and the output shaft will have 10,000 lb-ft of torque.

RE: Possible win here
By Netjak on 12/15/2011 11:21:00 AM , Rating: 2
Torque is force over distance. To move object one needs force, only force and nothing else. In your example, it will end up with impractical gearing and huge inertial forces (and one way, locking gears) wich will brake that gearbox...
In short, engine ability to accelerate coresponds with area bellow torque curve, so - everything other equal - engine with higher low range torque, ie flater curve, will accelerate better. That's the reason why Tesla accelerates so good.

RE: Possible win here
By steven975 on 12/15/2011 12:17:15 PM , Rating: 3
The Tesla accelerates due to the POWER, though. The torque starts out VERY high, and this yields POWER immediately. This same principle does allow a torquier engine to accelerate well at low that torque yields power.

It makes near-constant power across its RPM range.

Torque produces power when it is APPLIED. Apply the same amount of torque faster and you get more power.

If you had a theoretical engine attached to a CVT in identical cars to keep it in its power peak at all times, if the engines were rated at the same power output, they would accelerate at the exact same rate, regardless of how much torque is behind them.

In real life with finite gearing, the engine with more torque would accelerate well down low. Once the cars are in motion, though, they would be about the same...such as from a roll.

Actually, there's a counter to that, too. You can run much shorter gearing in a car that makes power up in the high range. Take 2 cars of similar weight and power rating in the real world...the Honda S2000 and Solstice GXP/Sky RedLine. The first has 240HP/153lb-ft, and the latter 260HP/260 lb-ft. The S2000 is a faster a hair. It has what most would consider pitiful crankshaft torque, but due to gearing actually makes a very sizeable amount of torque at the actual wheels...something near 3,000 lb-ft. Yes, the latter car makes that much there, too.

RE: Possible win here
By steven975 on 12/15/2011 12:31:44 PM , Rating: 2
To expand upon that, the GM car would probably accelerate better in top gear from 30-40 as it is making more power in that RPM range BECAUSE the engine makes more torque.

Put the two cars in a range where they make similar POWER (regardless of torque) they run pretty close. Each car is geared well for its powertrain...which makes it a very good real-world example of why power is what matters and not torque in acceleration. I'm not saying torque does not matter, but power matters more.

Power and torque can both be used to evaluate an engine's powerband. Just a HP number won't say whether it's good for towing or whether it is appropriate for a heavy car. This is why both TQ and HP are listed. A higher torque engine is better suited for a large load BECAUSE it will make power move a car (torque cannot do this must be applied and there must be motion).

A high HP number and low TQ number implies the engine is optimized for high speed, whereas a high TQ number and low HP number imply the opposite. Each has its best use.

Generally, HP and TQ are numerically equal at 5252RPM. If an engine produces 250lb-ft at 1,000 RPM and 240HP @ 5200RPM, you would know it has a pretty flat torque curve. An engine that starts with a lot of torque but drops off has a flat power curve. The old 5.0 Mustangs come to mind...they had over 300lb-ft and ~220HP at about 5000RPM...torque dropped off but power was broad (although kind of laughable nowadays).

RE: Possible win here
By EddyKilowatt on 12/15/2011 3:25:47 PM , Rating: 1
You obviously played video games after you did your physics homework, while I was out picking up chicks in my rumbly V-8. Spare me the "relevant metric" nerdgasm, I know the difference between power and torque and energy.

What you obviously don't know about is driving dynamics and how a car feels when you put your foot into it. Sure, some people like a Hayabusa howl from up front when they wind into the power band, I happen to like it myself... on the track, or on a twisty road with the top down.

The charm of passenger diesel and the reason to respect those axle-twisting torque numbers is the totally unruffled way you can tip your foot into it and be pinned back in your seat. No waiting while it lurches down two gears and winds up to a now-I'm-trying-hard frenzy... just a smooth, powerful shove in the back.

It's not for everyone. Europeans and Asians, who had to do more with less for a couple of generations there, might prefer more of a Fiat (or VTEC) buzz from their loud pedal. But for North Americans who grew up with big neck-snapping V8s (admittedly thirsty ones), passenger diesel is going to be mighty appealing. V8 torque with four-cylinder economy... pretty big wins, if all you lose is the wail up to redline. Buy a sportbike if that's your thing.

RE: Possible win here
By FredEx on 12/14/2011 7:09:26 PM , Rating: 2
I'd guess in this case the HEAVY battery and weight of the added electrics has a lot more to do with acceleration than that torque/HP curve.

RE: Possible win here
By Argon18 on 12/15/2011 7:58:40 PM , Rating: 1
"139 hp is 139 hp is 139 hp"

No, not quite. 139 hp at 1500 rpm as in your example is fairly significant. Most gasoline engines, even large powerful V8's, don't make much hp at all below 3000 rpm. You've got to rev them up to get to the usable hp range. Diesels on the other hand create stump-pulling torque and good usable hp at just barely above idle.

So in a diesel, cruising on the highway with the engine loafing along at 2300 rpm, it's already making its maximum torque and almost its maximum hp. A gasoline engine on the other hand at 2300 rpm isn't making jack shit. The gasoline engine needs to be revved to 5000+ rpm to reach its maximum hp and maximum torque numbers.

RE: Possible win here
By piroroadkill on 12/15/2011 8:08:42 AM , Rating: 2
This is a car targeted towards efficiency.
The fact it has a 0-60 time of 6.2 seconds is great.

RE: Possible win here
By piroroadkill on 12/15/2011 8:21:56 AM , Rating: 2
Just to correct, it was 0-100 km/h in 6.2 seconds.

0-60 mph you're basically looking at 6 seconds dead.

RE: Possible win here
By sigmatau on 12/14/2011 2:18:29 PM , Rating: 2
This car may look good on paper, but who will pay the price for not only the diesel engine but the hybrid system?

This will be priced up their with the Volt if not higher.

RE: Possible win here
By Spuke on 12/14/2011 2:53:12 PM , Rating: 3
This will be priced up their with the Volt if not higher.
I expect it to be much more than the Volt. Besides, the V60 isn't offered in the US currently. The S60 has a base price of $31,000. If I were to guess, this V60 Hybrid would start at $55,000.

RE: Possible win here
By FredEx on 12/14/2011 7:18:36 PM , Rating: 3 had it listed as selling for EUR 57.000, which is $74,000 US.

RE: Possible win here
By Spuke on 12/14/2011 10:42:04 PM , Rating: 3
quote: had it listed as selling for EUR 57.000, which is $74,000 US.
Likely to be a bit cheaper in the US but that still is a lot. Wow!

RE: Possible win here
By EddyKilowatt on 12/15/2011 3:34:01 PM , Rating: 2
Well, they're not going to be marketing it to the econobox segment. That's Toyota's turf anyway, and they did great with the Prius.

This is obviously the more traditional "bring new technology in at the high end of the market" approach, selling to well-off people who care about the planet. (Remains to be seen whether this is the best use of their dollars, but that's their call.)

I'm sure we'll see BMW, Mercedes, and the other usual suspects angling for a slice of this pie... once it is baked and assuming it is proven to be tasty.

RE: Possible win here
By DeepBlue1975 on 12/15/2011 8:41:42 AM , Rating: 2
The S60 sedan looks much better on the outside.
On the inside, both are equally gorgeous.

I mean, I have a 2010 C-Class and when I sat on the S60, I ended up looking at my car in contempt even though I really like it.

What worries me about the S60 is the too-nose heavy weight distribution, which came up in several tests as a strong understeer tendency.

Those performance figures look great to me. Don't know why others complain so much... Just over 6 seconds to get to 62mph is a very good performance.
And then again rolling accelerations from 40 or 50mph to 75 or 80 are a lot more important to me than the 0-60 all alone, which I never exercise in real life.
Quite frankly, I don't know many people constantly getting away at full gas from every traffic light or stop sign.

European economics
By FishTankX on 12/14/2011 5:08:37 PM , Rating: 2
This actually makes alot of sense for europe.

Let's say this car runs 80% on electricity and 20% on diesel.

If Diesel is $8 per gallon and the car gets 50MPG hybrid and 40MPG pure diesel (slower driving in europe, tends to keep fuel economy a little higher).

And electricity is 20 cents per KWH

Then over the lifetime of the car.. (probably about 300k miles for diesel)

Lifetime fuel costs for pure diesel

Lifetime fuel cost when using 80% electricity over lifetime of the vehicle with the assumption of a conservative 333wh/mile

$16,000 in electricity + $9600 diesel= 25600

Total lifetime savings of the car at 300k miles = $34,400

I'd say that more than makes up for the PHEV premium of the vehicle.

RE: European economics
By Spuke on 12/14/2011 5:25:45 PM , Rating: 3
How long do Europeans keep their cars? And how many miles do they drive on average while they own their cars?

RE: European economics
By JediJeb on 12/14/2011 7:04:59 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know about Europeans, but I have never owned a vehicle less than 7 years or gotten rid of one with less than 200K miles on it.

Maybe I am just too resistant to change :)

RE: European economics
By Spuke on 12/14/2011 10:47:11 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe I am just too resistant to change :)
Change is my middle name! :) Although I will be very slow to own a car, that I drive primarily (wife can drive whatever), without a gasoline engine. I like the noise, the rise and fall of the engines rpms through each gear. I'm a fan and don't look at cars as just transportation. It's the driving experience I'm after. Driving something that's morque quiet does not appeal to me.

RE: European economics
By Isidore on 12/14/2011 7:04:53 PM , Rating: 2
Slower driving in Europe? How do you justify that? Much of Germany has no speed limit on the highways and most European motorways have 130kph/80 mph speed limits how much of the US is faster? They are not more heavily policed than the US and you can easily allow for he fixed speed cameras.Having driven extensively on both the East and West coast freeways in the US, the traffic is MUCH worse than in Europe. Scandinavia and Switzerland are pretty authoritarian about driving but elsewhere? Not really an issue.

RE: European economics
By Ringold on 12/15/2011 11:13:38 AM , Rating: 2
And electricity is 20 cents per KWH

Wow, you guys get it on the gas and electricity both. I pay 11-15 cents per KWH, depending on how much I use.

Only In America
By btc909 on 12/14/2011 2:59:01 PM , Rating: 2
Hey maybe someday an American automaker will make a Diesel Hybrid. Nawh i'm just screwing with you it'll never happen.

RE: Only In America
By CharonPDX on 12/14/2011 8:03:44 PM , Rating: 2
Please, please, please, please, Volvo - release this in the US.

By BioHazardous on 12/14/11, Rating: -1
RE: pfft
By Brandon Hill on 12/14/2011 12:28:46 PM , Rating: 3
What? We did an article on this vehicle in February (linked in the story). This is the official press/production announcement for the vehicle, which was released yesterday.

RE: pfft
By BioHazardous on 12/14/2011 1:06:15 PM , Rating: 2
Ahh indeed. I normally just ignore links because of all the ad links that pop up. Apparently I was the first one to comment too. So maybe you guys did listen to me when I suggested it a long time ago =)

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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