The new Volvo V60 D6 AWD Plug-in Hybrid is the world’s first diesel-fuelled plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and officially the most fuel-efficient car launched this year.
The new Volvo estate, isn’t the fastest car on the market, nor is it the most spacious (the boot space has had to be reduced in order to fit in the electric motor) but the hybrid boasts some astounding combined economy figures with CO2 emissions around 48g/km and a combined fuel consumption of 155mpg. The V60 Plug-In hybrid has a part-time electric mode that enables the driver to clock up to 31 miles without touching a drop of diesel.
Volvo has always been ahead of the game with regards to technological advancement, the Swedish company introduced the first easy-fit seatbelt in 1959 and the first airbag in 1994. They have since introduced the world’s first pedestrian airbag.
The V60 has two engines: a normal D5 2.4-litre diesel engine up front, and a 69bhp electric motor at the back - much like a normal hybrid. However, you can plug the V60’s electric motor into the mains, and when fully charged the new Volvo hybrid can travel over 30 miles purely in electric mode. Driving in electric mode doesn’t mean you have to go slow either, getting up to speeds of around 78mph, the diesel engine only comes into play when you need more power, or when you have exhausted the car’s battery. This means that you could go quite a long time without visiting a petrol station and you will be emitting next to no carbon emissions.
When in electric mode the new Volvo is virtually silent, and you can really put your foot down without the diesel engine coming into play - provided you stay in the blue ‘eco zone’ you can avoid using the car’s diesel engine. The longer the journey, the more the battery will deplete and the blue ‘eco zone’ will get smaller until it eventually disappears and the diesel engine kicks in. The good thing about the new Volvo V60 hybrid is that you can drive it like a standard V60 without burning hydrocarbons, unlike many hybrids that only use the electric motor during slow urban driving. Speaking of urban driving, the V60 hybrid is amongst a select few of new environmentally friendly vehicles exempt from London congestion charges, it also incurs the lowest rates of BIK tax.
The new Volvo V60 hybrid is built alongside the V60, but as the hybrid boasts a 50kWh electric motor, the fuel tank is subsequently smaller than the standard model, being reduced from 70 to 45 litres. The gearbox is a manual six-speed auto much like any other V60, there is plenty of space and practicality, it produces 0-62mph in 6.1sec, has a stunning cabin and a five-star crash test rating from Euro NCAP to boot - not surprising from a Volvo.