In a move to take its plug-in hybrid powertrain global, Swedish automaker Volvo will fit its XC90 SUV with a gas-burning plug-in hybrid setup based loosely off the gear found in its extremely popular Volvo V60 PHEV.
If you recall, the V60 PHEV features a diesel engine, which is part of the reason why it's a Europe-only offering. But still, the V60 PHEV is selling way beyond Volvo's initial expectations. Sales of the V60 PHEV are so high that Volvo increased production to 7,600 units in 2013 and will crank it up to 10,000 units in 2014:
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“The success of the world’s first diesel plug-in hybrid, the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid, continues. Volvo Car Group (Volvo Cars) is now ramping up production by 90 per cent, just to keep up with the demand.”
“The increased demand, especially in Holland, Belgium and Italy, means that the Plug-in Hybrid production at Volvo Cars’ Torslanda plant in Sweden will be increased continuously from 150 to 282 units per week. All in all, Volvo Cars will produce 7,600 plug-in hybrids in 2013 – and the 2014 target is 10,000 units.”
Now, Volvo wants to expand its PHEV efforts to the global market.
Starting in late 2014, Volvo will offer its XC90 SUV with a plug-in hybrid option. The PHEV version will be offered as soon as the next-gen XC90 launches, says Volvo Cars product planning boss Lex Kerssemakers:
“At the moment we launch the XC90, we will also launch the petrol plug-in version. We have the four-cylinder turbo strategy – where we say, you know, we go full for four cylinders. We have a 300-plus horsepower (220kW) engine – at least 300 and the final “plus” we are still defining, as a basic engine. And then we get the electrification. So you end up with a 600Nm-plus car."
“It’s the right combination between power and fuel efficiency, that’s what we believe."
“It should be class-leading. We have very efficient powertrains, combined with electricificaiton, that’s always good. It’s always better than V6s or V8s. We want to have the power of the V6 and V8, however in a very modest way."
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As for the V60 PHEV, it seems Volvo will cancel that vehicle after the 2014 production run, but something similar to it (diesel PHEV) could return to the automaker's lineup in the future
"We will switch to petrol hybrid, to switch later to diesels. But we had to make choices, and petrol is simply the most global fuel."
So, this confirms the following:
- An XC90 PHEV featuring a gas engine will be sold globally starting in late 2014
- The V60 diesel PHEV will exit production as the XC90 becomes available