Volvo XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept - a unique blend of gasoline and electric power
At the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Volvo Car Corporation will unveil an innovative gasoline plug-in hybrid.
The Volvo XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept is an electric car, a highly economical hybrid and a powerful high-performance car all rolled into one.
At the touch of a button, the driver decides how the available power from the combination of the high-performance gasoline engine and the electric motor is to be utilized.
"The technology in the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept is as ingenious as it is unique," says Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation. "You can make really green progress on the road without compromising on any of the luxury car's renowned properties. No other manufacturer has succeeded in delivering fuel economy and electrical range on this level in a capable, spacious performance car with 350 horsepower on tap."
"This world-class gasoline plug-in hybrid technology, featuring a state-of-the-art four-cylinder engine from our upcoming Volvo Environmental Architecture engine family, will reach our American showrooms in a couple of years. However, it is too early to say which model will be the first to feature this solution," Stefan Jacoby says.
Pure Hybrid Power - three cars in one
The driver chooses the driving mode via three buttons on the instrument panel. The buttons give the car three distinct temperaments: Pure, Hybrid or Power.
- In Pure mode the car is powered solely by its electric motor as much as possible. The operational range is up to 35 miles (charge depleting range, U.S certification driving cycle) with zero tailpipe emissions in urban traffic. The range according to the European certification driving cycle NEDC is 45 km.
- Hybrid mode is the standard setting whenever the car is started. The gasoline engine and electric motor cooperate to provide maximum driving pleasure with minimum environmental impact. According to the European certification driving cycle NEDC, CO2 emissions are 53 g/km (2.3 l/100 km) - which translates into fuel economy of over 100 mpg. Using the U.S certification standards, which include emissions from the production of the electric energy, the combined fuel economy in continuous driving is 50 mpg. The car has a total operating range of up to 600 miles (960 km).
- In Power mode, the technology is optimized to create maximum possible power. The gasoline engine with 280 hp and 380 Nm (280 lb.-ft.) is combined with the electric motor with 70 hp and 200 Nm (148 lb.-ft.). The electric motor's instant torque delivery contributes to the car's acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds (0-100 km/h in 6.1 seconds).
Four cylinders with the same power as a six-cylinder unit
The front wheels of the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept are powered by a four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine from the forthcoming VEA (Volvo Environmental Architecture) engine family. This engine produces 280 horsepower and maximum torque of 380 Nm (280 lb.-ft.). Power delivery to the wheels comes via a newly developed eight-speed automatic transmission.
"In the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept we demonstrate that our forthcoming four-cylinder engines offer the same high performance as today's sixes. At the same time, their fuel consumption will be lower than in current four-cylinder engines," says Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Car Corporation.
The concept car carries a "T8" badge, which emphasizes the combined 350 horsepower of the high-performance four-cylinder engine and the electric motor. This moves the car into territory previously occupied solely by eight-cylinder engines.
"It's time to stop counting cylinders," Peter Mertens says. "Four-cylinder engines are the most effective way to quickly reduce CO2 emissions and fuel consumption without compromising customer expectations when it comes to driving pleasure and performance."
Reduction of parts, weight and fuel consumption
VEA is a modular range of diesel and gasoline engines. The gasoline versions come with direct injection, minimized internal losses and balance shafts for maximized comfort.
Several levels of turbocharging open up for flexibility that encompasses the whole range from high power and torque variants to extremely fuel-efficient derivatives. In order to cover all customer requirements, certain engines will gain added performance via hybrid drive or other spearhead technology.
The modular format is based on a standard of 500cc (30 cubic inches) per cylinder for optimum thermodynamics. It could also be used to develop three-cylinder engines. VEA offers several advantages
- The number of unique parts is reduced. This promotes manufacturing efficiency, quality assurance and efficiency of new development projects.
- The new powertrains are considerably lighter than present engines with similar performance.
- Fuel economy is improved by up to 35 percent compared to engines with similar performance.
- Modularity and compact transverse design are also ideal for future electrification developments.
Integrated Starter Generator
The engine in the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept has no conventional starter motor or alternator. Instead, there is an Integrated Starter motor and Generator (ISG) connected to the crankshaft, which is located between the engine and the transmission. The ISG is capable of delivering an extra 34 kW (45 hp) during acceleration. It also charges the battery during braking.
Charge the battery at home
The rear axle of the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept is driven by an electric motor producing 70 horsepower. It is supplied with power from a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery pack installed under the floor of the load compartment.
The battery pack is recharged from a regular power outlet, at home or at a parking place. Recharging time varies with the current. If 220V is available a full charge with 12A takes just 3.5 hours. With 110V/12A a full charge takes 7.5 hours.
It is also possible while recharging the car to heat or cool the passenger compartment in order to make the start of the journey more comfortable. This also means that more battery power is available to propel the car.
The Volvo Sensus infotainment system in the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept keeps the driver constantly updated on everything that makes the journey simpler, more efficient and more entertaining. A few examples of available information:
- Best route to the destination depending on whether the driver prioritizes low energy consumption, the fastest route or the shortest distance.
- Low Emission Zones where sufficient capacity is needed for running on pure electricity.
- Charging stations with access to renewable electricity.
- Locations along the route with access to quick-charging facilities.
The driver also can connect to the car via a mobile phone application. This offers convenient access to a wide range of data, such as the battery's charge level, remaining range, and the location and capacity of the nearest recharging station. Via the app, it is possible to verify if the charger cable is hooked up and it is also possible to pre-program the car's interior climate.
"Creating an intuitive driver's environment that always gives you access to updated, useful information is an important part of our product development. This includes that you should be as updated when the car is parked as when you're behind the wheel," says Stefan Jacoby.
The Volvo XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept is painted in a special white color and the 21-inch wheels enhance the muscular appearance. The interior features unique detailing and colors, such as sober dark-blue leather upholstery and inlays of blue-grey wood.
The instruments have been tailored to give the driver all the necessary information about petrol and electricity consumption, battery charge level, remaining range and so on.
Electric four-wheel drive
The electric four-wheel drive in the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept is activated by pressing the AWD (All Wheel Drive) button. Instead of the mechanical power transfer of conventional four-wheel drive, the central control unit distributes power between the gasoline-driven front wheels and the electrically driven rear axle.
The electric four-wheel drive system has been designed to provide better traction when starting and when driving on slippery roads, for instance in snow or mud.
Saves battery power for later
The driver can choose to save battery power for later in order to drive on pure electricity later in, for example, an urban green zone or in the heart of a city. When Save is activated, the generator charges and tops up the battery pack if necessary. The aim is to ensure sufficient battery power for about 12 miles (20 km) of driving on electricity.
Volvo XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept - superior to all existing hybrids
Volvo Car Corporation's technology in the advanced Volvo XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept gives the car owner possibilities that no other existing hybrid car can offer.
"The gasoline plug-in hybrid is ideal for the American motorist who wants an electric car while at the same time retaining all the power and capacity that comes in his or her present vehicle," says Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO at Volvo Car Corporation.
A diesel-electric V60 Plug-in Hybrid is Volvo Car Corporation's first production model with this new technology, and the car will go on sale in Europe later this year. In order to make the solution viable for U.S. and Chinese buyers, it needs to feature a gasoline engine. In the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept, the electrification technology is blended with a state-of-the-art 280-horsepower four-cylinder gasoline engine.
"The combination brings the ingenious plug-in hybrid solution into the global context we are aiming for with all our car models. The gasoline version has great potential in several markets that are vital for our ambitious growth plans, such as the United States, China and Russia," Stefan Jacoby says.
Volvo Car Corporation's North American dealers welcome the introduction of a plug-in hybrid.
"From a U.S. market perspective, a gasoline plug-in hybrid would be an excellent addition to our product offer," says Patty Hooley, member of the Dealer Council of Volvo Cars North America.
Daily commute on electricity
An electric motor producing 70 horsepower - combined with a four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine - gives the driver a muscular power plant packing a total of 350 horsepower. Yet this very same car can be driven up to 35 miles (charge depleting range, U.S. certification driving cycle) on electricity alone or as a high-efficiency hybrid with operational fuel economy 50 mpg. The U.S. certification standards include emissions from the production of the electric energy. According to the European certification driving cycle NEDC, CO2 emissions are 53 g/km (2.3l/100 km) - which translates into fuel economy of over 100 mpg.
"A plug-in hybrid is the ideal eco-car for today's conditions," Stefan Jacoby says. "It gives a large proportion of motorists sufficient range on electricity for their daily commute. More than half of U.S. drivers cover less than 30 miles a day. With its three driving modes, the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept also offers the owner a conventional model's interior space, safety, performance and long range. It gives the driver uncompromising flexibility to cover every type of motoring need."
Bridge to the future
In recent time, hybrids and all-electric cars have been establishing a presence in the minds of North American customers.
"Our goal is to be a leading brand within fuel efficiency," Stefan Jacoby says. "In the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid we emphasize how a blend of state-of-the-art combustion technology and innovative electrification can be an unbeatably attractive bridge to a future where the all-electric cars become more established in the market."
Descriptions and facts in this press material relate to Volvo Cars' international car range. Described features might be optional. Vehicle specifications may vary from one country to another and may be altered without prior notification.
Telefónica Seals Overall Leg Victory, Groupama Clinches Sprint Thriller
Team Telefónica secured overall victory in Leg 2 with a strong second place but there was joy too for Groupama sailing team on Wednesday as they notched their first win of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, snatching top spot ahead of their rivals in the dying moments of the sprint into Abu Dhabi.
Franck Cammas’ men edged past Telefónica with just over 10 nautical miles to go to the Abu Dhabi finish line, claiming victory in the 98-nautical mile sprint from the northern United Arab Emirates by just 52 seconds to take a maximum six points.
Their victory came despite the fact that six of their sailors had to carry out a repair job on hull damage sustained in the first part of the leg.
Telefónica, the overall race leaders, are the Leg 2 winners with 29 points following their first place in Stage 1 from Cape Town to the undisclosed ‘safe haven’ in the Indian Ocean. That finished on December 26 with a thrilling head-to-head between Telefónica and CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand.
Telefónica lead the overall standings with 66 points followed by CAMPER on 58 after they finished third in Wednesday’s sprint stage to clinch second place overall in Leg 2. Groupama remain in third overall on 42 points.
“We were very fast today,” said Cammas, who saw his team home to victory at 12h22’09” UTC. “This morning we were a little worried about the repair. Now, I think we were so fast we will leave it. It was a very good day for us, good for our confidence. It doesn’t give a lot of points but it is an important win.”
Groupama watch captain Thomas Coville added: “It was a fabulous fight until the end. For me, that's what the Volvo Ocean Race is: never give up! We had a great confrontation in amazing conditions.”
CAMPER picked up the final podium position in Leg 2 Stage 2 to score four points finishing at 12h27’48” UTC, 50 seconds ahead of PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG. PUMA’s position to seals third place overall in Leg 2. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing were fifth, crossing the line at 12h32’21” UTC.
Skippered by Spanish Olympic gold medallist Iker Martínez, Telefónica led the second stage of Leg 2 from the northern United Arab Emirates to Abu Dhabi from the start, but were unable to hold off the attack from Groupama.
Within 20 miles of the finish, Cammas’ men drew neck and neck with Telefónica as the pair battled it out in choppy seas and winds of 15 to 25 knots. A sloppy rounding of the final turning mark gave Groupama their opportunity to pounce – and they did, snatching the lead with just over 10 nautical miles to go and ending Telefónica’s winning streak of three consecutive victories.
While Telefónica were left licking their wounds at their narrow defeat, they can take some comfort in extending their lead overall to eight points.
“We can’t be disappointed, we still have an advantage overall,” said Martínez. “We sailed well, but Groupama sailed very well and at the end they sailed better than us. All we can say is congratulations to the Groupama guys, this is their first victory so we are happy for them.”
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing skipper Ian Walker, speaking just before a firework reception for them and the other teams, said: “This obviously wasn't the result we wanted but we had a very tough time to get here. We broke the mast and at that point it didn't look we would get to Abu Dhabi. To arrive to this amazing reception is just fantastic.”
Abu Dhabi crewmember Adil Khalid, the first ever Emirati to compete in the race, added: “It’s a great day for Abu Dhabi and a great day for me. It's amazing to be back home and I can't believe all the people who have come out here. There's a long way to go in the race. Today was just not our day. It was very fast out there.”
As a safety measure to deter piracy, race organisers split the second leg into two stages. After racing the safe haven port, the boats were loaded onto a ship and transported through the worst affected waters to the northern United Arab Emirates.
They were then unloaded with racing resuming with a 98 nautical mile sprint into Abu Dhabi, the first time the race has visited the Middle East in its 38-year history.
Team Sanya, the sixth team in this edition of the race, are currently in Madagascar making repairs to their rig, which failed on the ninth day of the first stage of Leg 2 while they were leading. Once the rig is repaired the team will race to the safe haven port where they will meet the fleet for the second stage of Leg 3.
The fleet will return to action on January 13 with the Etihad Airways In-Port Race with Leg 3, from Abu Dhabi to Sanya, starting on January 14.
Leg 2 Stage 2 results*:
1. Groupama sailing team, 6 points, 12h32’21” UTC
2. Team Telefónica, 5 points, 12h23’01 UTC
3. CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand, 4 points, 12h27’48” UTC
4. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG, 3 points, 12h28’38” UTC
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, 2 points, 12h32’21” UTC
Overall Leg 2 results*:
1. Team Telefónica 29 points
2. CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand 24
3. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG 19
4. Groupama sailing team 18
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 10
Overall leaderboard after Leg 2*:
1. Team Telefónica 66 points
2. CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand 58
3. Groupama sailing team 42
4. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG 28
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 19
6. Team Sanya 4*
* Team Sanya will pick up the following points if they complete Leg 2 Stage 1 under race rules: 4 points for Leg 2 Stage 1; 1 point for Leg 2 Stage 2