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Volvo shows first plug-in hybrid with new Drive-E engine

The S60L Petrol Plug-in Hybrid is based on the long wheelbase S60L saloon, and will launch in the Chinese market next year with production taking place locally.

Its electric drivetrain is shared with the V60 Plug-in Hybrid sold in Europe. This uses a lithium-ion battery under the boot floor to power a 68bhp electric motor, which can drive the rear wheels independently for up to 31 miles when fully charged.

At the front axle, the S60L switches the V60 Plug-in Hybrid’s five-cylinder diesel engine for Volvo’s new 238bhp four-cylinder Drive-E turbocharged petrol engine and eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Combined with the electric motor, this can propel the saloon to 62mph in 5.5 seconds, yet the electric range means most Chinese drivers can commute without burning any fuel. As a result, the S60L Petrol Plug-in Hybrid emits 50g/km CO2 on the combined cycle.

Volvo has begun rolling out Drive-E engines and gearboxes in Europe, with the low-carbon 181bhp D4 expected to account for a large share of the S60, V60 and XC60 models from launch. To date, though, the carmaker has not shown its diesel-electric V60 Plug-in Hybrid with one of the new four-cylinder engines or eight-speed gearbox.

 

Alex Grant

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