2015 Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid R-Design

The Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid sure made a name for itself in Europe last year, earning the distinction of being one of the best-selling hybrid-electrified vehicles on that side of the world. With the car’s success, it would’ve been a foregone conclusion to think that Volvo was going to take advantage of it. Well, how else do you describe the Swedish automaker’s decision to release the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid R-Design?

Essentially, the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid R-Design is a combination of two worlds for Volvo, one involving the car’s rather popular hybrid setup and another involving its, well, "sportier" R-Design side.

The latter doesn’t really move the needle for us, but the former sure does, enough for us to wonder whether this hybrid has a future in US soil. It’s unlikely at this point given how successful the model has been in Europe, but we’re still holding out hope.

After all, if Volvo has a mode this popular in Europe , wouldn’t it be a smart idea to send it across the Atlantic to see whether it has the make-up to equal its success in Europe?

Here’s to hoping Volvo shares our sentiments on that one.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid R-Design.

Exterior

Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid R-Design
Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid R-Design
Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid R-Design

Not a lot of changes made to the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid R-Design, other than the obvious addition of R-Design components meant to improve the car’s aesthetics and performance capabilities. In this particular case, Volvo simply added a new front bumper, a new grille, a new rear diffuser, and a new set of 18-inch Ixion wheels. All four new components to the exterior come from Volvo’s R-Design arm, which should come as a surprise now considering that ’R-Design’ is in the name of the model.

2015 Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid R-Design - Exterior Dimensions

Height58.4 Inches
Length182.5 Inches
Width73.4 Inches
Wheelbase109.3 Inches

Interior

Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid R-Design

Similar to the treatment of the exterior, Volvo kept it simple and subtle with the interior upgrades. The layout and configuration of the cabin remains the same, including the special plug-in hybrid instrumentation and information. But with it, you can still see a number of R-Design additions, the most prominent of which are the sports seats that have been fitted with a combination of a Black Nubuck textile to go with matching perforated leather.

New sports pedals, sports floor mats, and charcoal headling have also been given the R-Design treatment. Those upgrades may take a while to notice, but at least you know that Volvo took the time to put them in. Effort still counts as far as we’re concerned.

Drivetrain

Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid R-Design

As the name implies, the Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid R-Design is powered by a hybrid drivetrain. A 2.4-liter five-cylinder engine powers the front wheels of the vehicle, one that’s capable of producing 215 horsepower and 324 pound-feet of torque while mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. As for the rear axle, power comes in the form of an electric motor that produces 70 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque. Taken together, the V60 Plug-In Hybrid will have 285 horsepower and 471 pound-feet of torque.

Volvo has three driving modes for the V60 Plug-in Hybrid R-Design: Pure, Hybrid, and Power. Each come with its own benefits, depending on the circumstances the car finds itself in.

2015 Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid R-Design - Drivetrain Specifications

Enginefive-cylinder 2.4-liter turbodiesel
Engine output215 HP
Engine torque324 LB-FT
Electric motorpowering the rear axle
Electric output70 HP
Electric torque147 LB-FT
TransmissionSix-speed automatic

Prices

Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid R-Design

The standard Volvo V60 is priced from $35,300 for the base T5 Drive-E trim and moves all the way up to $47,300 for the V60 T6 AWD R-Design trim. The V60 Plug-In Hybrid R-Design is a lot more expensive at £51,675, or roughly $87,020 at the current exchange rates.

Competition

Audi A3 E-Tron Sportback

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

The A3 E-tron still looks like any other A3 Sportback model, other than some stickers added to the doors to remind everyone of its special powertrain. Other than that, everything else remains pretty much unchanged with the A3 E-Tron Sportback featuring that distinctive stone gray single-frame grille and flat headlights with optional xenon plus headlights and LED daytime running lights, plus a small diffuser for the rear.

Powertrain comes in the form of a 1.4 TFSI combustion engine that delivers a total unit of 150 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. That engine is then combined with an electric motor that increases the total output to 204 horsepower and 258 pound-feet, a little short of what the V60 is capable of when you combine its hybrid engine.

Don’t be fooled by the A3’s rather subdued numbers because it still performs like a dream, capable of hitting 0-60 mph in just 4.9 seconds to go with a top speed of 137 mph.

BMW 3 Series Plug-In Hybrid

BMW 3 Series Plug-In Hybrid

The spied 3 Series Plug-In Hybrid is a sedan so it really doesn’t match-up well with the V60 as far as physical characteristics are concerned. But the 3 Series Plug-In Hybrid does give as an idea on what happens when you combine a 3er with a hybrid engine.

Powertrain is still undisclosed so our best guess really has no weight to it. That being said, we initially though that the 3 Series Plug-In Hybrid will come with a similar setup to the X5 eDrive, but with the arrival of the 3 Series Wagon, made us think if a 2.0-liter inline-four with 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Slap on an electric motor and the output could hit the vicinity of what the V60 Plug-In Hybrid has under its own disposal.

Conclusion

Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid R-Design

The Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid offers a unique blend of styling and fuel efficient mechanical capabilities. It certainly lived up to its reputation as a good hybrid choice and the fact that it earned the distinction of being one of the best-selling hybrid-electrified vehicles in Europe adds to the hybrid’s appeal.

Speaking of adding appeal, those R-Design components do the same, albeit in a different context that makes the car look sportier because of it. We like what Volvo is offering here and if you like your hybrids stylish with a splash of a capable engine setup, you’re going to have nice things to say about this one too.

LOVE IT
  • Nice torque numbers
  • R-Design components do their best in making the V60 look better
  • One of the best-selling hybrid-electrified vehicles in Europe
LEAVE IT
  • Is it coming to the US?
  • Lacks any noticeable modifications

Press Release

The super-efficient Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid - one of the best-selling hybrid-electrified vehicles in Europe in 2013 - is now also available in Volvo Cars’ R-Design specification.

Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid R-Design

“We sold almost 8,000 plug-in hybrids in 2013. Adding the R-Design dynamic attributes to the V60 Plug-in Hybrid - the world’s first diesel plug-in hybrid - will further broaden its appeal. The customer gets segment-topping performance combined with outstanding efficiency,” says Alain Visser, Senior Vice President Marketing, Sales and Customer Service at Volvo Car Group.

The Volvo V60 D6 AWD R-Design Lux Nav is available from £51,675 (excl £5000 Plug-In Car Grant) on-the-road and can be ordered now, with expected deliveries from August 2014.

Unique exterior and interior

The V60 Plug-in Hybrid R-Design features a number of unique interior and exterior features that create a sporty presence. The exterior blends the Plug-in Hybrid identification with the R-Design front bumper and grille, rear diffuser and 18-inch Ixion wheels.

Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid R-Design

Inside, the car comes with a full R-Design interior, featuring sports seats as standard with a blend of black nubuck textile and perforated leather. Amongst the other unique R-Design features, it also includes sports pedals, sports floor mats and charcoal headlining. The car retains the special plug-in hybrid instrumentation and information.

Also fitted as standard on all PHEVs is Volvo’s telematic system, Volvo On Call. This system allows users to use a free mobile app to access a number of functions and keeps the driver in constant contact with the vehicle, no matter where he/she is.

Ingenious power blend

The front wheels of the V60 Plug-in Hybrid are powered by a five-cylinder 2.4-litre turbodiesel producing 215 hp and 440 Nm of torque. The car has a six-speed automatic transmission.

The rear axle is powered by an electric motor producing 70 horsepower and 200 Nm of torque. It is supplied with power from an 11.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack installed under the floor of the load compartment.

Pure Hybrid Power

The driver selects the required driving mode via three buttons that give the car three entirely different temperaments: Pure, Hybrid or Power.

Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid R-Design

In the default hybrid mode, the carbon dioxide emissions are down to just 48g/km. This corresponds to fuel consumption of 155.2 mpg (NEDC certification driving cycle for hybrids).

What is more, at the touch of a button the driver can choose to cover up to 31 miles on pure electric power – or utilise the combined capacity of the diesel engine and electric motor to create a veritable driving machine that offers 215+70 horsepower and 440+200 Nm of torque.


What is your take?

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