Volvo is quite busy these days. From working to revamp its lineup by 2018 and shifting its focus from EVs to plug-in hybrids, the Swedish automaker is elbows deep into reinventing itself. Heck, Volvo even said it wants to start selling cars online and limit its auto show attendance dramatically. But until the company’s marketing turns into a completely digital experience, the Swedes are still alive and kicking at auto shows the world over. Having showcased the unusual S60 Cross Country at the Detroit Auto Show, Volvo joined the Geneva Motor Show to introduce a brand-new hybrid plug-in.

Named the V60 D5 Twin Engine (Volvo talk for hybrid), the new wagon is essentially a less-powerful version of the already familiar V60 diesel-hybrid. In short, the Swedish are broadening their Twin Engine product range, a trend that’s likely to expand. Although showcased as a special edition with limited availability, the V60 D5 Twin Engine will also receive a regular version to be sold alongside the D6 hybrid.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volvo V60 Twin Engine Special Edition.

  • 2015 Volvo V60 Twin Engine Special Edition
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    230
  • 0-60 time:
    7 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    40000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • car fuel:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Volvo V60 Twin Engine Special Edition High Resolution Exterior
- image 619323

Visually, the V60 Twin Engine Special Edition is identical to the already familiar, D6-powered hybrid, which, in turn, is a conventional V60 wagon with a plug-in socket on the left front fender. What sets it apart from the D6 Twin Engine is the "D5" badge on the tailgate and the unique exterior configuration it is offered in. Specifically, the Twin Engine Special Edition is only available with the Crystal White exterior paint, 19-inch, 10-spoke wheels, and Gloss Black front fascia inserts, window trim, and side mirror arms. Not exactly special if you ask me, but at least the monochromatic livery works well with the V60’s stylish body lines.

Interior

2012 Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid High Resolution Interior
- image 394910

*2012 V60 D6 Twin Engine interior shown here

Fortunately, there’s more to go by inside the cabin, as Volvo gifted the hybrid wagon with a black headliner and Piano Black trim, two features that help enhance the V60’s premium character. Volvo also said the D5 Twin Engine will feature the Blond seat upholstery with decorative white stitching as seen in the Volvo Ocean Race editions, but failed to publish any photos as of March 2015.

Other than that, expect the special-edition wagon to sport the typical V60 interior, which includes sculpted seats, high-grade materials, the clean center console with large knobs, and fantastic fit and finish.

Drivetrain

2012 Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 394920

This is where the V60 Twin Engine Special Edition stands out even more when compared to the regular V60 plug-in hybrid. Specifically, Volvo switched the wagon’s standard D6 engine with a D5 unit, which resulted in a less powerful hybrid drivetrain. Essentially a detuned D6, the D5 — a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder diesel — sends 120 kW (161 horsepower) to the wheels, while the electric motor uses its 11.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack to generate the same 50 kW (67 horsepower). The overall output now sits at 230 horses, which is a 53-horsepower decrease compared to the D6 Twin Engine.

Performance figures have yet to be released, but given the D5 Twin Engine Special Edition is as powerful as the D6 Twin Engine Polestar, it’s safe to assume it will sprint from 0 to 62 mph in the same 6.1 seconds. No word on fuel economy either, but expect a significant improvement over the D6-powered hybrid.

Prices

2015 Volvo V60 Twin Engine Special Edition High Resolution Exterior
- image 619320

Pricing information for the V60 D5 Twin Engine Special Edition isn’t available as of March 2015, but Volvo did say it will build only 500 examples of the Crystal White wagon, while a standard version will be launched later this spring. Expect pricing to start from around £48,000 ($73,300 as of 03/04/2015) in Europe, and don’t get your hopes up about getting this diesel hybrid in the U.S.

Competition

Mercedes-Benz E300 BlueTEC Hybrid

Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid Drives 1,223 Miles on a Single Tank of Fuel High Resolution Exterior
- image 557922

There aren’t many hybrid diesels out there, let alone wagons that use such a configuration. That said, the E300 BlueTEC Hybrid is essentially the only competitor for the V6 Twin Engine from a drivetrain standpoint, even though the Merc is larger and more upscale than the Swedish estate. Power comes a 2.1-liter, four-cylinder diesel rated at 204 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, and an electric motor that cranks out another 27 horsepower.

Even though it’s more powerful than the V60, the E300 BlueTEC Hybrid is heavier and thus slower from naught to 62 mph, needing 7.4 seconds. The wagon’s top speed is limited at 144 mph. As far as efficiency goes, official estimates claim the Merc can return 65.7 mpg city, 64.2 mpg highway, and 64.2 mpg combined on the British cycle. That converts to around 54.7 mpg city and 53.4 mpg highway/combined in the U.S. Pricing for the E300 BlueTEC Hybrid Estate starts from £41,600 (around $63,500 as of 03/04/2015).

Volkswagen Passat GTE

2015 - 2017 Volkswagen Passat GTE High Resolution Exterior
- image 570369

The Passat GTE might not use a diesel engine and it may be less luxurious than the Volvo V60 or the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, but it checks two important boxes — it’s a hybrid and it comes as a wagon. The GTE is based on the latest Passat, which won’t come to the U.S. until 2016, and features a restyled exterior and a revamped cabin. The drivetrain consists of a turbocharged, 1.4-liter four-cylinder generating 154 horsepower and an electric motor that sends an additional 114 horsepower to the front wheels through the company’s familiar six-speed DSG gearbox.

The total output is 215 horses and 295 pound-feet of torque, that enables the wagon to hit 62 mph from a standing starts in "less than eight seconds." Top speed is 136 mph in hybrid mode and 80 mph on electric power alone. Although it can travel only 31 miles on electricity, the wagon boasts an impressive combined range of 622 miles. Pricing for the GTE is not available as of March 2015, but customers should be able to get one for less than £35,000 (about $53,400).

Conclusion

2015 Volvo V60 Twin Engine Special Edition High Resolution Exterior
- image 619321

With fewer 53 horsepower at its disposal compared to the D6-powered model, the V60 D5 Twin Engine is far from being a spectacular release, but a wise move from Volvo, an automaker that wants to make its product appealing to a broader audience. Cheaper and like more fuel efficient than the V60 D6 Twin Engine, the D5 has what it takes to become a better competitor for the Mercedes-Benz E300 BlueTEC Hybrid.

  • Leave it
    • * Probably still expensive
    • * Not available in the United States

Press Release

Volvo Cars has unveiled a D5 Twin Engine Special Edition of its bestselling V60 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid. The new car will take the established Volvo Cars plug-in hybrid solution to a wider audience.

2015 Volvo V60 Twin Engine Special Edition High Resolution Exterior
- image 619320

“We were the first car maker to develop and produce a diesel-based plug-in hybrid powertrain with the launch of the V60 D6 in 2012. Since then we have been working on further refining our innovative approach to electrification and hybrid powertrains, as can be seen in our brand new XC90 T8 Twin Engine which is just entering full-scale production. With the launch of the V60 D5 Twin Engine Special Edition we are broadening our Twin Engine product range,” said Dr. Thomas Müller, Vice President Electrical and Electronics Systems Engineering at Volvo Car Group.

The V60 D5 Twin Engine will deliver 120 kW via the combustion engine and about 50 kW from its 11.2 kWh Lithium-ion battery pack using the same proven configuration used in the V60 D6 Twin Engine. This translates to a maximum driveline power output of approximately 230 hp when the electric motor and diesel engine are working simultaneously.

2015 Volvo V60 Twin Engine Special Edition High Resolution Exterior
- image 619321

“We decided to offer a special edition of the V60 D5 Twin Engine to celebrate the growing success and continued roll-out of our Twin Engine product range. We are one of few car makers that deliver a true no compromise driving experience – combining the benefits of pure electric drive, high performance and great fuel economy,” added Dr. Thomas Müller.

The Special Edition is delivered with Crystal White exterior paint, 19-inch wheels and glossy black exterior detailing. Inside, the car is equipped with a black headliner and piano black trim. The V60 D5 Special Edition will also feature the unique Blond sport seat upholstery with decorative white stitching as seen in our Volvo Ocean Race editions.

2015 Volvo V60 Twin Engine Special Edition High Resolution Exterior
- image 619322

Just 500 examples of the special edition model will be built, while a regular V60 D5 Twin Engine will be more widely available later this spring.

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