Volvo V60 D5 hybrid in India preview

Volvo Motors India are very upbeat after the fantastic response they received for the Volvo S60 and the Volvo XC60, two products which were unveiled in India within a gap of 3 months. Both these cars have now started commanding a waiting period. Well, we at Indiandrives have got information from one of Volvo’s PR agencies that Volvo are going to launch the Volvo V60 D5 hybrid in India by next year. It would be India’s first diesel hybrid car and notably the first diesel hybrid production car for the world as well. We had earlier given you a preview of the Volvo V60 D3 and you may follow the link for the same. However the D5 hybrid is another prospect altogether. This car was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show 2011 and showed the perfect promise of the diesel economy along with hybrid emission talents.

The technology is not being used in a sedan or SUV but a station wagon. Yes, you read it correct, the Volvo V60 D5 hybrid in India would be a station wagon. Well, I am not going to elaborate on the looks of this car here since that has been extensively done in my previous article. The thing that I would be concentrating on more would be the technology that this car would carry around. Apart from the 2.4 liter turbocharged diesel engine which is good for 218 Ps and 440 Nm of torque, this car also gets a 71 Ps producing 12kW Li-ion battery pack. This battery pack or rather the whole electrical system is termed as ERAD which translates to Electric Rear Axle Drive. It is said that this electric motor provides a range of 50 kilometers. Combination of both the diesel and electric motors would result in a huge 1300 kms of range on a tankful for this big station wagon. That is impressive by any standards. This battery pack has been developed by a power company in Sweden named as Vattenfall and Volvo Motors. Within 4.5 hours, the battery can be completely charged with a 10A power socket. If one has the 16A socket, then the charging time is reduced to only 3 hours. Methods to save the battery power range from the usual brake energy regeneration system and a new and innovative pre-heating/cooling system. The latter increases or decreases the cabin temperature for air conditioning needs well in advance before the vehicle actually starts on its journey. It can be activated via a mobile phone or an inbuilt timer.

Inside the car, the interiors are as innovative as they can be. According to the driving mode selected, the interiors change color reminding one of the eco friendliness of the car. There are three modes namely Pure, Hybrid and Power. Well, the names are self explanatory and the Volvo V60 D5 hybrid can also calculate the maximum range even before one steps on the gas. All the driver aids inside the cabin ensure that the vehicle is being driven in the most efficient mode and there should be as little pollution possible. The Electric Motor is on its own in the “Pure” mode whereas “Power” is the mode in which the diesel and the electric motors work in unison ensuring 289 Ps of power and approximately 640 Nm of torque. Here the performance factor takes over and the Volvo V60 D5 can ditch its awkward side skirts and propel itself from 0-100 kmph in only 6.7 seconds. At any point of time, one push on any of the three buttons will decide which mode you want to drive in. For the “Hybrid” mode, it is more of both the motors combining together and giving the best balance of low emissions as also driving pleasure. In this mode, the average of the vehicle would stand at 53 kms per liter and also CO2 emissions in the range of 49 kgm. This figures are simply outstanding for any vehicle, leave alone a station wagon.

Not one to skimp on equipment, Volvo Motors would provide the vehicle with an optional All Wheel Drive system or AWD. This unit would also differ from all other conventional system wherein which the power transmission is handled mechanically. Instead an advanced central control unit would distribute the torque here. In all these techno warfare, Volvo Motors certainly haven’t forgot their main mantra and that is “Safety”. The electric motor as also the battery pack don’t compromise on the company’s high safety standards. They are safely tucked away in their own enclosure. They are not present anywhere close to the crumple zones or air bags deployment. In the interests of enhanced safety, Volvo Motors have also provided the V60 hybrid with a circuit breaker which would actually cut off the battery functions in the event of an accident or crash. As of now, the vehicle would only be rear wheel drive with that optional AWD system.

This car is scheduled to go into production soon and Volvo Motors are ensuring that the battery pack in this vehicle is designed for longevity and trouble free operation. However cost would be a major hindrance and Volvo are taking their Chinese owner Geely’s help in reducing costs. Prices are still speculated and the best that I can think of in the Indian context would be something close to Rs 60 lakhs for the hybrid variant. However going by the details that were given by the Volvo PR agency, this car is worth every bit of that money and is especially worth for a country like India where diesel is cheaper than petrol.

While this may not be related to the launch of Volvo V60 D5 hybrid in India, it definitely is related to Volvo Motors’ Indian operations. One of cousins recently went to check out the Volvo S60 car in a Volvo show room. He came back very impressed with the knowledge that the sales person had plus the innovative method of explaining the vehicle’s attributes. The sales person had an Apple Ipad with him and in the Ipad was an application specially made for Volvo Motors, known as iVolvo. Using this application, he could literally walk my cousin though the various technologies and systems that Volvo employs in the S60. While many would be bored of listening to Dynamic Stability, Laser Assisted auto braking and stuff, the interactive iVolvo application was a refreshing change and very interactive as well. It also took my cousin through some Volvo design theme and the testing of a car’s fuel efficiency in ideal conditions. Simply amazing. That is what my cousin had to say and he also said that this was the best show room experience that he ever had in his life. Kudos to Volvo Motors India for taking up this initiative.

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