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Volvo V70 Plug-In: Seriously? A Useful Hybrid?!

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On: Thu, Oct 8, 2009 at 2:56PM | By: John Welch

Volvo V70 Plug-In: Seriously? A Useful Hybrid?!

Yeah, yeah, we all know your Prius is just sooo kewl. We are super jealous, really. How could I possibly live without a car that has no room, is made out of crappy plastic and nickel, and costs north of 30 large? The media says I cannot, nay, must not drive a car that receives its locomotion from dead dinosaurs alone, and the media is always right; right?

If we all just have to drive hybrids, how difficult could it be to come up with one that has enough room for a family yet can still attain an impressive mpg rating? The Chevy Tahoe Hybrid and all of its offspring don't really count; 25 mpg isn't that impressive anymore. Volvo has the answer in the form of the stately V70 Two-Mode Plug-In Hybrid. And I thought Japanese sports cars had convoluted names . . .


Based on the pedestrian, gas-only V70, the V70 Plug-In is a huge step forward in hybrid design and technology. None of the Volvo's tech is new, but those crafty Swedish engineers have combined parts and pieces to produce what is easily the most versatile hybrid to date. Well, it will, when the car goes on sale in 2012.

Utilizing a diesel-fueled inline-five to power the front wheels (how is it possible that this is the first diesel-swilling hybrid?) and a 70 bhp electric motor for the rears, the Volvo V70 Plug-In promises (combined cycle,) 149 mpg while comfortably seating five. Suck on that Toyota; cramming five grown adults into a Prius is an exercise in misery; I know first hand.

The car will be able to run on both engines or the electric alone, for up to 40 miles. It has all of the options available on the average V70, and can be considered an AWD vehicle because both sets of wheels will be powered independently. A diesel and electric motor? This is a torque-head's dream ride. The trunk is huge (it is a wagon, after all) and the outward appearance slightly less arrogant than the Prius or Insight.

On top of the extended range afforded by the excellent mileage, the V70 Plug-In will also be an extremely clean auto. The car produces only 50g/km of CO2, which by comparison, is easily half the nasty carbon output of the Tahoe.

Ford has been trying to unload Volvo for many years now, and may be close to selling the brand. If this car comes to market it will surely be a hit, though pricing in the UK figures to be in the £30,000 range. IF they send it to our shores, the V70 P-I will top $40,000. There are enough Soccer Moms around here that are not buying hybrids because the electro-wonders do not meet all the demands of a busy family. This Volvo fills that gap with gusto. I've always liked Volvo wagons, and this one is no exception. The ability to get 5 people where they need to go and get great mileage and avoid looking like a tool, why that is all just priceless!

Here is a fancy video that delves into the Volvo Plug-In Hybrid a little deeper . ..

Photo Gallery (click a thumbnail to enlarge)


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