Special Coverage

Geneva
Auto Show

Volvo Cars is set to take the wraps off what could wind up as the industry’s first plug-in hybrid that mates an electric powertrain with a diesel engine.

The new model, due to hit the market in 2012, will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show March 1.

The V60 plug-in will deliver fuel economy of 123 mpg (1.9 L/100 km) and boast a carbon-dioxide emissions rating below 50 g/km, the Swedish auto maker says. The car will be able to travel up to 31 miles (50 km) on battery power on a full charge before needing an assist from the 2.4L 5-cyl. turbodiesel.

The diesel, rated at 215 hp and 325 lb.-ft. (440 Nm) of torque, will be used to drive the V60’s front wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission. The rear axle will be turned by a 70-hp electric motor fueled by a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery in a setup Volvo bills as ERAD, for Electric Rear Axle Drive.