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Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid pictures and hands-on

The world is increasingly focusing on hybrid technology, and why not? After all it’s a pretty good way to help reduce emissions and hopefully save money. However you feel about the tech though, hybrid cars often divide opinion. The Prius is certainly an economical car, but it looks like Homer Simpson designed it and isn’t especially inspiring to drive.

With that in mind, Volvo wanted to produce something that looked as good as its other cars but still offered excellent fuel economy with the luxury and performance of a high-spec traditional car. Enter the V60, which it is hoped will change hybrid cars for the better.

Volvo has taken some interesting decisions with its pursuit of hybrid technology. For example, the V60 is a full plug-in car. So when you get home, you hook it up to your mains and it tops up the battery, giving you a range of about 30 miles at speeds up to 70mph. It charges in around seven-and-a-half hours, at the worst case, but on a 16 amp socket it can be ready in as little as three-and-a-half hours.

The company describes it as three cars in one, which is overselling it slightly, but the different modes on offer are very clever. First, you can “switch to pure” – which is Volvo’s marketing term for the car. What it means is that the electric motor drives the car, with no intervention from the diesel engine. Volvo says Europeans have an average daily drive of less than 30 miles, which means many will be able to drive only on electric power.
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