Detroit Auto Show Debuts New Volvo Hybrid Car

Volvo is set to unveil its brand new concept, a made-for-America plug-in hybrid version of the popular XC60 at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The XC60 Plug-In Concept is essentially an alt-fuel version of Volvo’s best selling gasoline model, the XC60. That car, Volvo’s smallest SUV, while not a hulk compared to other gas-chugging models, is a powerful and well-appointed SUV crossover that’s made its reputation in the States by offering performance, status and rugged good looks all rolled into one.

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image via Volvo

Volvo’s new Plug-In Concept also happens to be the American cousin of Volvo’s V60 plug-in hybrid, which was scheduled to be made available to European consumers this fall. The major difference? The European version features a diesel engine while the brand new American Concept has to settle for a gas-powered motor box.

Volvo is plugging their new XC60 Concept as an electric car, a highly economical hybrid and a powerful, high-performance SUV all rolled into one. The new Concept is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 280-horsepower matched to an electric motor powered by a 12 KwH lithium-ion battery pack that adds an extra 70 horses.

With the front wheels powered by the gas turbo and the back wheels pushed by the electric motor, all that get up and go is run through Volvo’s super-smooth eight (yes eight!) speed transmission that will gallop from zero to 60 mph in a much-more-than-respectable 5.8 seconds. Volvo claims that this forthcoming combo produces the same performance as today’s six cylinder gas engines.

Steve Duda lives in West Seattle, WA with three dogs and a lot of outdoor gear. A part-time fly fishing fishing guide and full-time writer, Steve’s work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Seattle Weekly, American Angler, Fly Fish Journal, The Drake, Democracy Now! and many others.