Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation, displayed an electrifying presence at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit when he drove the new XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept onto the stage at Monday's press conference.
The innovative gasoline plug-in hybrid is actually three cars rolled into one.
"No other manufacturer delivers fuel economy and electrical range on this level in a capable performance car with a total of 350 horsepower," said Stefan Jacoby.
"The beauty with this plug-in hybrid technology is that you can keep all the power and capacity of your present car, combined with an even better range," Stefan Jacoby said. "The XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept gives you up to 35 miles all-electric range. Or you can drive it as a super-efficient hybrid with a fuel economy of over 100 miles per gallon according to the European driving cycle."
An electric motor producing 70 horsepower - combined with a 280 horsepower, four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine - also gives the driver a muscular power plant packing a total of 350 horsepower.
"The XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept features an engine from our all-new, state of the art, four-cylinder engine family. Our new four-cylinder powertrains will get performance on today's six-cylinder level. At the same time, they will also give consumers better fuel economy than present four-cylinder engines," Stefan Jacoby said. He added:
"A diesel-electric plug-in hybrid is coming to our European dealers this year and we are busy preparing a gasoline version for the American showrooms."
U.S. dealers welcome plug-in hybrid technology
Volvo Car Corporation's North American dealers welcome the introduction of a plug-in hybrid.
"A gasoline plug-in hybrid would be an excellent addition to our product offer," said Patty Hooley, member of Volvos North American Dealer Council. "To me, the plug-in hybrid speaks both classic Volvo safety and responsibility as well as cutting edge Volvo innovation."
Uncompromising safety approach
Of course the cars with electrification technology inside come with Volvo Car Corporation's uncompromising approach to safety.
"We use all our world-class knowledge to ensure that they are as safe as all other Volvos," Stefan Jacoby said. "Our holistic approach includes every aspect of the day-to-day usage. And these cars go through our stringent test program, ensuring that the battery and high-voltage system are properly protected in collision scenarios that can happen in real-life traffic."
Four major technology paths
"Electrification is one of our four major focus areas and our three cars in one plug-in hybrid takes hybrid technology into the next level," Stefan Jacoby said. "This ingenious blend of state-of-the-art combustion technology and innovative electrification creates a bridge to a future where all-electric cars become more established on the roads."
Volvo Car Corporation's technological focus areas also include the upcoming Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) and Volvo Environmental Architecture (VEA) four-cylinder engine family as well as a range of connectivity features, such as smart phone applications.
Fastest growing European brand in the U.S.
The United States is Volvo Car Corporation's largest market. Volvo was the fastest growing European brand in 2011 with sales up nearly 25 percent compared to 2010. Globally, Volvo sales increased with 20 percent in 2011.
"Along with our foundation of safety, the focus on clean, uncluttered Scandinavian design and improved performance characteristics are resonating with American consumers," said John Maloney, President of Volvo Cars North America. "And recently, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded a 2012 Top Safety Pick to five Volvo models - which puts us in the top among luxury car brands."