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A Facebook page by an American user is titled "Give Us the Volvo V60".
Thus, the Swedish carmaker's "premium sportswagon", which released in Europe in 2011, has a following in this country in spite of the fact that it has yet to reach our shores.
If the regular version of the V60 is not likely to come to the US, however, there is a strong chance that its plug-in hybrid version will.
This version will be arriving in European showrooms by the end of the year; and from the time the world first learned of its pending existence, journalists speculated on whether it would be delivered to America. A year ago, it was confirmed by Motor Authority that it would be available to American buyers, but only about a year after becoming available in Europe. Those Americans who want an eco-friendly Volvo and have $75,000 to spend on it will have to wait until late 2013 or early 2014.
Anticipating the plug-in's arrival, BusinessGreen, a business website dedicated to sustainable business, recently undertook a study of the car.
The V60 travels in three modes - "pure", "hybrid", and "power". It is in pure mode, of course, when powered soley by its electric motor; and power mode when the gasoline engine (diesel in Europe) alone is driving it. In hybrid mode, the motor and engine work together. The system is on-demand, and it is up to the driver to decide at any time what mode to travel in. Pure mode is only available when the battery is charged, but when the car is running in power mode, the engine can be commanded to recharge the electric battery.
Volvo calls the V60 the "world's first luxury diesel plug-in hybrid that also runs on pure electricity". According to the company, it can travel a little over 31 miles on pure electricity and almost 622 miles in hybrid range, has all-wheel drive in every mode, goes from 0 to 62 in 6.2 seconds, has a towing capacity of almost 4,000 pounds, has up to 280 horsepower, and gets about 31 miles to the gallon (it should be noted that these estimates apply only to the European, diesel version).
BusinessGreen clarifies this slightly. The towing capacity and acceleration speed only apply when the car is in the aforementioned environmentally-insensitive power mode. The green watchdog notes approvingly that it heard from Richard Monturo, Volvo's vice-president of global marketing, that the company tried out hemp seat covers, but decided that buyers meeting the V60's price tag wouldn't appreciate them.
The website's reviewer found the car "a pleasure to drive", even if the various modes and power-optimization options were difficult to get a handle on at first.