The arrival of our fleet’s second greenest car (behind the Vauxhall Ampera) coincides with the publication of our green issue, and the Volvo V60 D6 Hybrid is remarkable for a number of reasons.
It’s the world’s first diesel plug-in hybrid, allowing a mains-charged range of about 30 miles (enough to get me to or from the office), but it also has Volvo’s potent 2.4-litre D5 diesel engine under the bonnet, which has 215bhp in its own right.
The electric motor can be used to power the car until the charge runs out, or it can be used as a hybrid, with both motor and diesel engine combining to produce about 285bhp, as well as a pool of torque that will see the V60 reach 62mph from rest in 6.9 seconds.
It’s the combination of both power units that has led to the car wearing a D6 badge rather than D5 — the higher number showing the hybrid’s elevated position in the Volvo power hierarchy.
As with all plug-in hybrids, the V60 is designed for drivers who would make the most of the plug-in range, with the engine almost as a range extender.
But the V60 is the quickest range extender on sale and has a total range (including plug-in charge and tank of diesel) similar to most other cars.
If that surprises you, and you were expecting a longer range, it’s because the fuel tank has had to be reduced in volume to accommodate some of the hybrid components, so it’s 45 litres, compared with 68 litres in the standard V60. It also has an impact on the car’s luggage space with a slightly raised boot floor.
Interestingly, we also have the Volvo On Call smartphone app installed to allow us to monitor and control some functions while the car is parked, such as door locks, plug-in charge and climate control (which can be pre-set for the driver’s arrival when the car is plugged in).
CO2 emissions are 48g/km and fuel consumption is 148.7mpg on the combined cycle, but matching these would depend on the car being driven in a very specific way.
But I think 100mpg is a reasonable lifetime average during its time with us. We’ll see if that target is achievable.