With a rear-mounted 50 kilowatt electric motor, a turbocharged 2.4 litre diesel engine and a 0-62mph time well under six seconds, the Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid wagon has always been one of the sportier plug-in hybrids on the market, and the only truly versatile plug-in estate we’ve seen to date.
Yet since its launch, Volvo has chosen to hide the V60 PHEV’s sports capabilities under a bushel, choosing instead to highlight its green credentials with a tasteful set of plug-in hybrid badges, and eco-friendly trim. Oh, and its 31 miles of all-electric range and combined fuel economy of 155.2 miles per UK gallon on the NEDC test cycle.
Now the Swedes have decided to emphasise the car’s athletic capabilities and all-wheel-drive prowess with a special R-Design variant. Following on from many other sporty-looking Volvo R-Design variants, the V60 PHEV R-Design will launch this August aimed directly at those who want a sporty-feel without the high-fuel bill.
It’s worth noting of course that the V60 PHEV R-Design — just like the other R-Design trim level cars offered by Volvo — doesn’t have any performance tweaks under the hood (or under the floor in this case) to make it perform any differently from the standard trim V60 PHEV.
That means the same 11.2 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack under the load bay floor, the same turbocharged diesel engine, and the same choice of all-electric, serial hybrid, or parallel hybrid operational modes.
Unlike the standard specification V60 Plug-in Hybrid though, the R-Design will feature a sporty bodykit to make it look more race-ready, while its interior will feature racing seats, sports pedals and floor mats, and a custom charcoal headlining. Oh, and large 18-inch Ixion wheels.
Instrumentation — including the V60 PHEV’s special plug-in hybrid dash — will remain the same.
For the privilege, you’ll have to shell out £51,675 excluding the UK £5,000 government grant, placing it at into Tesla Model S price range.
It’s likely then, that most folks who want a sporty plug-in will skip the V60 PHEV R-Design and go straight to a Model S instead. But the V60 PHEV does have one trick the Model S doesn’t: it’s type approved to tow.
So if you know anyone who wants a sports-inspired plug-in stationwagon who also needs to tow a horsebox or boat behind them on long trips, maybe this is the car for them.
Do you know anyone who fits the bill? We don’t.
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