2014 Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid R-Design - Prices & Specs

What's this then?

The very blue object you're clapping eyes on is the Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid R-Design.

Volvo V60 PHEV side

Anything new?

Not under the skin, but this is the first time Volvo's most efficient vehicle has been available with sporty R-Design trim.

As with other Volvos, that gives you the option of the company's stunning Rebel Blue paintwork - often known as 'Polestar Blue' thanks to its connection with Volvo's hottest models - a set of 18-inch Ixion alloy wheels, a new front bumper and grille design, and a rear diffuser.

R-Design touches continue inside, with black perforated leather and nubuck sports seats, shiny pedals, special floor mats and a charcoal-coloured headlining.

Volvo V60 PHEV interior

What powers it?

A 2.4-litre, five-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine, as part of a plug-in hybrid setup. While diesel powers the front axle - putting 215 horses and 324 lb-ft of torque to the road through a six-speed automatic transmission - a 70-horsepower, 147 lb-ft electric motor handles the rear wheels.

Power for this is supplied by an 11.2 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, which sits under the rear load compartment. As with many hybrids, a choice between combustion or electric power is available, or both in certain situations. It can get complicated to explain, so we'd advise reading our first drive review of the V60 Plug-In Hybrid for a more comprehensive explanation.

Volvo V60 PHEV rear angle

Anything else?

The upshot of the complicated diesel and battery tech is a combined fuel consumption figure of 155.2 mpg, and CO2 emissions of 48 g/km.

Both figures are nearly infinitely variable - if you only ever utilise the 31-miles of all-electric power and recharge frequently, then your "fuel" costs will be a couple of quid per charge on your home electricity bill. If you only ever drive on motorways, you may be better off getting one of Volvo's excellent new diesels, which use less fuel at a cruise than the Plug-In.

Volvo V60 PHEV charging

How much does it cost?

If you subtract the government's 5,000 Plug-In Car Grant, 46,675. That's 1,700 more than the entry-level V60 Plug-In Hybrid, and quite a large number in itself - but if you like the car (and we do) and live around London where it avoids the Congestion Charge, it may well be worth that.

Volvo V60 PHEV house

Any alternatives?

There are plenty of executive cars available in the Volvo's price bracket, but no plug-in hybrids. The closest car to it in spirit, if not bodystyle, is Mitsubishi's new Outlander Plug-In Hybrid - a car we recently gave a full 10/10 score to.

Volvo V60 PHEV front

In a line:

Volvo's greenest model turns bright blue.

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