Volvo’s V60 Plug-In Hybrid wagon has achieved the highest Euro NCAP score– that’s government-mandated crash testing, holmes– of any electrified vehicle.
According to a press release from Volvo, the car scored five stars in its recent NCAP testing, which included a frontal offset collision at 40 mph.
Volvo Car Group Senior Manager of Safety Strategy and Requirements Jan Ivarsson said, “We apply the same high standards to all our products. The Euro NCAP score demonstrates that the ingenious V60 Plug-in Hybrid features the same outstanding safety level as the standard car.”
The release said the car’s heavy batteries created a challenge for Volvo safety engineers, who had to modify and reinforce the car’s sub-structure to “enable a controlled deformation” as well as provide a safe cocoon for the batteries under the car’s load floor.
Ivarsson said, “The Plug-in Hybrid has been exposed to an extensive test programme during the development phase, as all our new car models. This includes full-scale crash tests with different load cases, such as frontal collision, rear and side collisions to verify that also the battery technology fulfils our stringent safety requirements. The V60 Plug-in Hybrid also offers all unique Volvo active safety functions, such as City Safety, Collision Warning with full Auto Brake and Pedestrian Detection.”
The V60 Plug-In Hybrid, which can be powered solely by its diesel engine, an electric motor running on battery power, or both in a hybrid arrangement, can still accelerate from zero to 62 mph (100 km/h for you Euro types) in only 6.1 seconds. Together, the elements of the advanced diesel-hybrid powertrain can deliver a total of 285 horsepower and a thick, 472 ft-lbs slice of torque. In hybrid mode, it gets about 130 MPG on the European test cycle.
If that all leaves you wanting to sign the dotted line for a V60 Plug-In Hybrid, too bad– especially if you live in the States, where it won’t be on sale anyway. If you’re living in Europe, where the car is available, be advised the initial 2013 production run of 1,000 V60 Plug-In Hybrid cars sold out before the first one was built. Volvo says the 2014 production run, expected to be in the 4,000 to 6,000 range, is already selling on a first-come, first-served basis.