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back to article Volvo readies plug-in hybrid V70 estate

Volvo has formed a partnership with Swedish power company Vattenfall in an effort to bring a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) version of the V70 estate to market in 2012. Hybrid_V70_01 Volvo's plug-in V70 will feature rear- and front-wheel drive The leccy V70’s 11.3kWh lithium-ion battery pack will power an electric …

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This worries me...

suddenly switching from potential over steer to potential under steer could be lethal. take a bend in the wet, power down little bit hard, but it's ok as your on front wheel drive, so no real risk, suddenly back wheels flip in, spinning the car out of control...

..or am I just to old school, driving proper cars where drivers have to think....

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Anonymous Coward

Oooh..

Switching front and rear drive... Oh that could be fun...

There you are, driving on an icy road when you change the throttle position a smidge... Car decides to change power sources... Suddenly from being a boring front wheel drive your Volvo transforms into a sideways going rally car!

Fantastic! That'll scare the cr*p outta the inlaws...

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Anonymous Coward

hmmm

given the driving styles of front and rear-wheel drive are different (or *should* be) is this a safe beast?

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fwd/rwd

I think it can be taken as read the thing won't just snap from rwd to fwd in the blink of an eye! Anyway any stability control system - which all V70's have - could iron out such drive issues.

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@AC 10:21 GMT

Read the bloody article. The car would NEVER switch from front to rear wheel drive mid bend. While under electric power the diesel engine would not even be running.

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IT Angle

It is probably the WORST HYBRID DRIVE EVER, plain and simple...

So we get the electric drive of the Toyotas and the high-mileage of diesels but it actually never be either, let alone the issues of transitioning from RWD to FWD when you hit the pedal and jump, say from 20 km/h to 60 km/h...???

And one would think AWD is rather a must, especially in the North...

I think someone has a loose wheel at Volvo - it is an idiotic approach as it's described in this article, indeed.

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Paris Hilton

@Brian

"By Brian Posted Tuesday 2nd June 2009 13:43 GMT

Stop

Read the bloody article. The car would NEVER switch from front to rear wheel drive mid bend. While under electric power the diesel engine would not even be running."

You might want to read the bloody article, pal - it DOES SWITCH from RWD to FWD as soon as you go above 50km/h ergo it HAS TO run the two engines simultaneously:

"The electric motor will power the car for 50km (30 miles) of low-speed urban driving, or until around 70 per cent of the charge has been depleted. After this point the diesel engine will be the sole power provider."

BTW I don't see what's the problem running them together - they are not directly hooked up to the axis, y'know.

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Citroen's version sounds cleverer

Citroen have been reported as making a diesel-electric hybrid which offers all the benefits of this car, but with the added bonus of being able to use *both* technologies simulaneously at low speeds. An example of this is on snow/ice etc when four wheel drive would help, without the complexity of integrating two technologies for all speeds and conditions. Diesel only does the front wheels, electric motors do the back ones, disengaging above 17 (?) mph.

This sounds much more useful, and not too technologically difficult to engineer, since the two technologies don't have to work together at higher speeds. This is far cheaper and easier than Prius-style technology too.

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@Levente Szileszky

A) Quick somebody tell Volvo, they've obviously not thought this one through. Maybe they should employ you as an expert, after all they've only got the meager experience of building cars in and for "the North" since 1927.

B) 50 km distance != 50 km/h speed.

C) Re. "AWD is rather a must": see point A.

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Can't afford it

Just checked KBB and V70s run from $33-40K US without all the leccy stuff. I didn't just hit the lottery. Anyway, just so the new rear-wheel driver will be ok, the front seats are all self-cleaning.

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Rozzers

Whats the betting the Rozzers will have some techy figuring out how to rewrite the software to make it use both motive sources at the same time - extra power and acceleration for those motorway chases! Great!

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ever driven a volvo in snow?

Now, I'll admit, the last Volvo I owned was an 87, so perhaps Gramps Volvo finally died and new people are running the design show now.

I drove a Volvo in heavy winter snow for several years, and my Christ it was a godawful ride in snow. The design theory seemed to be "we'll make it weigh twice what it ought, and have an insanely strong passenger compartment, because we KNOW it's going to land tits-up sooner or later."

It more or less worked. I once spun out at low speed (20 mph or so) in heavy snow and ice. The vehicle who slammed into me had $5k worth of damage. I needed to reseat a hose on the engine block and drove home.

This new push-me-pull-you engine plant sounds like a ton of fun, yes indeed.

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@noodle heimer

You want to try a VW Beetle or a Ford Capri in the snow.

Both suffer the same problem... The front wheels don't do anything! especially steering! Because both cars lack weight over the front (the Capri was only a 1.6, maybe a 2.8 or 3.0 would work better).

Then again, you can spin anything if you try hard enough... I managed to do a complete 360 in a Short wheelbase Mitsubishi Shogun 4x4... Coming down a hill, in 4 wheel drive, road icy, junction at the bottom, thought I'd loose a bit of the 5mph I was doing before I reached the junction... Engine breaking wasn't slowing me... touched the brake lightly and that was it... complete 360 down the road before coming to a halt... The faces on the drivers queued across the junction I was heading towards were an absolute picture! Windows full of huge eyeballs!

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@Levente Szileszky

the article says nothing about the diesel kicking in above 50 kmph and CLEARLY states that both engines are NEVER deployed at the same time.

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