There is plenty of electric vehicle buzz at this year’s North American International Auto Show and Volvo just added to the green transportation hype by showcasing the world’s first (and second) plug-in diesel hybrid. The V60 and XC60 Plug-in Hybrids are being touted as two of the most technically advanced models in Detroit. They offer drivers the freedom to choose from three driving modes: pure, hybrid, or power without sacrificing interior space, comfort, or performance – and they give EV enthusiasts a choice of a crossover or a premium wagon.

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In “hybrid” mode, the XC60 emits 65 percent less carbon dioxide than its conventional counterparts and offers a driving range of over 600 miles. This standard mode balances consumer desire to minimize carbon footprint with practical needs. “Pure” mode means the vehicle is being powered by renewable energy and releasing zero emissions while taking passengers up to 35 miles on one charge. If you’re looking to race your neighbor, change to the “power” setting and the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid will zoom from 0 to 62 mph in 5.8 seconds.

Inhabitat reported on Volvo’s Hybrid V60 around the time of its first test drive in Berlin and we’re glad to see the comfortable clean wagon in person. Technically speaking, the front wheels of the V60 Plug-in Hybrid are powered by a five-cylinder 2.4-liter turbo-diesel engine producing 215 hp with a maximum torque of  320 pounds per foot. The XC60 Plug-in Hybrid boasts a four-cylinder 2-liter-diesel engine producing 280 hp and 280 pounds per foot of torque. Both have rear axles powered by an electric motor that produces 70 horsepower. Power for the electric motor is supplied by an 11.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack installed under the floor of the load compartment. In power mode, this battery gives the vehicle an extra boost. A two-stage braking system allows braking energy to be recouped and then used to recharge the car’s battery pack for even more smart energy savings.

Volvo has 1,000 V60 Plug-in Hybrids slated for production. First-round models — offered only in Electric Silver — are expected to sell out quickly, with most ending up in Norway, Germany, Switzerland, France, and Britain. The XC60 Plug-in Hybrid is nearing production with no numbers announced. If you’re in the United States, start saving up, and look forward to a 2014 arrival.

The highly-efficient V60 and XC60 Plug-in Hybrids join the C30 Electric and add depth to Volvo’s growing fleet of green vehicles.

+ Volvo