First Look: Volvo XC60 Plug-In Hybrid Concept

Consumer auto shows are great places for car shoppers to go to gauge what products are available or will soon hit the market. These shows, held in metropolitan areas across the country, also feature numerous concept vehicles from various manufacturers. Concept vehicles often don’t come to the market as shown, but its styling cues, engineering features and technological enhancements oftentimes do.

Concept PHEV

At major auto shows across the country, Swedish automaker Volvo is making its presence known. This company, known for its innovative safety measures and forward-thinking engineering, is currently displaying the Volvo XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept, an all-wheel-drive crossover SUV that may change the way you look at hybrids and plug-in vehicles. Read on for details about this progressive product.

Volvo is touting the XC60 PHEV concept as three cars in one. That claim seems plausible as this CUV is designed to operate in three driving modes via buttons for Pure, Hybrid or Power located on the instrument panel. Each mode offers distinct advantages and can be selected to sync with your driving conditions.

Drive Modes

When operated in “Pure” mode the XC60 is powered chiefly by its electric motor as much as it is possible. As such, the CUV’s electric-only operational range is for up to 35 miles with absolutely no tailpipe emissions in urban driving.

The default “Hybrid” mode automatically kicks in whenever the CUV is started. Both the gasoline engine and electric motor are at work, providing the best mix of gas and electric driving. EPA numbers are not yet available, but according to the European certification driving cycle this vehicle gets the fuel economy equivalent of over 100 mpg. Look for closer to 50 mpg when this vehicle is taken on a long trip — its total cruising range is thus extended to 600 miles.

The third choice is the CUV’s “Power” mode, which provides unbridled power when needed. Under this arrangement, the gas engine shoulders the brunt of the work and this capable powerplant has the goods to show for it, delivering 280 horsepower and 280 foot-pounds of torque. The electric motor is no slouch too as it makes 70 hp and 148 foot-pounds of torque. Need to get on the highway fast? This CUV does it in style, accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds.

Turbocharged Four

What may surprise Volvo enthusiasts the most is that the gas engine found underneath this concept’s hood is a turbocharged four cylinder engine. No V-6 power is needed — this engine has been optimized to deliver the most power from the fewest number of cylinders.

The Volvo XC60 PHEV has been designed to plug-in to a standard household outlet for recharging. With a standard 110-volt outlet, recharging should be accomplished in 7.5 hours. For faster recharges, a 220-volt outlet cuts that down to just 3.5 hours.

Market Plans

Will the XC60 PHEV come to market? It is expected to and should arrive in American showrooms by 2014. When it does hit the market, crossover fans may find this CUV too hard to resist — a five-passenger model that is fuel efficient and minimizes its emissions output.

Talking About Auto Shows

Auto shows are becoming popular in today’s times. They are so popular that many people who have the means and inclination to do so travel all over the country just to attend an event. But these auto shows are not just about flashing some good-looking models or showing off the high motor combustion. The real value is the ability to bring the knowledge of business to a number of potential consumers. In other words, the success of an auto show lies not in the presentation of the vehicles, but upon the business that it attracts throughout the show.

Car shows take place all over the world. The Frankfurt auto show that focuses on German engineering is considered to be the biggest show in Europe. Here you will find almost every European car manufacturer and the show has also attracted a number of Chinese car makers. The Chinese brands are trying to enter the Europe and US car market, which is why they are making their presence known at the Frankfurt auto show.

The International Geneva Motor Show is an annual auto show that takes place in the Swiss city of Geneva. This year, the Geneva -Motor show took place March 4th-16th in 2008. The Geneva motor show is a niche event and here, niche players get an opportunity to showcase their own motors and marvel at the many different displays available.

If you consider Paris, it is all about design. The auto show in Paris is dominated by French car makers like Renault, Peugeot, Citroen and others. Here you will get to see some of the quirkiest designs that exist around the world and there are also a number of launches that take place at the Paris show as well.

The Detroit auto show showcases all American brands with big-ticket launches. There are also shows to be seen in the cities of Los Angeles and New York. Auto makers from the above three mentioned cities; enjoy the limelight while they are displaying their most interesting debutants and their exhibits.

The Shanghai motor show has its own importance because of the growth and development of the Chinese market. This is one of the main reasons why the Auto Expo has expanded in recent years. The expo has become an important event, with the help of India and its remarkable growth story about its component and small car expertise.

The Tokyo show, which is also known as the tech show, gives people an opportunity to become familiar with Japanese technology. The local car makers come up with their own surprise launches and although Tokyo is not known for their big brand launches, the show is still full of an exciting and magnificent spectacle of cars.

The Auto Expo of 2008, which was held on January 10th, is quickly becoming one of the largest automotive expositions in Asia. Big name automakers got an opportunity to display their cars. The impressive list included international auto majors like Volkswagen, General MOTORS, Toyota, Ford, BMW, Fiat, Honda, Audi, Porsche, and Suzuki. Also, Indian vehicle manufacturers such as Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra and Ashok Leyland among others, displayed impressive range of concept cars and new car products.

Tips to Help You Find the Cheapest Car Insurance

First of all, you need to understand and accept the fact that the cheapest car insurance may not be the one with the best price. Car insurance is like anything else. You pay more for more coverage. Most people understand that concept when they go to the grocery store. If a 32-ounce bottle of ketchup costs more than a 20 ounce bottle, it’s understandable. You get more ketchup. The same is true for car insurance because it is using the exact same principle.

If you have liability limits that pay up to $300,000 you get more coverage than a policy that only pays $100,000. The problem arrives when two different companies use two different ways to express the coverage. One uses single limit and it shows as 300,000 and the other uses a split limit shown as 100/300/25. Which gives you more? The split limit does if three or more people are injured and there’s $25,000 worth of property damage. The single limit does if only one person is injured and it costs more than $100,000 for their medical care, or if the property damage is more than $25,000. When you compare split limit to single limit, get a close to comparable quote like 300/300/50. Never accept insurance with lower limits of liability and expect it to be the cheapest car insurance because the price is lower. You simply just got less converge and may have paid more per thousand. It’s just like the ketchup example used above.

If you’re looking for the cheapest car insurance be aware of your deductibles. Most auto accidents don’t total out the car. There are many smaller claims that insurance clients never report because the amount is less than the deductible. The higher your deductible, the less likely the company has to pay a claim. When you look for the cheapest car insurance make certain that the quote you received has the same deductible for both comp and collision as your present policy does. If you don’t, you aren’t comparing the same things. The car insurance company knows that they have fewer claims and less paperwork if your deductible is higher and they obviously don’t have to pay the additional money that you’d collect if you had the lower deductible. The insurance company adjusts the premium based on those facts.

See if your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is the same. This liability section covers you, your vehicle and your passengers if the other driver doesn’t have insurance. You want the same coverage that you’d offer the other party if you were at fault. This should also be the same for all quotes so you actually can find the cheapest car insurance.

Watch out for those additional coverages. You may have towing or rental reimbursement and your quote from the new company doesn’t list it. These two coverages cost premium dollars and if omitted, of course the price is cheaper.

If you find the cheapest car insurance and decide that you want to switch companies, always apply a month before your insurance runs out and make the date it starts coincide with the day your coverage runs out. This gives the underwriters, the people who give the final rate, a chance to look over your record and make that decision. The representative that quoted the rate could error or forget important information that the underwriter finds later, and then your rate will go up based on the new facts that the underwriter found. The final price may not be the cheapest car insurance and you may want to keep the coverage you already have and cancel the other one before it takes effect.