Good news, nature fanboys. Volvo's uber-frugal, 150mpg V60 Plug-in Hybrid just took a step closer to reality. A limited production run of 1,000 vehicles will go on sale in November 2012.
Volvo has confirmed the V60 Plug-in Hybrid will sell for between £45,000 and £50,000 in the UK. Assuming the government's plug-in car grant is still available and the car qualifies for it, that price will reduce by a further £5,000.
No, you're quite right, £50,000 is a lot of money for a car, but we reckon the V60 Plug-in Hybrid's unique propulsion gubbins probably justifies that spend. It uses a 2.4-litre turbo diesel engine to throw 215hp and 440Nm of torque through the front wheels. Powering the rear, meanwhile, is a 70hp electric motor, which draws power from an 11.2kWh lithium-ion battery pack installed under the floor.
This arrangement allows the V60 Plug-in Hybrid to run in a number of modes. In ordinary hybrid mode, it switches efficiently between the internal combustion engine and electric motor to deliver a claimed 150mpg, CO2 emissions of 49g/km and a total driving range of 621 miles.
If you fancy turning your nose up at petrol altogether, the V60 Plug-in Hybrid will run for an impressive 32 miles after a semi-tolerable 4.5-hour recharge using a 10A electrical outlet.
Despite its solid eco credentials, the car is no slouch. It'll do 0-60mph in a Boxster-baiting 6.2 seconds. It'll handle itself well in slippery conditions too, thanks to four-wheel drive, which can be activated on demand at the press of a button.
Just 1,000 limited edition V60 Plug-in Hybrids will go on sale in November 2012. After this initial batch has been sold, production will increase to 4,000-6,000 cars. Thirty per cent will go to Sweden and other Nordic nations, while the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, France and the Netherlands will have a share of between 5 and 15 per cent each.
What do you reckon? Is it still too expensive, or does its impressive economy justify the price tag? Let us know on our Facebook page or spew your thoughts below.