Volvo is reportedly working on an all-new hybrid model, which will join the Swedish automaker's lineup in 2011 as a prelude to even more alternative fuel models.
The so-called 'micro-hybrid' will be available with either a petrol or diesel engine and an automatic, or (unusual for a hybrid), manual transmission. A stop-start system and regenerative braking is expected to produce overall savings in fuel consumption of up to five percent, although efficiency will be much greater during urban driving. However, unlike other hybrids like the Toyota Prius, the Volvo micro hybrid will be incapable of running on electric power alone.
A full diesel-electric hybrid will arrive a little further down the track in 2012, which will feature an electric-only drive mode and deliver fuel savings of up to 15 percent. A plug-in hybrid model that can travel for up to 97km without using a single drop of fuel will come later, and is expected to draw inspiration from Volvo's recent ReCharge Concept (above and below).