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 |  Jan 04 2012, 9:30 AM

We’ve already been given the scoop on Volvo‘s upcoming V60 Plug-in Hybrid, however, given the nature of that vehicle, it was hardly surprising that Europe was most definitely its target audience.

Considering that North American (and Chinese) buyers clearly have a strong preference for gasoline engined vehicles over diesels, as well as SUVs over wagons, Volvo has now announced that it will build an XC60 Plug-in Hybrid with a petrol engine for these markets, which will make its world debut at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit .

The news is particularly welcomed by US dealers, providing a much needed boost in the shape of a green “halo” vehicle, at a time when much of Volvo’s vehicle lineup is essentially marking time and (apart from volume sellers like the XC60 and S60) significantly new models are still a ways off.

The XC60 gas/electric Plug-in Hybrid will sport an electric motor producing 70 hp, along with a four-cylinder gasoline engine, resulting in a total power output of 350 hp. According to Volvo, this version will be able to travel a distance of up to 35 miles on electricity alone as well as delivering some 50 miles per gallon in Hybrid mode.

It also uses an innovative electric AWD system, with the gasoline engine powering the front wheels, while electric power can be fed to the rear wheels when accelerating or in low grip situations.

“A plug-in hybrid is the ideal eco-car for today’s conditions,”  declared Volvo President and CEO Stefan Jacoby. “It gives a large proportion of motorists sufficient range on electricity for their daily commute. More than half of U.S. drivers cover less than 30 miles a day. With its three driving modes, the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept also offers the owner a conventional model’s interior space, safety, performance and long range. It gives the driver uncompromising flexibility to cover every type of motoring need.”

Although deliveries of the European diesel/electric V60 Plug-In Hybrid are scheduled to begin late this year, so far there’s been no word on US availability of the XC60 Plug-In Hybrid, though it’s likely cars will be on dealer lots sometime during 2013.

GALLERY: Volvo XC60 Plug-in Hybrid

Volvo-XC60-Plug-in-Hybrid-01.jpgVolvo-XC60-Plug-in-Hybrid-02.jpgVolvo-XC60-Plug-in-Hybrid-03.jpg

See AutoGuide’s complete 2012 Detroit Auto Show Preview Here