The Huxley Motorsports Volvo has got to be one of my favorite competition drift cars. It’s powered by a BMW V8, has S14 front suspension and an Escort MK1 5-link solid rear axle setup. It turns out the car was never supposed to be but came together from a whirlwind of circumstances and hard work. This little documentary tells the story of the car, it’s builder and all of the people who helped make it happen. It’s an encouraging story of community built from people helping people.
Check out this raw footage from the production line of Volvo’s V60 Plug-In Diesel Hybrid in Gothenburg, Sweden. The V60 is powered by a 2.4 liter inline-five diesel engine and a 70 horsepower electric motor. The opening shots are of some plasma cutter work on the car’s sheet metal. Special holes have to be cut for the hybrid components since the chassis is the same between the hybrid and non-hybrid cars. At 0:28, the worker is picking up the inverter for the 3 phase alternating current (AC) motor that lives in the back of the car. You can think of the 3 phases of an AC motor like the cylinder firing order of a combustion engine. The phases work in sync to induce electromagnetism to move the motor’s rotor. They can also be adjusted to reverse the direction of work to provide regenerative braking.The inverter’s job is to convert the battery pack’s direct current (DC) energy to the three phase AC power that the motor can use. 0:53 shows the actual 70 horsepower electric motor being lifted from the packaging. Note how small it is, about the size of a differential. 1:00 shows the electric motor being bolted into the rear subframe and suspension. The V60 is an E-AWD car where the diesel engine drives the front wheels and the electric motor drives the rear wheels. At 1:34 you get the first glimpse of the entire vehicle spine. Note the three orange wires that run down the center of the car. Orange is the universal color for high voltage wiring so that emergency responders don’t accidentally cut into it. The three wires running down the center of the car connect the charger and generator at the front of the car with the battery pack in the rear. The generator will essentially be a smaller 3-phase AC motor driven off of the diesel engine. That’s why you’ll pretty much always see the orange high voltage wires in groups of three (one for each phase) in any hybrid car. At 2:30 the body gets mated to the undercarriage and drivetrain. 2:45 is where we see the actual battery pack. Volvo has decided to build it into the floor of the trunk area so they wouldn’t have to modify the sheetmetal too much from the non-hybrid car. Again, the high voltage wiring is contained in orange loom. 3:03 is where we see the battery pack is dropped into the car using the nifty little rotating crane. At 3:45 I think they are filling up a separate coolant circuit for the electric motor, inverter and battery pack. The final shot is giving the battery a bit of charge so it doesn’t drain too low from internal resistance while the car is being shipped to its final location.