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Click above for a high-res gallery of the Volvo S60 concept

Next month at the Detroit Auto Show, Volvo will shed its staid image with a new concept vehicle that points the way towards the next production S60 midsize sedan. Besides all of the stylish lines of the exterior, numerous safety features and concept-spec interior - complete with a real crystal center console - the coolest bit of tech lies under the shapely hood. Instead of dropping in the largest engine available, the Swedes have instead focused on a small displacement Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection (GTDi) powerplant. Perhaps the 180-horsepower isn't quite enough to set the world on fire, but achieving that power output along with an estimated 47 miles per gallon and carbon dioxide emissions of 119g/km from an engine that displaces just 1.6-liters is really quite an accomplishment.

The best part is that this engine is expected to make it into production in 2009. Joining the new-tech powerplant are electric power steering, stop/start technology, a wind-deflecting "grille shutter," flat aerodynamic underbody panels and a DRIVe-Mode that puts the car's computers into a user-definable economy mode. Several of these fuel-saving bits are expected to show up on the production S60 due later this year.


[Source: Volvo]

PRESS RELEASE:

The Volvo S60 Concept: GTDi Technology for Lower C02 Emissions

December 16, 2008: Volvo Cars has chosen a four-cylinder 1.6-litre petrol unit using highly-efficient Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection (GTDi) technology to feature in the Volvo S60 Concept. Volvo Cars' first production vehicle with GTDi technology will be introduced in 2009.

Producing 134kW, the engine - in combination with a range of other technical measures - makes it possible to return an average fuel consumption rate of just 5.0l/100km and cut carbon dioxide emissions to 119 g/km.

In a conventional petrol engine, fuel is injected into the inlet manifold ahead of the inlet valves. With direct injection, however, the fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber under high pressure.

This technology promotes better gas flow with optimised air/fuel mixture and greater resistance to uncontrolled combustion. The result is higher power and lower fuel consumption.

GTDi technology combined with turbocharging makes it possible to reduce engine displacement with maintained performance, but with about 20 per cent lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

"GTDi technology is an important CO2-cutting technology for petrol engines. In the S60 Concept we have also added a number of other developments that further reduce fuel consumption. Several of these features will make their way into our production models in the coming years," says Derek Crabb, Vice President Powertrain at Volvo Cars.

Electric power steering, stratified combustion and other measures
In addition to GTDi technology, the Volvo S60 Concept integrates the following technical features to bring CO2 emissions down to 119 g/km:
# Stratified combustion. The combustion chamber is designed such that a an optimal blend of air and fuel is formed around the spark plug, surrounded in turn by pure air. This allows the engine to operate with a surplus of air, thus cutting fuel consumption.
# Start/stop functionality that switches off the engine when the car is at a standstill.
# Powershift geabox featuring two manual gearboxes working in parallel, each regulated by its own clutch.
# Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS), which in principle is an "electric servo" where the conventional hydraulic pump has been replaced by an electric motor.
# "DRIVe-Mode". Gives the driver the possibility of reducing fuel consumption via an "economy mode" that limits the function of a number of selected electrical or mechanical systems.
# Grille shutter. A wind-deflecting panel that can be closed to reduce air drag when there is less need for cooling air.
# Flat underbody panels.
# The use of lightweight materials in the car body.

The driver chooses
"Several of these solutions can deliver significant CO2 reductions in the future since they can be used throughout large sections of the model range. When it comes to "DRIVe-Mode", for instance, the driver can actively cut fuel consumption by reducing the function of certain comfort systems. The idea is that every owner can individually choose which systems he or she wants to limit," says Magnus Jonsson, Senior Vice President, Research & Development at Volvo Cars.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 13 Comments
      • 3 Months Ago
      I stand corrected. I didn't read the article fully. Now, I just like the exterior design of the car ...nothing else.
        • 3 Months Ago
        So now you don't like it because it isn't a diesel?

        When it comes to Scandinavia diesel cars where practically none existent a few years back. They sell better now when they don't sound like tractors, but it's like 36% of the new car market. Gasoline cars are still the mainstream and most popular. The Ford engine would sell wonderful here.
      mmstowes
      • 3 Months Ago
      Some interesting bits of tech here, but I'm curious about these "user defined" parameters for the e-Mode.
      • 3 Months Ago
      Stylish, efficient, sporty this design exemplifies all the shortcomings of american auto makers.
        • 3 Months Ago
        I assume you're forgetting that not only is Volvo is 100% owned by Ford, but that in 2004, Ford appointed Volvo's former Design Director to the position of Executive Design Director for all of Ford's North American operations?
      • 3 Months Ago
      A step in the right direction. This is the kind of car that is needed in environments that can be quite harsh. Extreme winter weather demands a proven technology like diesel. Nobody wants to get stuck in a snowdrift out in the middle of nowhere for hours on end in a battery only car. This will be a plus to those like me who enjoy living in harsh conditions.

      Plus I am half Swedish....and Ford owns part of the Co., so I am somewhat biased:)
        • 3 Months Ago
        Phil

        I would say it's very poor, about the only thing they have done is that they where riding on the E85 wave a few years back. We now use more wheat (under 2009) to make ethanol then we use to make foods. It's pointless as that amount of ethanol isn't enough to satisfy the need of the 5% mix into our 95 RON gas. Which means a lot of imported Brazilian ethanol just to make a few thousands of cars run.

        The Ford engine is impressive though, but the concept seems to be directed to the american market as it has a automatic/geartronic gearbox. They should get the engine inside of the V70 really. It has the power for it. Make it E85/Flexfuel compatible and it will sell well here.
        • 3 Months Ago
        Phil

        I would say it's very poor, about the only thing they have done is that they where riding on the E85 wave a few years back. We now use more wheat (under 2009) to make ethanol then we use to make foods. It's pointless as that amount of ethanol isn't enough to satisfy the need of the 5% mix into our 95 RON gas. Which means a lot of imported Brazilian ethanol just to make a few thousands of cars run.

        The Ford engine is impressive though, but the concept seems to be directed to the american market as it has a automatic/geartronic gearbox. They should get the engine inside of the V70 really. It has the power for it. Make it E85/Flexfuel compatible and it will sell well here.
        • 3 Months Ago
        Torbjorn, it isn't a diesel, it's a gas engine.

        180 bhp and 119 g/km is very impressive if the can make that real in production.
        Volvo's record on efficient cars is fairly poor so far (by European standards).
        • 3 Months Ago
        This isn't a diesel it's a direct injection gasoline engine from Ford, and Ford owns the whole Volvo Cars company. This is a Belgian car though, the S60. As well as all the other DRIVe cars.

        Full Swedish..
        Who thinks Volvo Cars goes down the drain.
      • 3 Months Ago
      I sell these cars for a living and I cannot tell you how many phone calls and customers I have asking when we will have cars that get better efficiency. This will have our showfloor swamped if we ever actually see this "concept" car. It's about time VCNA stops talking about these cars and start getting them to the showfloor.
      • 3 Months Ago
      Alternate headline and sub-head:

      Volvo re-warms Mondeo as S60 concept. Adds economy engine option and ugly front fascia.
      • 3 Months Ago
      Let me guess: no plans to make this engine available to US buyers...
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