Click above for a high-res gallery of the Volvo DRIVe range.
Volvo's presence at the Paris Motor Show next month will center around three new ultra-efficient diesel-powered models that maximize fuel efficiency and, in turn, reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The DRIVe C30, S40 and V50 models are all motivated by a 1.6-liter turbo-diesel inline-four mated to a five-speed manual transmission with longer gear ratios in 3rd, 4th and 5th to maximize efficiency. While that's nothing new (the 1.6-liter has been around for some time), what's unique is the attention to aerodynamics, most of which were originally previewed on the C30 ReCharge concept from the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show.
The trio of Volvos all benefit from a 10mm lower ride height, a covered radiator to reduce air turbulence, wind deflectors ahead of the front wheels and unique rollers wrapped in low rolling resistance Michelin tires. The S40 and V50 cribbed the T5's front spoiler and the C30 gets a new rear bumper design, hatch-mounted spoiler and underbody trays.
All this adds up to 76 mpg in Europe's combined cycle testing, and, perhaps just as important to customers abroad, emissions of less than 120 grams of CO2 per kilometer.
After the three models debut in Paris, production will begin in November and sales will start in Europe at the beginning of 2009. Best of all, the DRIVe equipment only commands a 150 to 450 euro premium over the standard 1.6-liter diesel model. Check out Volvo's full press release below the fold.
The new Volvo C30, S40 and V50 1.6D DRIVe - with CO2 emissions of 115 and 118 g/km
At Paris Motor Show in early October, Volvo Cars is presenting economical new diesel variants of the C30, S40 and V50 models with fuel consumption of just 4.4 litres/100 km (C30) or 4.5 litres/100 km (S40 and V50). The corresponding CO2 figures of 115 and 118 g/km mean that the C30 and V50 have best-in-class CO2 emissions in their segments. All three models - the C30, S40 and V50 - are equipped with a special set of efficiency-enhancing features and marked with the DRIVe emblem to signal their uprated environmental properties.
The DRIVe models are based on the Volvo C30 Efficiency concept car that was shown at the Frankfurt motor show in October 2007. The measures adopted to reduce CO2 emissions that were presented then will be in production before the end of the year in the C30, S40 and the V50.
"We wanted to demonstrate that low CO2 ratings are not solely the preserve of small diesel cars. By offering the Volvo V50 with emission levels below 120 g CO2/km, we are also making it possible for families and other customers who require extra space to make an active pro-environmental choice," says Volvo Cars President and CEO Fredrik Arp.
Holistic approach to eco-performance
The reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions was brought about by meticulously analysing the cars' total potential for more efficient, more economical driving. The cars were then optimised within four distinct areas:
Reduced air resistance:
- Chassis height reduced by about 10 mm. Same comfort setting as the standard car.
- Spoiler at the front, the same as on the T5 (S40 and V50).
- Covered radiator grille. Behind the characteristic Volvo grille there is a wind-deflecting panel that provides better aerodynamics inside the engine compartment.
- Wind deflectors in front of the front wheels.
- Aerodynamically optimised wheels of special design. Available in 15 and 16 inch sizes.
- Underbody panels for more efficient airflow under the car as well (C30).
- Unique rear spoiler (C30). The S40 has the same spoiler as the T5 and D5 models.
- New rear bumper (C30).
- All the cars are equipped as standard with a new generation of Michelin tyres with low rolling resistance. Available for 15 and 16 inch wheels.
- Gearbox with altered ratios for third, fourth and fifth gears.
- Optimised engine cooling, engine management and power steering.
- New transmission oil with lower friction.
- Gearchange indicator in the information display.
Volvo C30 best in the ECO test
Volvo's DRIVe cars are all certified according to the mandatory European NEDC standard. In addition, the Volvo C30 has excelled in the ECO test, which carries out even more comprehensive measurements of CO2 and particulate emissions. This certification process relies on stars and points, in a similar way to the EuroNCAP programme for safety. The independent ECO test places the Volvo C30 at the top of its size category, with four stars and 76 points in the overall assessment of the car's total environmental performance.
Benefits for the environment and economy
Reducing fuel consumption and dropping below the 120 g/km CO2 emission level offers a range of benefits, both for the environment and the buyer's economy. With lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, these cars reduce the net contribution to global warming. All new diesel models from Volvo are also fitted with a maintenance-free particle filter that traps about 95 percent of all soot particles.
With the cars' good environmental performance, the driver can count on various financial incentives in the form of subsidies in the 13 European markets that have implemented a CO2-based vehicle taxation system, for instance with a "green grant" that is paid to the owner, lower road tax, registration tax exemption or other similar forms of financial encouragement.
Rising fuel prices also make our 1.6D DRIVe offer very attractive. The fuel consumption has been reduced by 0.5 l/100 km and is as low as 3.7 l/100 km at highway speeds.
Sold throughout Europe
"We will offer our diesel-powered DRIVe cars throughout Europe, even in countries that today do not offer any form of financial incentive. We are doing this to give everyone the opportunity to choose a pro-environmental alternative from Volvo. For us it is not simply a question of short-term sales - it also clearly shows how strongly Volvo prioritises environmental properties throughout the product range, both today and for the future," says Fredrik Arp.
Volvo Cars expects to sell over 20,000 1.6D DRIVe cars next year in Europe. Sales are expected to spread fairly uniformly throughout the region, with France, Sweden and Spain accounting for most sales. The reason for this is the particularly favourable terms offered to buyers in these countries.
The price supplement for the DRIVe package is estimated at between 150 and 450 euros depending on model and market. The DRIVe cars can be specified with most of the options and accessories that Volvo offers, apart from those that affect the cars' aerodynamic properties.
"The higher price must be regarded as particularly modest bearing in mind the advantages the customer gains in the form of environmental incentives and reduced fuel consumption. We also believe customers will appreciate the opportunity to tailor their DRIVe car by choosing from the wide range of options available," adds Fredrik Arp.
The most eco-friendly car range
Apart from these three diesel-powered DRIVe cars, Volvo also offers a comprehensive Flexifuel range encompassing five car models and three bioethanol engines. All told, this means that Volvo Cars today offers the market's widest range of premium cars with a low environmental imprint.
Volvo Cars is also conducting intensive research into hybrid technology and future alternative fuels. The attention-grabbing Volvo ReCharge Concept plug-in hybrid and Ford Motor Company's decision to establish its European hybrid centre in Volvo's home town, Göteborg, clearly highlight the environment-technology potential there is within the company.