Volvo will be unveiling the new economical, sub-120g/km diesel variants of the C30 SportsCoupe, S40 saloon and V50 Sportswagon at the Paris Motor Show in early October. All three models are equipped with a special set of efficiency-enhancing features and marked with the DRIVe emblem to signal their uprated environment properties. Production of these new models will start in mid-November with first UK customer deliveries in January.
The new 1.6D DRIVe models will offer outstanding fuel consumption of 64.2mpg on the C30 and 62.8mpg in the S40 and V50, with VED Band B CO2 figures of just 115g/km for the C30 and 118g/km for the S40 and V50. These new low emissions mean that the Volvo C30 and V50 offer best-in-class CO2 in their segments1.
"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 120g/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 areas:
1. Reduced air resistance:
* Chassis height reduced by approximately 10mm to help reduce drag
* A front spoiler on the S40 and V50 which is the same spoiler currently on T5 models.
* 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 to steer the airflow.
* Aerodynamically optimised wheels with a unique ‘Libra’ rim. The diamond cut finish adds to the unique design and the large unobstructed area that goes all the way out to the tyre makes the rim look considerable larger than it actually is. The total drag reduction of 10-15% is due to the design of the Libra rim.
* Underbody panels on the Volvo C30 for more efficient airflow under the car.
* A unique rear spoiler has been developed for the Volvo C30 which adds both to the aerodynamics and to the visual appearance. The Volvo S40 features the same ‘ducktail’ spoiler as found on the current T5 and D5 models.
* New rear bumper on the Volvo C30.
2. Lower rolling resistance:
* All the cars are equipped with a new generation of Michelin tyres with low rolling resistance.
3. Higher ratios:
* Gearbox with altered ratios for third, fourth and fifth gears. The longer gear ratios contribute to a 1.5% reduction in fuel consumption without affecting the drivability of the car.
4. More efficient driveline:
* Optimised engine cooling, engine management and power steering.
* New transmission oil which creates much lower friction will be used in the gearbox.
* Gearchange indicator in the information display to tell the driver the ideal time to change gears.
"Changing the transmission oil gives us a 0.75 percent lower fuel consumption. Tyres with low rolling resistance save another 2 percent. Each of these measures may seem rather modest, but it is important to look at the whole picture. Taken together, all the small adjustments have helped us achieve our aim, with emissions below 120g/km for all three cars, without in any way compromising on either driving properties or comfort, which was an important requirement," says Magnus Jonsson, Senior Vice President, Research & Development at Volvo Cars.
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 Euro NCAP 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 120g/km CO2 emission level offers a range of benefits, both for the environment and the buyer's pocket. 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 13 European markets, including the UK, where CO2-based vehicle taxation systems, have been implemented; for instance a lower road tax, registration tax or other similar forms of financial encouragement.
Rising fuel prices also make the Volvo 1.6D DRIVe offer very attractive as fuel consumption can reach 76.3mpg at motorway 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 due to 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 offer, apart from those that affect the cars' aerodynamic properties. Prices, specifications and volume forecasts for the UK will be announced closer to the start of production.
"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 of Gothenburg, clearly highlight the environment-technology potential there is within the company.
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