The first fruits of Volvo Cars’ substantial investment in its DRIVe programme to find solutions to sustainable environmentally friendly transport is on display at this year’s Paris Motor Show. It is here that Volvo Cars launches its ultra-economical new diesel variants of the C30, S40 and V50 models with fuel consumption of just 4.4 litres/100 km for the C30, and 4.5 litres/100 km for the S40 and V50.
What is more, the corresponding CO2 figures of 115 and 118 g/km mean that the C30 and V50 have best-in-class carbon dioxide 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 (pronounced “drive e”) 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.
Volvo Cars wanted to demonstrate that low CO2 ratings are not only the preserve of small diesel cars. By offering the Volvo V50 with CO2 emission levels below 120 g/km, Volvo is also making it possible for families and other customers who require extra space to make an active pro-environmental choice – and it is in line with Volvo Cars’ core value of care for the environment.
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).
Lower rolling resistance:
All the cars are equipped as standard with a new generation of Michelin tyres with low rolling resistance, which are available for 15 and 16 inch wheels.
Gearbox with altered ratios for third, fourth and fifth gears.
A more efficient driveline:
Optimised engine cooling, engine management and power steering.
New transmission oil with lower friction.
Gearchange indicator in the information display.
“Changing the transmission oil gives us a 0.75% lower fuel consumption. Tyres with low rolling resistance save another two percent. Each of these measures may seem rather modest, but it is important to look at the whole picture,” says Magnus Jonsson, Senior Vice President, Research & Development at Volvo Cars.
“Taken together, all the small adjustments have helped us achieve our aim, with emissions below 120 g/km for all three cars. Without in any way compromising on either driving properties or comfort, which was an important requirement.”
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% 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 the 1.6D DRIVe offer very attractive. The fuel consumption has been reduced by 0.5 litres/100 km and is as low as 3.7 litres/100 km at highway speeds.
Sold throughout Europe
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 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.