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Volvo C30 Efficiency: A Proposal In Being Clean



22nd August, 2007

Volvo C30 Efficiency Concept Car

In parallel with Volvo Cars' interest with biofuels and hybrid technology, energy-efficiency improvements are being attempted with the company's conventional drivelines.

The special version of the Volvo C30 called "Efficiency" achieves a claimed fuel consumption below 4.5L/100 kms and CO2 emission below 120g/km.

Additionally, Volvo Cars will introduce a Powershift gearbox that reduces fuel consumption by approximately 8 percent.

"We are firmly committed to lowering the fuel consumption of our conventional petrol and diesel engines. By doing this we will continuously reduce the overall CO2 emissions for our whole model range," says Magnus Jonsson, Senior Vice President Research and Development at Volvo Cars.

Next year, Volvo Cars will introduce an improved Volvo C30 1.6D with a 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine (78 kW) in Europe. Through the process of fine tuning, Volvo Cars' have reduced fuel consumption figures by more than 0.4 L/100km from 4.9 L/100km (for the C30 1.6D that is available on the market today).

Translated into CO2 emissions, this is a reduction from 129g/km to below 120g and fuel consumption of less than 4.5 L/100km.

"This is a science of small adjustments and gains. Many systems and details in a car model have been dimensioned to suit all engine variants, from the smallest diesel to the most powerful petrol unit. This gives possibilities for fine adjustments to individual engine variants, particularly the smallest alternatives," says Jonsson.

Improvement in four main areas
The fuel consumption reduction has been achieved by 'tuning' within four main areas:

  • Aerodynamics - the Efficiency has reduced chassis height, a new rear roof spoiler, a new rear bumper, underbody panels, optimised engine cooling and aerodynamically optimised 16-inch wheel rims.
  • Rolling resistance - reduced with a new generation of low friction tyres
  • Higher gearing - the unique gearbox variant has revised gearing on 3rd, 4th and 5th gears
  • Powertrain efficiency improved - this includes new low-friction transmission oil, optimisation of steering servo assistance and engine management optimisation.

The special C30 will also get visual elements that enhance its unique character.

Cash-back in Sweden
In Sweden, a conventional car with CO2 emissions of 120 g/km or less is classified as an environmental car. This entitles private new-car buyers to a state-provided cash-back of 10,000 kronor (SEK).

"These measures are positive both for the customer and for the environment. The car owner gets a Volvo C30 with the very same sporty feel and appearance, with the added benefit of even better fuel efficiency and, in some countries, tax incentives. At the same time, emissions of CO2 are reduced by about 8 percent," explains Jonsson.

Powershift reduces consumption by 8 percent
In early 2008 Volvo Cars will introduce a new gearbox for the global market. Known as Powershift, this new gearbox offers advantages when compared to a traditional automatic transmission.

Powershift reduces fuel consumption by about 8 percent compared with an automatic transmission.

Powershift consists of two manual gearboxes that work in parallel and are controlled by separate clutches. There is no disruption in torque delivery during gear changes with the result being smoother, quicker gear changes. Most importantly, the Powershift gearbox is more efficient, an essential advantage when Powershift is coupled to a small capacity engine.

The Powershift gearbox will be available in the Volvo C30, S40 and V50 with the 2.0-litre turbodiesel (2.0D) engine. This engine and gearbox combination is being considered for Australia.

Developments in petrol and diesel engines
Volvo Cars initiates continuous improvements in its other petrol and diesel engines.

For petrol engines, Volvo are examining how direct-injection technology can be further refined and they are also looking at more advanced control of the air/fuel mixture to improve engine efficiency and achieve cleaner emissions. Valvetrain control - intake and exhaust - is also an area of development.

"When it comes to diesel engines, it isn't fuel consumption that is the greatest challenge. Here the main challenge is to meet the increasingly tough demands on regulated emissions such as nitrogen oxides and particulates without jeopardising the diesel engine's already low fuel consumption," says Jonsson.

Other Volvo content: here.

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