Steane Klose | Sep 10, 2008

With Nissan already confirming a fuel and emissions conscious approach to this year's Paris Motor Show, Volvo has just announced that it too will be centering its Paris display on a trio of highly-efficient models.

The C30, S40 and V50 on show will all feature a range of Volvo upgrades, designed to improve efficiency and reduce emissions, with the special models receiving Volvo's 'DRIVe' badging to signify their uprated environmental credentials.

Volvo_DRIVE_2

While each model will feature the same 1.6-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder and five-speed manual transmission, special attention has been paid to aerodynamics and various resistance coefficients throughout the vehicles.

Each of the three vehicles will receive the following modifications;

  • Chassis height reduced by about 10 mm. Same comfort setting as the standard car.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Gear change indicator in the information display.

Volvo_DRIVE_3

In addition, the S40 and V50 will receive a new front bumper, as seen on the T5, while the C30 (above) receives new underbody panels, a new rear spoiler and rear bumper.

With fuel efficiency averaging around 4.5L/100kms for all three models, and dropping to 3.7L/100kms at highway speeds, the DRIVe equipped vehicles represent good value, with an expected premium of only 150-450 Euros ($260-$800 AUD). Production for all three models will begin in November with sales starting in Europe at the beginning of 2009.

With fuel prices consistently on the up, a DRIVe enhanced Volvo would likely offer a solid return on the small premium that separates it from the non-DRIVe models.

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