VOLVO HAS DELAYED Australian deliveries of its fuel-sipping C30 DRIVe from September until later this year, with the bulk of deliveries likely to be made in early 2010.
Continued hot weather testing of the C30 DRIVe?s start-stop system is the reason for the hold-up, undertaken by Volvo to ensure the car would stand up to Australia?s hotter climes. Volvo now anticipates that first deliveries will be made just prior to Christmas.
Featuring stop-start technology that switches off the engine when the car is idle, the C30 DRIVe will offer a fuel consumption figure of just 3.9 l/100km, putting it in line with the 2009 MINI Cooper D and the upcoming next-gen Toyota Prius.
Powered by a 1.6 litre turbo-diesel engine, the C30 DRIVe will offer not only one of the best fuel economy ratings in the country, but it will also return an emissions figure of just 104g/km, making the C30 DRIVe the best in its class for CO2 emissions.
To assist its fuel-saving mission, the C30 DRIVe sits on lowered suspension and wears low-rolling-resistance tyres, while a gear-shift indicator advises the driver of when best to change gears.
While Volvo Australia has yet to announce pricing for the C30 DRIVe, Public Affairs Manager Laurissa Mirabelli confirmed to TMR that all will be revealed soon.
"We can't confirm pricing at this stage, but as the launch [of the C30 DRIVe] draws closer, more technical details and pricing information will be available."
Following the launch of the C30 DRIVe, Volvo expects to expand the DRIVe range in Australia, with seven models already available in Europe, including the XC70 DRIVe which offers a fuel consumption figure of 7.2 l/100km from its 2.4 litre five-cylinder turbo-diesel engine.
The DRIVe lineup isn't Volvo's only foray into exceptional fuel efficiency, either. Only last week, Volvo announced its partnership with Swedish energy company Vattenfall to develop a plug-in hybrid that would hit the road in 2012.
"The Plug-in hybrid is a very exciting project. Volvo has partnered with energy company Vattenfall in a joint venture to develop the technology and to ensure we get the plug-in hybrid to market by 2012. It should launch in Australia very soon thereafter," Laurissa Mirabelli said.
When asked if Volvo Australia had discussed infrastructure with third-party battery companies such as Better Place, she said: "Not at this stage, as we need a better indication of how soon we can get it here.
"When we know that, we will engage other parties as well as the Australian government to see what can be done to make plug-in hybrids more appealing to buyers, such as the tax incentives and free parking programs offered in Europe."
Volvo is aiming at a fuel economy of just 1.9 l/100km for the plug-in hybrid, with a range of 50km when running on the electric motor.