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.
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.
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.