Volvo has a reputation for making some of the safest cars on the market. Soon their cars may be known as safe for the environment, as well. Volvo has released images and information about its upcoming 1.6D DRIVe series of vehicles, set to be displayed at October's Paris Auto Show.
Essentially, the 1.6D DRIVe line is a series of diesel variants of the C30, S40, and V50 that yield an estimated 52 to 53 miles per gallon across the line. Aside from the thrifty 1.6 liter clean diesel angine that powers the 1.6D DRIVe line, the vehicles are equipped with various efficiency-enhancing features that help Vovlo reach the magic 50-plus mpg mark.
Aerodynamically, the chassis height is reduced by about 10 mm and underbody panels help the car slip through the air. Behind the grille there is a wind-deflecting panel that provides better aerodynamics inside the engine compartment. Front and rear spoilers help to reduce drag. All the cars are equipped standard with a new generation of Michelin tires with low-rolling resistance and aerodynamically optimized wheels of special design. Under the hood, the transmission features altered ratios for third, fourth, and fifth gears, and new transmission oil with lower friction. These small changes add up. For example, Volvo claims a 0.75 percent increase in fuel economy from the transmission oil alone. The tires add another 2 percent of savings.
In Europe, where diesel engines are more widely accepted than in the US, Volvo Cars expects to sell over 20,000 1.6D DRIVe cars next year at a 150-euro to 450-euro premium over standard models. Here in the States, American buyers seem more interested in Hybrid and EV tech. But if the sales of Volkswagen's TDI offerings are any indication, diesel is gaining ground. However, there is no current information on whether the DRIVe range of models will reach the US market.