Scheduled for European launch in 2010, Volvo enthusiasts (all 4 of us) will have to wait until 2012 for the chance to get behind the wheel of one of Volvo’s DRIVe-badged vehicles. Fortunately, we couldn’t care less about fuel efficiency, so we don’t mind the two-year delay as long as we have access to all the sweet Swedish eye candy from Volvo’s media files.
Set to debut officially next week at the Geneva Motor Show, Volvo’s DRIVe lineup is comprised of 6-speed manual transmission and diesel engine-equipped variants of the Volvo C30, S40, V50, V70, S80, XC60, and XC70. Additionally, the C30, S40, and V50 will become the first vehicles to be equipped with Volvo’s Start/Stop function that allows engine to switch off when the car is at a standstill. To engage the Start/Stop function, the driver moves the gear lever to neutral and releases the clutch while at a standstill, which then switches the engine off. The next time the driver presses the clutch, the engine starts up again. This technology can reduce fuel consumption and thus carbon dioxide emissions by 4-5% in mixed driving conditions and up to 8% when city driving.
Utilizing kinetic energy, Volvo’s Start/Stop system is powered by a regenerative charging system. This is a function that charges the battery as soon as the driver releases the accelerator or brakes while a gear is engaged. By harnessing the car’s kinetic energy, the alternator does not have to use diesel fuel as a power source when the battery’s charge level dips.
Said Product Development at Volvo Cars Senior Vice President, Magnus Jonsson, “We feel that the customer should not have to compromise on either driving properties or comfort despite the smaller engine size. These cars have perfectly adequate performance and in addition a very low environmental impact, actually at a level that none of the competitors in this size class even begin to approach.”
Source: Volvo Cars