Volvo has been working on a new range of engines which offer the perfect blend of economy and performance for quite some time, and they claim to have now achieved this. The Swedish car manufacturer’s latest waves of engines are called Drive-E, and they will be available across the entire Volvo line-up from May 2014. The first car to get the new engine will be the Volvo V40.
So, what’s all this Drive-E malarkey?
The current crop of Volvo engines are among the most efficient you can get. The V40 equipped with a D2 engine will return an amazing 83.1 miles per gallon with a CO2 rating of 88 g / km. Volvo’s 2.0-litre diesel, the D3, has class-leading efficiency in the V40 returning 65.7 miles per gallon with a CO2 rating of 102 g /km.
Even though the current crop of engines are efficient, though, they’re not good enough for Volvo. Hence the push for more refined units. The Swedish carmaker claims that the manual version of the new Volvo V40 D4 equipped with the Drive-E power train will return an impressive fuel efficiency figure of in excess of 60 miles per gallon and will emit just 99 g /km of CO2 – less CO2 than the current lesser-powered D3.
If that sounds amazing, consider the new 243 bhp T5 Drive-E engine, which emits only 137 g /km of CO2 – less CO2 than a Vauxhall Astra VXR, Golf R, and BMW M135i.
It isn’t clear whether there will be a new T6 engine (which is turbocharged and supercharged) in Drive-E guise, as this engine is already quite new. Of course, extra efficiency in the range-topping engine would be welcome for S60 buyers who currently pay the price for a machine with more than 300 bhp.
Vertu Cars believe that the new Drive-E engines are a great step forward for Volvo. They will undoubtedly put immense pressure on German car manufacturers such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and the entire VAG, as their engines will lag way, way behind Volvo’s. In other words, expect to see plenty of clever marketing tricks from Volvo to let potential German car owners know about their superior engines. We wouldn’t knock them for it either.
It remains to be seen how these all-new engines will drive though. Volvo says that the engines will deliver the same level of performance and that the new efficiency readings have been achieved by modifying certain elements of the engines to reduce friction and decrease heat.
Too good to be true? We’ll find out soon enough.
Volvo’s new Drive-E engines are a fantastic leap forward for the company. They will allow the Swedish car manufacturer to leap frog their more successful German rivals and better win the hearts and minds of British motorists, who are increasingly looking to buy efficient cars. For company car drivers, these new engines will mean even cheaper company car tax and better deals for fleets. You can’t put a price on that.