Volvo proudly continues their fuel efficient range with the introduction of the V70, S80, XC60, and XC70 DRIVe. Believe it or not: better fuel economy, lower emissions, and good power figures for the SUVs.

Volvo will introduce four new DRIVe models at the Geneva Motor Show in one week. The company began production of the fuel efficient, low emissions vehicles late last year following a successful introduction at the 2008 Paris Auto Show.

The DRIVe tag will now also be seen on the Volvo V70, S80, XC60, and XC70. It already appears on the C30, S40, and V50 models. The C30 DRIVe even managed to slip into the European Union's cleanest band of vehicles by producing less than 105g CO2 per km. This is partly produced by an advanced start/stop system that shuts down the engine when the car is stopped and in neutral. All three of the already introduced vehicles use a 1.6-liter clean diesel engine which manage around 50 mpg (US). That's around 4.7 liters per 100km. Volvo reports combined figures around 4.0 l/100km (58 mpg US).

On to the new models. Like the others, these two also get a diesel engine with manual transmission. The cars get design benefits featuring "low rolling resistance and reduced air drag."

Surprisingly, the Volvo V70 and S80 will also get the same 109 hp, 240 Nm 1.6-liter diesel, but with different gear ratios in third through fifth gear. This seems to be a very low amount of power for the larger vehicles. However, fuel economy is really the point here. If customers want a bigger engined-model they do not have to buy the DRIVe version. These vehicles manage combined fuel economy of 4.9 l/100 km (48 mpg US). Amazingly, these vehicles produce less than 120 g CO2/km.

The V70 and S80 DRIVe also get better fuel consumption through the use of tires designed for low rolling resistance. They get an electric power steering pump providing the exact amount of assistance the driver needs, instead of too much power which needlessly draws energy off the powertrain. The V70 also gets a covered grille and lowered chassis to decrease drag.

Perhaps most impressive is Volvo's ability to get the XC60 and XC70 crossover SUVs below 160g CO2/km. The DRIVe models use a 2.4-liter turbodiesel engine that produces 175 hp and a spectacular 420Nm of torque. Gear ratios are tuned for fuel economy, but the torque increase helps keep a somewhat sporty feel, according to the company. Combined fuel economy is rated at 6.0 l/100 km for each vehicle, which corresponds to about 39 mpg (US). If that seems a little less impressive, then consider this: the current Volvo XC70 would get 6.2 l/100 (38 mpg US) if you only drove it on the highway.

The two DRIVe models come in front-wheel-drive, with a retuned engine that reduces friction. It manages better economy thanks in part to Volvo's ability to cut "the pressure drop in the intake and exhaust systems." Fuel injection was refined with the introduction of new high-pressure pumps, while the engine itself controls combustion more efficiently.

Expect Volvo to really milk their fuel economy advances at this year's Geneva Motor Show. All seven vehicles, including the new Volvo V70 DRIVe, S80 DRIVe, XC60 DRIVe, and XC70 DRIVe will be shown off beginning at 1:15pm CET on 3 March 2009.

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