Volvo S40 DRIVe Green car of the Year

Working to improve efficiency - the team behind the DRIVe-concept.
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June 8, 2009.
2007 marked the beginning of what has proven to be a highly successful project at Volvo Car Corporation. Engineers faced the challenge of developing cars that would meet the levels required for government incentives of below 120 g/km of CO2 emissions. The team at Volvo Cars was convinced that it was possible to achieve efficiencies to bring the Volvo cars to the same emission levels as in smaller sized vehicles.

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2009 Volvo S40.

So far, Volvo Cars has presented two generations of the so called DRIVe range - models that are extremely fuel efficient with low environmental impact. And today, as a testament to the projects success, the S40 DRIVe has been awarded the prestigious What car? Green car of the year.

"Our target was set right at the beginning - we were going to do better than 120 grams, and we were going to do it without compromising the way the cars behaved. And that's what we've done," says Ulf Nordström, Industrial Project Leader for the DRIVe- initiative.

The project was given high priority by the executive management at Volvo Car Corporation and resources were available to quickly move from planning to testing and development.

No part of the car was left un-scrutinized when the project started working from an existing C30 with a 1.6-litre diesel engine. Aerodynamics, the powertrain, parasitic losses - all areas had to be looked into. The team started experimenting with modified spoilers, design changes to the front and rear of the car, and introducing underbody panels to improve the air flow. The chassi was lowered by around ten millimeters and air intake from the grill was reduced.

"The engineers in the aerodynamics group were incredible. They were given hammers and aluminium profiles and let loose to do what it took to get results," says Ulf Nordström.

No performance sacrificed.
Throughout the project, it was important to the team that handling and performance should not have to be sacrificed for lower emission levels.

"We kept customer benefits firmly in mind throughout the process", says Jonas Caspersson, Chief Powertrain Program Engineer.

Customers should be able to have a car that was highly efficient, with low impact on the environment and still fun to drive. In the end, many of the test-drives reported better acceleration, improved road-handling and higher comfort.

Start/Stop techinque added.
During the process that led to the first launch of the C30, S40 and V50 DRIVe, the project team became convinced that it would be possible to improve results even further. In March 2009, at Geneva Motor Show, the next step was presented with the cars reaching emission levels of 104g/km through added Stop/Start technique and regenerative charge.

The second generation of S40 DRIVe is the car that has now been awarded with the Environmental Car of the year award from What Car?.

The project of improving conventional powertrains is part of delivering Volvo Cars ambitious roadmap in reducing CO2-emissions. The vision is to work towards a future that is entirely emissions free.

"This is an important step of the journey to reach the targets we have set in CO2 reductions and we will continue to look for improvements on our existing combustion engines. Combined with our electrification plans and the launch of the plug-in hybrid in 2012, Volvo Cars will be at the forefront in environmental care," says Peter Ewerstrand, CO2 Director.

(source: Volvo)

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(March 2006). Volvo is introducing a reworked identity as part of widespread changes to the way it markets itself.

The Swedish motor vehicle manufacturer has appointed branding agency Bite to develop its logo as part of a plan to elevate the marque's iron symbol to give it the same level of prominence as the Volvo mark.

The changes, which are the brand's most significant in 75 years, are intended to eradicate inconsistencies in the application of the Volvo identity across its models and communications.

The company also wants to make greater use of the iron symbol, which it claims is recognised as a good illustration of the strength and endurance of its vehicles.

The changes to the logo are subtle, with the iron mark now more curved and thicker bevelled edges. The shape of the arrow has also been changed slightly. The blue of the "Volvo" script is retained, but the silver used for the iron mark is now a softer matt shade in an attempt to give it a more luxurious feel.

The new look will be introduced across all the brand's promotional activity -- previously it had used only the word "Volvo".

The reworked logo will first appear on the C30 model, which is due to be launched at the Paris Motor Show in September, and international promotional material for the model. Volvo hopes the C30 will rid it of its traditional association as a safe choice of family car and make it appeal to a younger and broader audience.

The changes follow Volvo's decision to relaunch its customer magazine, which is produced by Redwood Publishing.

Volvo   Official site.
Volvo Owners Club   Official site.
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