Increased driving pleasure with All-Wheel Drive
With the Volvo V50 T5 AWD, Volvo now offers All-Wheel Drive in the compact segment.
“We want to give our customers the widest possible range of choices irrespective of car size,” Peter Ewerstrand. “And here they get a car that is highly entertaining to drive and that has many of the features normally only associated with larger cars.”
The four-wheel drive system used here is of the same time as found in Volvo’s larger AWD models. Engine power is automatically distributed between the front and rear wheels with the help of an extremely fast-responding electrically operated hydraulic clutch from Haldex. It can transmit maximum torque to the rear wheels even before the front wheels have time to rotate a quarter of a revolution.
This instant engagement and disengagement contributes to consistent and stable road manners on all types of surface. The AWD system’s added weight over the rear wheels also helps boost stability.
The AWD model sits somewhat higher off the ground than a front-wheel drive V50, since the propeller shaft requires more space between the chassis and body. A stiffer anti-roll bar and altered damper settings compensate for the somewhat higher centre of gravity, helping to maintain the car’s dynamic properties.
“The T5 engine and All-Wheel Drive boost the V50 model’s sporty nature still further,” says Peter Ewerstrand. “With its combination of high performance and smooth road manners, it’s not easy to persuade the driver to hand back the car at the end of a test-drive.”
Newly developed high-performance diesel engine
The Volvo V50 and the new S40 are being launched with an entirely new four-cylinder diesel engine, the result of an engine development programme undertaken jointly by Ford and PSA.
“We expect the new diesel to be specified in about 50% of the V50 and S40 cars we sell in Europe,” states Peter Ewerstrand.
The diesel engine offers excellent performance (0–100 km/h in 9.6 seconds, top speed 210 km/h). Quick response to the throttle and well-balanced feel through the accelerator pedal give the driver good control and plenty of driving pleasure.
The new engine’s nature has been carefully tailored to suit Volvo’s philosophy, which includes high demands concerning driveability and noise. What is more, the engine has been modified for installation in accordance with Volvo’s stringent demands on crash safety.
The new diesel engine has an aluminium cylinder head. It is turbocharged and has second-generation common rail technology featuring moving rails. The technology is the same as that used in Volvo’s larger diesel models.
The injection system operates under immense pressure (1600 bar), ensuring extremely fine distribution of the fuel particles. This produces both good performance and low emission levels.
Using piezo-electrical injectors, the fuel can be divided between several small injectors during each combustion cycle, thereby helping to cut noise levels. With these piezo-electrical injectors, the engine is also prepared for forthcoming emission requirements.
In mid-2004, the diesel engine will be equipped with a particle filter (Additive Supported Diesel Particulate Filter) which significantly reduces unburned soot particles in the emissions, thereby reducing the negative environmental impact.
“With the particle filter, we will beat the EU’s stage-IV requirements by a wide margin,” says Peter Ewerstrand.
The system is cleaned (regenerated) automatically, as the contents of the filter are burnt off at regular intervals. An additive in the fuel enables this process to take place at a moderate temperature (approximately 450°C compared with the normal 550°C or thereabouts). The entire process, including the supply of the fuel additive, takes place without the driver noticing anything. The regeneration interval is adjusted to match driving conditions and the driver’s driving style.
The diesel engine has a displacement of 2.0 litres. In autumn 2004, a smaller 1.6-litre diesel engine will also be launched.
Six gears for the diesel
The turbodiesel comes as standard with an all-new six-speed manual gearbox developed from scratch for Ford and Volvo. The sixth gear is dimensioned for relaxed high-speed cruising with low engine revs, low fuel consumption and subdued noise, yet with abundant power in reserve for swift acceleration. The new gearbox offers excellent driveability, with massive pulling power in each ratio.
Extensive engine range
When it is launched, the Volvo V50 will also be available with two five-cylinder, normally-aspirated engines, the 2.4i and 2.4 with outputs of 170 bhp and 140 bhp respectively. Both engines have a displacement of 2.4 litres.
The range of engines will be continuously extended.
Engine Configuration Output Torque
2.4 5-cyl in-line 140 bhp 220 Nm
2.4i 5-cyl in-line 170 bhp 230 Nm
T5 5-cyl in-line 220 bhp 320 Nm
2.0 D (turbodiesel) 4-cyl in-line 136 bhp 320 Nm
1.8 4-cyl in-line 125 bhp 165 Nm
1.6 4-cyl in-line 100 bhp 145 Nm
1.6 D (turbodiesel) 4-cyl in-line 110 bhp 240 Nm
For performance and consumption figures, please see the separate specification document.
The plans also include a Bi-Fuel engine – an engine that can be run on both natural gas and petrol.
“We shall have a remarkably powerful range of engines and will be able to comply with most needs and wishes,” says Peter Ewerstrand.
Transmissions from the R models
The six-speed manual gearbox, which was originally developed for the Volvo S60 R and V70 R, is now making its entry in the Volvo V50 T5. The six gears are spread out to combine swift acceleration with high top speed. The gearbox has triple synchromesh and an extremely distinct gear-changing pattern.
The normally-aspirated engines are combined with a new generation of Volvo’s five-speed manual gearbox. It has been further developed with triple synchromesh for faster changes and distinct feel.
Adaptive automatic transmission
The automatic transmission for the Volvo V50 is the same as that used in the larger Volvo models. It is a five-speed unit with an adaptive gear-changing pattern; in other words, it adapts to the current driving style.
A great deal of effort has been invested in matching driveshafts and universal joints to the high engine power outputs and in ensuring smooth, snatch-free power transmission while accelerating.
Chassis with the properties of a large car
The Volvo V50 has been developed in the same spirit as the Volvo S60 and Volvo S80. The experience acquired from the advanced Volvo S60 R and V70 R has also helped to form the basis for this new compact model.
“We wanted to produce a sportswagon with the right driving experience,” explains Peter Ewerstrand. “Driving pleasure with responsive, stable road performance as the starting point.”
The five-cylinder powertrain laid the foundations for large-car properties. Independent wheel suspension with a multilink system at the rear produces a superb combination of comfort and consistent driving characteristics. The wider track and longer wheelbase, compared with the current Volvo V40 model, also contribute to the stable behaviour the car exhibits on the road.
Front suspension geometry has been carefully balanced to provide quick, precise steering response, thereby enhancing the sporty appeal.
The steering is electro-hydraulic, with light, distinct and controlled steering feedback.
The Volvo V50 can be equipped with a sports chassis as an option (not the AWD model). Stiffer springs and reduced ground clearance help to produce greater directional stability in connection with sporty driving.
“People are entitled to expect a great deal from a modern sportswagon,” concludes Peter Ewerstrand. “We are convinced that the Volvo V50 is going to offer a particularly pleasant driving experience. This will be largely due to the new powertrain, the carefully-balanced chassis and the exceptional torsional rigidity of the body.”