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Volvo's Versatility Concept Car - Combining high performance with low fuel consumption



Volvo's Versatility Concept Car -


Combining high performance with low fuel consumption


Geneva, Switzerland (March 4, 2003) - The Volvo Versatility Concept Car (VCC), demonstrates that high performance no longer needs to go hand in hand with high fuel consumption and high environmental impact. The VCC concept engine, an in-line direct-injected six-cylinder turbocharged powerplant displaces 2.6 liters and produces an impressive 250 hp; yet consumes no more than 6.5 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers. "New innovative engine and transmission technology makes this extremely low figure possible in a ten year perspective," states Derek Crabb, Vice President Powertrain Engineering at Volvo Car Corporation. Some of the engine's technical highlights include:

  • 6 cylinders, 250 hp - but just 6.5 liters/100 km
  • New turbo technology
  • Direct Start&Stop
  • Compression Auto Ignition
  • Automated Shifted Manual with Electric Drive


With a spate of concept vehicles, Volvo Cars has been overturning many automotive traditions in recent years. With its Performance Concept Cars, PCC and PCC2, the company showed that the customer who needs a family car need not compromise on performance and sports car dynamics.


The Adventure Concept Car (ACC) demonstrated that an SUV does not have to be aggressive towards smaller cars, and that it can have the reassuring and predictable driving properties of a passenger car.


The Safety Concept Car (SCC) showed that a car featuring some of the most cutting-edge safety equipment ever seen could in fact be neatly packaged and small in size.


And now with the Versatility Concept Car (VCC) it is time to show that a large, luxurious V-Range car from Volvo can have a clearly marked pro-environmental profile. The exceptionally low fuel consumption, at just 6.5-litres/100 km in a car topping 1300 kg, is achieved through a range of new technologies. And while these technologies are not yet ready for production, Volvo Car Corporation is currently evaluating them within a 10-year availability timeframe.

  • The base engine, an in-line direct-injected six-cylinder unit with a displacement of 2.6 liters, features new turbo technology that puts the emphasis on combustion efficiency. This technology makes greater use of positive boost pressure to clear the combustion chamber of all traces of exhaust gases, thus improving the efficiency rating. The higher compression ratio is on a par with that of a naturally aspirated engine.
  • Direct Start&Stop means that the engine cuts out when the car stops, such as at a traffic light or in a stationary line of traffic. When it is time to move off again and the clutch is at the drag point, fuel is injected directly into the engine, which ignites the mixture immediately and gently accelerates the car.
  • Compression Auto Ignition (CAI) harnesses the benefits of a big engine to cut fuel consumption and lower exhaust emissions, however contradictory that might at first sound. The system creates a lean and homogeneous fuel/air mixture that is compression-ignited when the engine is being run on part load and at low to medium rpm.
  • Automated Shifted Manual is a regular manual gearbox that can be shifted automatically with the help of electronically controlled actuators. The driver can thus use it exactly like a conventional automatic transmission. However, since a manual gearbox has a higher efficiency rating than an automatic - because the frictional losses are lower - the end-result is lower fuel consumption.


The torque-loss problem that arises at the moment of shifting in an automated manual gearbox has been solved in the VCC's concept engine with Electric Drive (ED). The ED unit, which is powered by a separate 42-volt battery, also provides extra propulsion power at low revs, before the turbocharger has reached the necessary boost, thus eliminating the problem of turbo-lag.


Electric Drive also gives the battery a free charge of energy. When the driver lifts off the accelerator to reduce speed, the car's forward motion powers the ED unit that in turn recharges the 42-volt battery. This energy can be used, for instance, to drive the Versatility Concept Car for short distances on electric power alone, for example at very low speeds when crawling forward in congested traffic. The ED unit can be installed either on the driven axle or directly on the rear wheels.


In the Versatility Concept Car, the above technologies are combined with the use of lightweight materials, mainly aluminum and carbon fiber. The result is a ten percent reduction in weight compared with a similarly sized Volvo S80.

For more information contact:

James Hope or Dan Johnston - Product Communications


Public Affairs, Volvo Cars of North America, LLC

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