GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN - Volvo Cars' most powerful E-85 engine is now receiving a vitamin supplement in the form of 30 fresh horsepower and an additional 40 Newton metres of torque.
The five-cylinder 2.5L Flexifuel engine, the 2.5FT, produces 231 hp and 340 Nm of torque, according to the manufacturer.
At the same time, Volvo's engine experts have succeeded to cutting fuel consumption by between five and six percent depending on transmission.
"This technical advance shows that we can give buyers of our larger cars an attractive combination of enhanced driving pleasure and better environmental properties. Few, if any, of our competitors can match our ever-wider and more efficient green-car model range," says Magnus Jonsson, senior vice president, Product Development at Volvo Cars.
He adds: "The new 2.5FT variants will be a particularly attractive choice for company car customers. Since the hike in torque gives far better pulling power, driveability in both the Volvo S80 and Volvo V70 gets a real boost. At the same time, fuel economy is noticeably better. Fuel consumption will drop most significantly among cars that cover long distances on the highway and motorway."
The upgraded 2.5FT engine will reach the market in the Volvo S80 and Volvo V70 in June 2009. Both variants are available with a choice of manual or automatic transmission.
When running on E-85, fuel consumption increases by about 30 percent since bioethanol contains less energy, notes the manufacturer. The exact difference depends on factors such as driving style, ambient temperature and variations in fuel specification.
The increase in the 2.5FT engine's torque and power output was made possible by adopting new software that raises the turbocharger's boost pressure.
Fuel economy has been improved by cutting engine revs in specific driving conditions.
In cars with manual transmission, this takes place by fitting a "longer" gear set, that is to say an increased span between first and sixth gear. In this way, fifth gear has the same ratio as the previous sixth gear, while sixth is now a pure overdrive ratio.
In the automatic version, the reduction in fuel consumption has been achieved with a new gearchanging program that changes up earlier at lower engine revs.
Volvo Cars has one of the car world's broadest ranges of Flexifuel models. Five models - the Volvo C30, S40, V50, V70, and S80 - can be specified with one or a choice of two E-85 engines.
The Flexifuel variants of the Volvo S40, V50, and C30 have a four-cylinder 1.8L engine that produces 125 hp and torque of 165 Nm.