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Volvo Introducing XC60 Concept with 3.2-Liter E85 Engine

The XC60 Concept is powered by an E85-optimized 6-cylinder engine.

The powertrain for the All Wheel Drive Volvo XC60 Concept, due to make its world debut at the Detroit show in January, is a bioethanol engine.

The powertrain for the Volvo XC60 Concept uses the same six-cylinder, 3.2-liter, in-line gasoline engine that was introduced in the all-new Volvo S80 and revised XC90 in mid-2006. The engine has been optimized for E85 (85 percent bioethanol, 15 percent gasoline).

The engine provides acceleration from 0–60 mph in 8.2 seconds and a top speed of approximately 143 mph. Fuel economy when running on E85 reduces to 19.2 mpg, as the energy content of ethanol is 40% lower than that of gasoline.

The engine develops 265 hp (198 kW) of power and 340 Nm (251 lb-ft) of torque with 80% lower net carbon dioxide emissions compared with the same engine running on gasoline, according to Volvo.

We believe that the FlexiFuel also has great potential for larger engine sizes and we are planning to expand our range of bio-ethanol-powered engines in the coming years.

—Magnus Jonsson, Senior Vice President, Research & Development at Volvo Cars.

Demand for ethanol is growing steadily in Europe. There are 23 plants currently producing the fuel in Europe. That number is expected to increase to just over 60 by 2008. Approximately 720 million gallons of ethanol are produced annually within the European Union, primarily from sugar beet and various grains. Capacity is expected to increase threefold by 2008.

In comparison, the USA has 101 ethanol plants with a capacity of 4.8 billion gallons per year. It has a further 39 bioethanol refineries under construction, which will add more than 2.5 billion gallons capacity. There are already about 1,000 filling stations for E85 in the USA.

Volvo Cars has already launched a four-cylinder bio-ethanol-powered FlexiFuel engine in three of its nine models—the C30 SportsCoupe, S40 saloon and V50 Sportswagon—which are available in several European countries—Sweden, France, Norway, the Netherlands, Spain, Ireland, Belgium, Austria and Switzerland. The company plans to introduce them to more countries in 2007, including, probably, the UK. Volvo predicts sales of 7,000 FlexiFuel cars worldwide in 2007.


James (UK)

US ethanol capacity under construction is quite alot larger than 2.5 billion (over 5 billion) -

Does anyone know what the mileage per gallon of a car with the same characteristics as this vehicle but using gasoline in an engine configured for gasoline? Or a rough estimate


The XC90 with a 2.5L engine average 19mpg in the EPA combined cycle, but w/o the mileage of the 3.2L engine I've no clue how much more efficient the engine can be when running on E85...


The 2005 Energy Act mandated 7.5 billion gallons of ethanol by 2012, if I'm not mistaken. I doubt the supply of corn will hold out, though. Thankfully all those ethanol plants can be retrofitted for butanol production, I think.


I dont know who writes these articles but E85 has a 29% lower heating value than gas. Its not that hard to lookup.....


This is just effing Greenwashing !!



Ethanol has about 66% of energy capacity of gasoline, on volume-per-volume basis. As a fuel additive (about 5% by volume), produced from US corn overproduction, it is viable fuel additive substantially lowering harmful emissions and boosting gasoline octane number. As substitute to gasoline (E85) its economy sucks. For further information enter “topics” and “ethanol” in this web site, there were plentiful and very informative discussions on the subject.


The millage on E85 varies on how efficient the engine is and the type of car.

My independent studies on 3 cars have been

1990 Jeep Cherokee stock
Gas in town 17 MPG highway 20 to 21
E85 in town 11 to 12 Highway 15 to 17
(when boosted with a bleed of compressed hydrogen it added an extra 2mpg)

1988 ford festiva stock

gas in town 30 mpg highway up to 37
Ethanol in town 24 MPG highway 31

1978 corvette modified for performance and a heavy foot

gas in town about 11mpg highway 17 mpg
ethanol in town about 8mpg highway about 14

The millage difference does suck but when gas here was selling for $3.20 and E85 was $2 it was worth it. And I must say the E85 performance boost with high flow air and fuel pump on the vette is just...well, WOW.

All 3 cars ran smoother on E85 over gas. But the power curve on the festiva sucked on ethanol.



What do you mean by “air pump” in Vette?

Without higher compression ratio, or higher turbobust, high-% ethanol blends should not produce better power or fuel efficiency, right?


I suspect he means high-flow air intake, not air pump.

James (UK)


your figures suggest that the mileage deficiency (around 20%) of ethanol is not as great as its energy deficiency (33%) and also presumably in cars with engines optimised to run on gasoline.

Does anyone know the deficiency in a vehicle customised for ethanol running on E85 compared with the same vehicle customised for gasoline running on gasoline.


christopher nichols

I dont care if my car uses more Ethanol than Gasoline, the idea is we get off petroleum products because they create war and tyranical governments. If my mileage went down 20% and I was able to grow HEMP to make my own Ethanol or Biodiesel the mileage factor is pretty much mute. And oh, yeah, my kids asthma might be gone from cleaner air. Oh yeah, the air. I can see clearly now, the smog is gone........


Correct, I should have used a comma, next time, its a high air flow intake and carb 800 CFM and a high flow fuel pump to deliver the extra fuel. So essentially the corvette is more optimized for ethanol as I designed it just for such a purpose. Again, it was the Idea of not using fossil products for the driving force.
The main changes that were done on the corvette were the following.
Higher compression. Done when the engine needed to be rebuilt so it was optimized for ethanols higher octane rating.
higher fuel flow,to help deliver the fuel. Had some problems with vapor lock as ethanol does evaporate much more readily than gasoline.
Opening up the jets for the carb to accommodate the extra need for fuel when you want it.

And of course so the system can breath easier the high flow carb. Polished heads that were CNC machined so it would be more efficient, and a higher flow exhaust.

And the timing has to be advanced a bit.

As for the Cherokee no modification was needed to my delight for e85 The system took it and did just fine. the only change I noticed was a loss of power on the upper end of speeds past 65mpg. Part of this could be to the limitation of the fuel injection systems flow, so less fuel, less power, and a jeep is a box so aerodynamics go out the window, also in 1990 it was before the Chrysler buy out and before the boosted the power on them with better heads. Hy-boosting helped a degree with a slow bleed of H2 into the manifold but due to lack of direct injection I found it to be quite uneconomical and only mild increases in millage. AKA not worth the trouble at this time, cylinder compressed hydrogen at $25 a tank for a boost range of apx 30 miles is not worth it at this time.

No matter what e85 is going to give you less millage. Also the driver has to be taken into effect and the fun factor. In a perfect world Id drive just the POS festiva but the human fun condition always will come into play. Hence the 8mpg vette. But my motivation for making the switch was not one for economics of my wallet. But a protest to the petroleum. I have had too many friends die in Iraq, seen too many people driven into poverty from this administration. I have seen too many businesses fail because money flows out of a community and does not stay in it.
Fortunately I have been blessed with creation of a business that allows me to bring money in form around the world. And I do what I can to keep that money local, and try to influence others to do the same. Foods, fuels, businesses etc that are local I support and use. Unfortunately not everyone has the ability to do this. But knowledge is power. And the more people are educated on how to just conserve just a little bit the better.

E85 works great in lawn mowers by the way. for people who want to support it but dont have an FFV
Also. up to a 50% mix of e85 in most cars does just fine.



Take a close look to dual-fuel injection. It is incredible powerful tool. High-pressure injection of water/ethanol/methanol mix into intake air flow at WOT events cools down intake charge, increases volumetric efficiency, increases overall octane rating of fuel charge, allows for controlled fuel/air ratio overrich, yet maintains good drivability and use of low-octane fuel at partial throttle.


Been looking into a methanol injection system, probably the next step as it would allow me to inject wet ethanol I can make myself, done the research on it, just have not played with it yet.


I think the idea of small displacement, direct injected, turbocharged engine with sensors that detect fuel and set boost as a function of octane have a future. Combine that with hybrid to get better mileage, bring the whole thing in under $25k and you might have a winner.

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