|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.