Click above for a high-res gallery of the Volvo S60 concept

Next month at the Detroit Auto Show, Volvo will shed its staid image with a new concept vehicle that points the way towards the next production S60 midsize sedan. Besides all of the stylish lines of the exterior, numerous safety features and concept-spec interior - complete with a real crystal center console - the coolest bit of tech lies under the shapely hood. Instead of dropping in the largest engine available, the Swedes have instead focused on a small displacement Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection (GTDi) powerplant. Perhaps the 180-horsepower isn't quite enough to set the world on fire, but achieving that power output along with an estimated 47 miles per gallon and carbon dioxide emissions of 119g/km from an engine that displaces just 1.6-liters is really quite an accomplishment.

The best part is that this engine is expected to make it into production in 2009. Joining the new-tech powerplant are electric power steering, stop/start technology, a wind-deflecting "grille shutter," flat aerodynamic underbody panels and a DRIVe-Mode that puts the car's computers into a user-definable economy mode. Several of these fuel-saving bits are expected to show up on the production S60 due later this year.

Related GalleryVolvo S60 concept

[Source: Volvo]


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The Volvo S60 Concept: GTDi Technology for Lower C02 Emissions

December 16, 2008: Volvo Cars has chosen a four-cylinder 1.6-litre petrol unit using highly-efficient Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection (GTDi) technology to feature in the Volvo S60 Concept. Volvo Cars' first production vehicle with GTDi technology will be introduced in 2009.

Producing 134kW, the engine - in combination with a range of other technical measures - makes it possible to return an average fuel consumption rate of just 5.0l/100km and cut carbon dioxide emissions to 119 g/km.

In a conventional petrol engine, fuel is injected into the inlet manifold ahead of the inlet valves. With direct injection, however, the fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber under high pressure.

This technology promotes better gas flow with optimised air/fuel mixture and greater resistance to uncontrolled combustion. The result is higher power and lower fuel consumption.

GTDi technology combined with turbocharging makes it possible to reduce engine displacement with maintained performance, but with about 20 per cent lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

"GTDi technology is an important CO2-cutting technology for petrol engines. In the S60 Concept we have also added a number of other developments that further reduce fuel consumption. Several of these features will make their way into our production models in the coming years," says Derek Crabb, Vice President Powertrain at Volvo Cars.

Electric power steering, stratified combustion and other measures
In addition to GTDi technology, the Volvo S60 Concept integrates the following technical features to bring CO2 emissions down to 119 g/km:
# Stratified combustion. The combustion chamber is designed such that a an optimal blend of air and fuel is formed around the spark plug, surrounded in turn by pure air. This allows the engine to operate with a surplus of air, thus cutting fuel consumption.
# Start/stop functionality that switches off the engine when the car is at a standstill.
# Powershift geabox featuring two manual gearboxes working in parallel, each regulated by its own clutch.
# Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS), which in principle is an "electric servo" where the conventional hydraulic pump has been replaced by an electric motor.
# "DRIVe-Mode". Gives the driver the possibility of reducing fuel consumption via an "economy mode" that limits the function of a number of selected electrical or mechanical systems.
# Grille shutter. A wind-deflecting panel that can be closed to reduce air drag when there is less need for cooling air.
# Flat underbody panels.
# The use of lightweight materials in the car body.

The driver chooses
"Several of these solutions can deliver significant CO2 reductions in the future since they can be used throughout large sections of the model range. When it comes to "DRIVe-Mode", for instance, the driver can actively cut fuel consumption by reducing the function of certain comfort systems. The idea is that every owner can individually choose which systems he or she wants to limit," says Magnus Jonsson, Senior Vice President, Research & Development at Volvo Cars.