2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
Volvo is now offering a 1.8-liter gasoline engine as a FlexiFuel version for three series, powered by bio-ethanol and premium gasoline. This package fits the compact model C30 in every way.
By Michael Langenwalter
That's an announcement: Volvo’s new 1.8-liter FlexiFuel engine can be driven with bio-ethanol E85, with E50 variant or premium petrol. But in a pinch it can also be used with pure premium gasoline. The latter is currently sorely needed, because at the currently only around 100 bio-ethanol filling stations in Germany you would not get very far otherwise. Especially since the petrol pumps in Germany are still very unevenly distributed.
Exclusively for 1.8 liter petrol engines
From summer, the currently only eco-engine from Volvo with the four-cylinder petrol engine, an output of 92 kW / 125 PS and a maximum torque of 165 Newton meters at 4000 rpm will now also be available in Germany. And this in three series - the S40, V50 or the compact model C30 1.8F that we tested. The combination with the smooth six-speed manual transmission is standard.
Engine extensively modified
In the Swedish homeland, Volvo's FlexiFuel models are already really popular. Which is related to the fact that the government in Stockholm is promoting the use of fuels that are obtained from renewable raw materials as much as possible. Around 600 filling stations offer E85, the most widely used ethanol fuel variant. E85 means that 85 percent of the fuel is bio-ethanol. The 15 percent premium gasoline that is added here is primarily intended to improve the cold-running properties. With E50 the ratio is half-half.
To make this work, Volvo has extensively modified the engine. The enlarged inlet valves, the specially treated cylinder heads and the steel fuel lines should not be affected by the aggressive ethanol. Because that should flow almost exclusively into the 55-liter tank of the C30 if available. Compared to pure gasoline operation with 174 grams of C02 emissions per kilometer, the value is 80 percent lower, according to the factory.
On the other hand, consumption is 30 percent higher than when running on petrol. For the C30 1.8F, Volvo gives an average of around 7.5 liters per 100 kilometers. With E85 in the tank, the value in the display on the dashboard fluctuated around 9.7 liters during the first test drives. The additional consumption is balanced out at the pump. For the tax-privileged E85, around 80 cents per liter are currently due. Premium gasoline now costs 1.40 euros again - and the trend is rising.
The 400 Euro surcharge that is due for the FlexiFuel engine compared to the normal version can also be quickly recovered. Prices for the C30 1.8F start at 21,050 euros. As usual with Volvo, a comprehensive safety package is included. The Swedes are all the more cautious when it comes to basic equipment. One likes to refer to the long list of options.
The theory is one side. However, the question of how the engine in Volvo's highly acclaimed designer model is really crucial for sales success remains. After a short time it became clear during the test drives in and around Potsdam that the eco-unit in the C30 cuts a convincing figure. A light step on the accelerator is all it takes and the front-wheel drive car, which weighs around 1.3 tons, pulls away quickly. It goes from 0 to 100 km / h in 10.8 seconds; at 200 km / h it's over.
However, the engine is not suitable for a cavalier start at the traffic lights. That wouldn't go with the car at all; the C30 is not designed for such gimmicks anyway. The rear axle passes on bumps on the asphalt almost unfiltered to the occupants of the two-door. In addition, the steering could be a bit more direct. But the severely understeering compact car does not see itself as a dynamic driver anyway, but rather as a chic classy runabout for the city. And there you can now also travel in an ecologically correct version of a Volvo. This is good for your conscience, good for the environment - and good for your wallet if there is an E85 petrol station nearby.