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New Leading Diesel Technology from Volvo Car Corporation VOLVO D5 - POWER AND PLEASURE

VOLVO D5 - POWER AND PLEASURE

- Volvo Cars first in-house produced diesel engine
- World-leading qualities in performance and fuel economy
- 340 Nm at 1750 rpm
- 6.0 litres/ 100 km (Volvo S60, preliminary)
- Second generation common rail technology
- Variable Nozzle Turbine
- Lightweight - 185 kilos

Volvo Car Corporation is making considerable strides in the premium segment for diesel engines. The new D5, the first passenger-car diesel engine designed and made in-house by Volvo Cars, employs leading technology to achieve world-class standards of performance and fuel consumption.

The D5 turns over a new leaf in Volvo Cars engine history. This advanced new common rail unit is the company's first in-house produced diesel engine - and evidence of just how important it is for Volvo Cars to be able to offer a modern diesel engine in the premium segment. The new engine makes its debut this summer in the S60 sports sedan and the prestigious S80, followed somewhat later by the V70 - perhaps the best estate car in the world.

"The starting-point was that the new Volvo diesel should be both sporty and cultivated and offer absolute world-leading qualities in a number of key areas: performance, fuel economy, noise level, weight and emissions," says Lars-Gustaf Hauptmann, project manager of the D5 project.

"It is these particular criteria that customers in the premium segment prioritise when they specify a diesel engine."

Aluminium for Low Weight

One obvious parameter in the design brief was to utilise one of the most compact and strongest engine blocks on the market: Volvo's own 5-cylinder aluminium block that was originally launched in the Volvo 850 in 1991 and which has since thus far seen a production run in excess of 2 million units. This block was designed and dimensioned from the very outset to be able to accommodate diesel power.

Since the cylinder head too is made of aluminium, the Volvo D5 weighs just 185 kg - a major benefit since low weight plays a major role in ensuring high performance and low fuel consumption.

Since the Volvo D5 is a transverse in-line engine that is relatively narrow, it contributes considerably to crash safety. The compact engine leaves maximum possible space for the all-important crumple zone.

Generous Torque

The new Volvo D5 produces higher torque than the most powerful 5-cylinder petrol engine in the Volvo Cars range. What's more, this high torque is available at even lower revs. The D5 pumps out no less than 340 Nm at just 1750 rpm, as compared to the 330 Nm at 2400 rpm produced by the 250-hp T5 petrol engine. This means there is plenty of power on tap irrespective of engine speed and driving style - driving enjoyment was at the top of the list of priorities in the development of the new Volvo D5.

"We want the driver to feel that the engine has more horsepower than it actually has," explains Lars-Gustaf Hauptmann.

The Volvo D5 produces 163-hp (120 kW) at 4000 rpm, which in a Volvo S60 gives acceleration from 0-100 kph in 9.5 seconds (9.8 seconds for the Volvo S80 and V70). Top speed in all three cars is 210 kph.

However, there are other equally interesting figures to take into account:

- acceleration from 80 to 120 kph in top gear: less than 10 seconds
- 50 kW per litre of displacement (67.9 hp per litre) - one of the highest on the market

The power is transmitted via Volvo's manual 5-speed M56L gearbox, a smooth and robust unit already doing sterling service in other Volvo models. An automatic transmission will be available towards the end of the year.

Modern Technology - Low Fuel Consumption

Low fuel consumption is one of the strongest customer motives for buying a car with a diesel engine. With its consumption of only 6.0 litres/100 km, the new D5 as installed in the Volvo S60 takes the lead in the premium segment. The Volvo S80 records 6.1 litres/100 km and the V70 6.4 litres/100 km. (All figures are preliminary).

This means, in effect, that it is possible to drive no less than 1170 km in a Volvo S60 before it is time to fill up the 70-litre fuel tank. That's roughly the distance from Amsterdam to Milan…

This low fuel consumption has been achieved with a range of well-integrated factors:

low internal engine friction owing to simple engine architecture and a single cam belt-drive - system for camshafts and injection pump

roller finger follower in the valve and cam systems, for the lowest possible friction in the cylinder head, particularly at low revs and in urban operation

lightweight moving parts, particularly pistons and connecting rods, resulting in less vibration, lower loads on bearings and crankshaft and thus lower friction

efficient combustion system with four valves per cylinder and injection with a centrally positioned vertical injector

the relatively, for diesel, modest compression ratio of 18:1 is beneficial as regards combustion pressure, reducing mechanical loads and friction. This in turn lowers fuel consumption

VNT turbo and Common Rail

The major source behind this engine's enormous reserves of torque, 340 Nm, is the turbocharger, which is of VNT or Variable Nozzle Turbine type. With this system, the turbine on the intake side has movable guide vanes that change position to provide optimum flow conditions and a high turbine efficiency rating, throughout the engine speed range. This permits high boost pressure from low engine speeds, and thus a flatter torque curve and higher power output.

The movable guide vanes are controlled by the engine management system, adjusting gas flow to the turbine to ensure optimum efficiency. The result is that the engine responds instantly to the throttle, providing excellent driveability. The turbocharger is cooled with the engine oil.

Common-rail technology plays a vital role in modern diesel engines. The common-rail system adopted in the new Volvo D5 is a second-generation development, featuring a higher pressure and load-responsive volume and pressure control. This makes it one of the most modern and advanced sustems in the automobile industry today.

The amount of fuel and the injection timing are controlled electronically by fast-acting solenoid valves. Fuel is injected directly into the cylinders under exceptionally high pressure, up to 1600 bar. The result is extremely finely atomised fuel, ensuring that combustion is as efficient as possible, while at the same time minimising emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulates. In order to further reduce exhaust emissions, the Volvo D5 is equipped with the very latest advances in EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) technology. With this system, some of the exhaust gases are returned to the combustion system, further reducing emissions of nitrogen oxides.

Increased efficiency and precision are achieved with the fast-acting EGR valve, which is directly electrically operated. The recirculated exhaust gases are cooled in a special EGR cooler before being mixed with the intake air. This advanced EGR system cuts NOx emissions strongly, while retaining good fuel efficiency. The EGR cooler itself provides a 7% further reduction of nitrogen oxides than in a system without cooling.

Fast-Acting Catalytic Converters

Hydrocarbons (HC) and carbon monoxide (CO) - the main components of the remaining exhaust gases - and some of the particulate emissions are cleaned with the help of oxidising catalytic converters. The system is based on the so-called "close-coupled catalyst" principle, that is to say a small catalytic converter close to the turbocharger's outlet and a larger one positioned in tandem just after it. The small catalyst is heated up very quickly and is thus operational that much sooner. The result is quick cleaning of the exhaust gases after a cold start, while at the same time helping to heat up the main catalyst more quickly.

The Volvo D5 easily exceeds the new Euro 3 standards, halving exhaust gas emissions compared with Volvo's previous passenger-car diesel engines.

With the introduction of the new D5, Volvo Cars is turning to an entirely new customer category in several key European markets, where diesel power accounts for 44 per cent of sales in the premium segment. This is a figure that is growing fast. Belgium has the highest proportion of diesel engines in the premium segment, at 87 per cent. France is next with 82 per cent, followed by Austria at 77 and Italy at 70 per cent.

"The new D5 is therefore poised to play a central role in reaching the Volvo Cars sales targets for Europe. It is a very efficient combination of power and torque meaning a high performance with low weight and very low emissions," concludes Lars-Gustaf Hauptmann.

*Volvo Cars North America has not yet made any statement regarding any potential future for the D5 in the North American marketplace.

[Source: Volvo Cars]

[This message has been edited by [email protected] (edited 06-17-2001).]
 

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I wonder whether a version of this engine will be available in North America.

Probably not due to the poor quality of Diesel fuel in the U.S. & Canada.

Sure would be nice to have a 250+ lb/ft torque Volvo burning only 6L/100km.
 

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Didn't Clinton pass some higher quality standards for diesel before he left office. I thought something like that was happening.

I think the major problem right now is the trucker lobby keeping our diesel less refined. Still, if gas prices keep going up, I could see a market for a higher grade diesel with less sulpher content to sell to passenger car owners. Even at about the same price as high test, one would think it'd be a natural just because they'll get higher mileage.
 

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I don't understand why the difference in fuel quality between Europe and N/A makes any difference. The injection systems are the same on both continents. Sure, N/A fuel is less refined, but that is typically more of a filtration issue (i.e. filters plug faster) than a durabilty issure with the injection system. And if the engine already meets Euro 3 emision stadards, then EPA Tier 3 should be no problem. Europe is currently being offered diesels with refinement and performance as good as many N/A performance engines - just look at VW's 150 hp 1.9L TDI and BMW's diesels. Why are we deprived. I swear I'm going to move to Europe in a few years!

Technical issues aside, IMHO, this new engine mated to an AWD or XC V70 would make the ultimate anti-SUV; 37+ mpg with all weather capabilities and a 730 mile range, WOW. The only thing that would come close in the U.S. would be the new VW Jetta TDI wagon, but here again we're deprived of the full package as AWD is only available in Europe on this car. Frustrating.
 

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Don't the higher sulphur levels in our gas keep certain types of higher hp versions of these European direct injection diesels from coming to the USA. You mentioned VW, I think they only have one TDI motor here in the US, while they have many in Europe.

The other prob, is the high sulphur content burns dirty, and diesel has a hard time passing emissions in certain states because of this. If it were more refined, that'd be less of an issue.

[This message has been edited by Evolvo (edited 06-27-2001).]
 

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I dug into this a little deeper and here's what I found out.

It is true that Euro fuel is different than N/A fuel. Euro diesel generally has a higher cetane number which makes for a better igniting and somewhat cleaner burning fuel. The fuel is refined to a level somewhere between N/A #1 diesel (winter blend or kerosene) and #2 diesel (summer blend). This results in lower combustion energy than the #2 diesel generally available at the pump. The fuel is somewhat lower in sulfur, but the only effect this has is slightly elevated particulate emissions when passed through a catalytic converter. Additionally, "superclean" fuels are available in some countries, but these are usually reserved for transit vehicles.

The fuel systems used on both Euro and N/A engines are essentially identical, although unique power cylinder and injection components are sometimes used to fine tune specific engines to meet emissions targets. However, because the fuel systems are so similar (often the same parts by same manufacturer), modern diesel engines are generally insensitive to the difference in fuel between Europe and North America. Sulfur content has zero impact on reliability, durability, or performance, and has minimal impact on emissions.

That being said, the real issue as to why we won't see many Euro diesels in the US any time soon, is that current EPA regs have essentially outlawed diesels in passenger cars. According to an expert that I contacted today, about the only way to meet the EPA requirements for passenger cars is to implement new technology that is only experimental at this stage (i.e. particulate traps, lean NOx trap, etc). I've been told this is why you don't see any SUV's running around with the diesel engines found in their pick-up truck counterparts. From what I understand, the EPA simply does not want fuel efficient diesel on the road because of their assumed environmental impact.

As for the real differences between gas v. diesel emission capabilities, that's a topic for another day.
 

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I just noticed that I misspoke last post:

"The fuel is somewhat lower in sulfur, but the only effect this has is slightly elevated particulate emissions when passed through a catalytic converter."

What I meant to say was that burning higher sulfur N/A fuel results in slightly higher particulate emissions compared to Euro fuel, but only when passed through a catalytic converter.

Sorry for the confusion.
 

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That's some great research you did above. I'd love to run an article about that on VWvortex and Swedespeed.

I have a question for you on diesel cars though. Volkswagen markets the TDI diesel in three and soon four models in the USA. How do they do this if what you say above is true? I am assuming it is through their low CAFE average due to the fuel economy of their corporate average here in the states?
 

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You really ought to get in touch with "SkyPup" over at tdiclub.com

He has volumes of documents on the impact low quality fuel in the US has on both emissions and diesel engine availability in North America.

Also, George, what's the 4th model that will soon be having a TDI engine in it in the US? The Jetta wagon or something else?

I'm looking into buying a used Volvo 850 series wagon because VW doesn't import the diesel powered Passats that are available throughout Europe.

If we could get the V70 with the new diesel engine, I think the people over at tdiclub.com would sell their souls.

My understanding of the sales issues, particularly for New York and California, is that VW has to meet a fleet average not only for fuel economy, which one assumes they do quite easily, but for oxides of nitrogen production as well.

They have to limit the number of diesels they sell to keep from exceeding the NOx targets for those two states.
 
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