02 January 2007

No fuelin’

Volvo gives green light to bio-ethanol-powered C30, S40 and V50

Volvo S40

Save the planet and have a more powerful engine? That's the promise of bio-ethanol, which will be introduced as a fuel option for several Volvo models in 2007.

The Swedish firm expects to introduce bio-ethanol-powered versions of the C30, S40 and V50, which are already on sale in other European countries.

Volvo calls these models FlexiFuel because they can run on standard unleaded petrol as well as the greener bio-ethanol.

The benefit of the green fuel is it's carbon neutral, so the carbon dioxide produced when driving a car is cancelled out by the CO2 used by the growth of plants to make the fuel.

Bio-ethanol can be made from corn, wheat or sugar cane, which are grown as normal crops then refined into fuel.

The other big advantage of bio-ethanol is it helps an engine produce around 30 per cent more power than it does when burning unleaded petrol.

Volvo will be showing off a bio-ethanol version of its 3.2-litre six-cylinder engine in the XC60 concept that is to be unveiled at the Detroit motor show next week.

This six-cylinder engine has 265bhp, compared with 235bhp in the XC90 running on unleaded only.

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