Paris, France – Volvo Car Corporation has unveiled an aggressive plan to release a hyrid and significantly cut the CO2 emissions of its vehicles before 2012. The announcement was made at the Paris Motor Show.

In 2011, a micro-hybrid powertrain will be introduced with a start-stop function for the combustion engine, and a year later, the company will unveil a diesel hybrid, followed by a plug-in hybrid in the future. No decisions have been made regarding price, or which countries will offer the hybrid systems.

“Environmental focus is naturally a high priority,” said Stephen Odell, president and CEO. “In parallel with work on a diesel hybrid, we are conducting an intensive hunt to cut CO2 emissions throughout the driveline range.”

Engineers and designers are refining the company’s existing vehicles and powertrains to improve aerodynamics and reduce rolling resistance.

“A micro-hybrid gives fuel savings of 4 to 5 per cent in a mixed driving cycle,” said Magnus Jonsson, senior vice-president, Research & Development at Volvo Cars. “However, the actual effect is considerably greater when driving in the city with its frequent stop-go traffic. Our system also has the benefit of being able to be adapted to most of our drivelines.”

When combined with a manual gearbox, the driver will be able to control the start-stop function by putting the transmission into a gear to keep the engine running, or selecting neutral to turn it off.

With its gasoline engines, Volvo will start introducing a new generation of four-cylinder turbocharged engines with direct injection in 2009, a technology known as GTDi (Gas Turbo Direct injection). “GTDi technology makes it possible to step down one engine size from five to four cylinders with unaffected performance, but with 20 to 30 per cent lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions,” Jonsson said.

In the diesel hybrid that Volvo is developing, the front wheels are driven by an advanced variant of the five-cylinder D5 turbocharged diesel currently available in Europe, with the rear wheels powered by a separate electric motor. The system provides both effective four-wheel drive and the lowest possible fuel consumption, as well as an engine start-stop function. It will be launched in 2012.

A plug-in hybrid is scheduled for introduction after 2012; the battery pack is recharged overnight with a regular household socket, giving an operating range of about 100 km on electric power alone. If necessary, the vehicle’s combustion engine starts up to recharge the batteries while driving.

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