The Volvo S80 T5 Drive-E offers both power and fuel efficiency
Efficient performer Volvo S80 T5 Drive-E. PHOTO: VOLVO

VOLVO seems to have struck the perfect balance between displacement and performance with its Drive-E engines. These two-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged units were developed inhouse for low consumption but high output.

On the Volvo S80 T5 Drive-E with an eight-speed automatic transmission, the results are surprisingly good - the T5 is torquey but fuel-efficient.

The S80 T5's 2.0-litre petrol engine produces 245 hp and 350 Newton-metres of torque. With the torque available from a low 1,500 rpm, the 1,672 kg Volvo displays a briskness one would not normally expect of this large sedan.

The S80 has been around for about eight years now, but it has been regularly refreshed with a range of engines. In the early days, there were bigger petrol power plants under the bonnet, like a 3.2-litre V6 and a 2.5-litre inline five-cylinder.

Recently, they were downsized to four-cylinder 2.0 and 1.6-litre petrol units. Currently, there is a 1.6-litre turbodiesel called the S80 D2, and this Drive-E 2.0.

To back up its claim of increased efficiency, Volvo claims a fuel consumption of 6.2 litres per 100 km under the combined cycle for the S80 T5 Drive-E, or an impressive 25 per cent improvement over the previous two-litre with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission.

It is also more efficient than the 1.6-litre petrol-engined S80 T4, which only managed 7.3 litres per 100 km.

Key to the Drive-E's efficiency are the engine's friction-reducing measures, such as ball bearings on the camshaft, high-speed continuous variable valve timing and intelligent heat management with a fully variable electric water pump.

The eight-speed auto transmission also helps to raise fuel efficiency with its wider spread of gear ratios.

On the road, the front-wheel-driven S80 T5 Drive-E is responsive, almost eager. Zero to 100 kmh is a very credible 6.5 seconds, and the power delivery is smooth.

The T5 comes standard with a Comfort chassis, which means the suspension is relatively softly sprung. While it contributes to ride comfort, it isn't helpful for sporty driving. Still, the S80's handling is competent and those who want a sharper drive can opt for the Lowered Sport Chassis option.

Then there is the S80's large turning circle, which may require some planning when it comes to U-turns and some car park manoeuvres. But the Volvo's large cabin and equally large boot make up for it. The S80's interior is comfortable, with a spacious rear bench that offers excellent leg room. The City Safety autonomous braking safety feature is standard.

Add its class-leading performance and fuel consumption, the S80 T5 is the most cost-effective Volvo you can buy.

CAR INFORMATION

Volvo S80 T5 Drive-E (A)

Price

:$180,000

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line 16-valve Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

1,969 cc

Horsepower

:

245 bhp / 5,500 rpm

Torque

:

350 Nm / 4,800 rpm

Transmission

:

8-speed (A) Geartronic

Acceleration

:

6.5 sec (0-100 km/h)

Top Speed

:

230 km/h