Volvo has released images and information about the 2010 S60 "concept" that it will display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month. While the concept's bodywork and interior trims bode well for the similarly-styled production version that will arrive next fall, this one-off show car also packs a mileage-making powertrain combo that has significance that goes far beyond any future Volvo applications.
Beneath its heavily sculpted hood resides a 1.6-liter turbocharged, direct-injected in-line four-cylinder engine. While Volvo dubs it GTDi -- for Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection -- this energetic motivator is basically a mechanical clone of the new 1.6-liter Ford will use in several of its upcoming offerings under the EcoBoost appellation. Like these future Fords, the GTDi engine in the S60 Concept is mated to a six-speed PowerShift dual-clutch automated manual transmission. True to the mission outlined by Ford when it announced EcoBoost in 2007, the point of this technology is to generate more with less. In GTDi guise, it delivers the output -- in this case, 187 horsepower -- and performance of a larger displacement engine with about a 20 percent improvement in fuel economy and hence, equivalently lower CO2 emissions, of a smaller one.
While Ford has confirmed its first EcoBoost application will appear on the 2009 Mercury MKS sedan and Ford Flex crossover in the form of a super-efficient 3.5-liter V6 that can make from 340-415 horsepower, Volvo is a bit more circumspect about the future home of its 1.6-liter GTDi four. Although stating that GTDi technology will go into production by mid-2009, the C30/S40/V50 clan has previously been mentioned as more likely recipients of this particular displacement. While not confirmed, we suspect an EcoBoosted 1.6 will also see service in a U.S. performance version of the upcoming 2011 Ford Fiesta. Whether some form of the 2010 S60 gets a GTDi variation of FoMoCo's potent EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 remains to be seen. But it would be a natural fit, regardless of whether the Swedish automaker remains a Ford property in the year ahead.