Not to be confused with electric power, “Drive-E” is a new wave of 4-cylinder powertrains that maximize ‘Drive Efficiency’ and fuel economy without sacrificing performance.
Drive-E will replace the brand’s current 4-, 5- and 6-cylinder engine lineup as those are phased out of production over the next 24 months.
Volvo’s Drive Efficiency 4-cylinders come turbocharged and supercharged to deliver more power and torque than their larger displacement counterparts.
The Drive-E engine lineup is featured in the front-drive 2015 Volvo S60 Sedan, 2015 Volvo V60 sports wagon and 2015 Volvo XC60 crossover vehicle.
All-wheel drive is available across the model line.
Vehicle badging adds intrigue as the Swedish automaker keeps the established “T5” nomenclature from its turbocharged 5-cylinder engine and “T6” (turbocharged 6-cylinder) for Drive-E model distinction even though there is a 4-cylinder only engine under each hood.
The outgoing T5 has 226 horsepower while the T6 generates 276 hp.
With Drive-E, the T5 will pull 240 hp from a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine while the T6 ramps 302 hp. from a combination turbo/supercharged 2.0L powerplant.
I tested the 2015 Volvo V60 sports wagon T5 and 2015 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E variants.
Both engines are mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission with stop/start function for combined city/highway fuel economy of 29 and 28 miles per gallon respectively.
Highway mileage achieves 37/35 mpg in respective order.
My road test of the Volvo V60 and S60 Drive-E models eclipsed several hundred miles of blacktop across the desert southwest, driving away impressed with their comfort, functionality and competent road manners.
Ride quality is excellent with precise steering control and handling over twisty road surfaces while a tuned suspension irons out harsh pavement imperfections.
The Volvo V60 styling is the poster child for future mid-size sports wagon design with curvy contours and high beltline that draws the eye across its athletic raked-roof profile.
"Wagons have always been a big part of Volvo’s model plan," says Jim Wolff, Volvo sales manager for Napleton Auto Werks in Schererville. "V60’s contemporary design is attracting younger buyers who see the Volvo sports wagon as an alternative to a SUV. This car looks hip and fits the hauling needs of a young family."
When unoccupied the 40/20/40 split-rear seat of the V60 sports wagon folds down to provide 43.8 cubic feet of cargo space.
Cabin amenities abound with easy to operate switch gear and supple contoured seats that transport five occupants in comfortable style.
New technology includes available Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with Auto Brake that detects and automatically brakes for pedestrians or cyclists moving into the path of a rear approaching Volvo vehicle.
The 2015 Volvo V60 T5 sports wagon starts at $35,300 followed by the Volvo S60 T6 sedan for $38,150. Add $950 for freight.