The new Volvo automatic Powershift transmission will be available to order from late February on the 100kW two-litre turbodiesel versions of the Volvo C30, S40 and V50 in Europe.
A lot like DSG, actually
This new Powershift six-speed unit features twin wet clutches operating as two parallel manual gearboxes, with the twin wet clutches that work independently of one another. One clutch controls the odd gears (1, 3, 5 and reverse) while the other handles the even ratios (2, 4 and 6).
The two clutches operate alternately with one engaging while the other disengages, like a slip clutch. Subsequently, as the engine gets full power and maximum thrust in first gear, second gear is placed ready to be engaged.
Performance up, fuel-consumption down
This results in quick, smooth gear changes and improved general driveline efficiency.
The C30, S40 and V50 models featuring 2-litre turbodiesel power driving through Powershift have all seen their 0-100km sprint times dip under 10-seconds, while top speeds have increased to 205km/h.
Economy has improved across the range too, with average consumption down to 6-litres per 100km.
"Lower fuel consumption allied to increased comfort and higher performance sounds like an impossible equation. But with Powershift we have shown this is perfectly possible," says Magnus Jonsson, Senior Vice President, Research & Development, Volvo Cars.
Powershift gives the driver an automatic transmission that permits sequential gearchanges, just like with Volvo's Geartronic transmission. The difference is that with Powershift even manual gearchanges take place without any time or power losses.
The version of Powershift that Volvo is now launching is dimensioned to handle torque levels up to 450 Nm, which should see it able to cope with a variety of powerful common-rail injection turbodiesel engines.