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Volvo to carry Falcon engine

Volvo is destined to use a version of the 2011 Falcon's 2.0-litre direct-injection turbo-charged EcoBoost four cylinder engine in some of its own cars late next year. The global Ford engine is rolling out across Ford, Volvo and Mazda cars around the world.

A powerful 2.0-litre version of the Volvo engine, called GTDi and developing more than 150kW, is due to appear in the XC60 in the Netherlands. A smaller 1.6-litre version is also planned for other models.

Volvo Cars Australia spokesperson, Laurissa Mirabelli, says the first GTDi engines, mated to a Powershift six-speed dual clutch gearbox, will roll out in Europe later this year but are not scheduled to arrive here until 2010. "We are still to look at positioning though and which specific models will get the engine," she says.

Volvo is joining Volkswagen and Audi as newer hi-tech engines allow carmakers to downsize capacity to increase fuel economy and pass tougher European tax regimes on emissions. Direct-injection technology, combined with turbocharging, helps reduce engine displacement without any performance loss, but with about 20 per cent lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

First seen on the S60 concept with 1.6-litre capacity, the GTDi produces 134kW yet returns an average fuel economy figure of 5.0l/100km and C02 emissions of 119 g/km in the concept sedan. Mirabelli says the face-lifted C70 cabrio, which arrives next March, will be too early for the GTDi powerplants.

Visually, the C70 will receive Volvo's new family face, as previewed in the S60 concept earlier this year. The refreshed tin-top convertible will be launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in two weeks with the C30, S40 and V50 following later.

As the C70 shows, the range will get more angular headlights, a low-set grille, larger air intakes and repositioned foglights. The front mudguards have been redesigned to accommodate the more aggressive, wedged-shaped nose. At the back the convertible gets high-tech LED tail-lights, shared with the XC60.

Although most of the changes are external, the cabin has come in for a makeover too. The instrument panel has been redesigned, giving it a wider, sleeker look and the materials are improved to lift quality against its key German rivals.

The C70's already strong safety credentials carry over with the rollover protection system, side curtain airbags that inflate in the door, side airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners for all seats.

In Europe the C70 is available with three petrol and two turbo-diesel engines but Australia will carry over the 169kW/320Nm T5 and 125kW/230Nm 2.4i five-cylinder engines only.