At the Paris motor show
next month Volvo will launch a range of cars with low carbon dioxide emissions thanks to a variety of economy enhancing measures. Identified by the 'DRIVe' emblem the frugal models will reach the UK in early 2009.
The range consists of a C30 SportsCoupé, S40 Saloon and V50 Sportswagon. All three models fall into the UK's sub 120g/km band for Vehicle Excise Duty and should return over 60mpg.
Volvo has pursued economy by paying attention to a variety of energy-sapping details. Most obvious are the changes to the body and suspension; the DRIVe models sit 10mm lower on distinctive, flush-faced "Libra" wheels reducing aerodynamic drag. Other aerodynamic aids include blanking off the radiator grille on all models, under body panels for the C30 and front and rear spoilers for the S40 and V50.
The latest energy-saving Michelin tyres are likely to pass unnoticed as is the thinner oil lubricating the five-speed transmission. Other transmission changes are higher third, fourth and fifth gears and a gear change indicator in the instrument cluster. Even the cooling system has been optimised in the search for extra miles per gallon.
According to the manufacturer's claims all three models achieve best in class CO2
emissions. The C30 returns 64.2mpg and 115g/km while the S40 and V50 manage 62.8mpg and 118g/km. On a motorway cruise 76.3mpg is claimed to be possible although the steady speed needed to attain this figure was not stated.
The DRIVe range will be offered across Europe at a premium over the normal 1.6-litre diesel models. Prices and specifications for the will be announced closer to the start of production in mid-November. Sales are due to start in January and all models will be on display at the Paris International Motor Show in early October.
John Lambert - 10 Sep 2008