Volvo has unveiled its new range of DRIVe models with increased performance and CO2 emissions. All three models are equipped with a special set of efficiency-enhancing features and marked with the DRIVe emblem to signal their uprated environmental credentials. Production of these new models has already started and they are the next step in Volvo Car's environmental vision of "DRIVe Towards Zero".
The DRIVe models use the same upgraded 1.6 diesel engine available in the D2 but with a number of electronic, mechanical and aerodynamic modifications. The modifications help improve the CO2 emissions and fuel economy from 114g/km to 99g/km and 65.7mpg to 74.3mpg respectively.
"We've cut another five grams of CO2 compared with the previous 104g/km versions of DRIVe. This means that the C30, the S40 and the V50 are at the very top of their respective segments in terms of fuel economy," says Paul Welander, acting Senior Vice President Product Development at Volvo Cars.
"Developments have proceeded swiftly since we presented our first three 119 gram models in Paris in autumn 2008. The fact that we will soon have seven models (C30, S40, V50, S60, V60, V70 and S80) below 120 g/km, and three with emissions below 100 grams, shows that few of our competitors can beat us in the drive towards increasingly eco-efficient cars," he concluded.
These reductions have been brought about by meticulously analysing each of the cars potential for more efficient, more economical driving. Three areas were identified which were:
1. Reduced air resistance:
2. Lower rolling resistance:
3. More efficient driveline:
These changes have meant that Volvo can now offer the V50 as the largest and most versatile sub-100g/km estate car currently on sale in the UK.
The DRIVe models are available on the road from £18,905 for the C30, £21,045 for the S40 and £22,425 on the for the V50 in ES specification. On the road prices for the top SE Lux specification start from £21,890 for the C30, £24,035 for the S40 and £25,515 for the V50.
Volvo's DRIVe badge is attached to those models that deliver the best environmental performance in their respective size classes. In addition to the Volvo C30, S40 and V50, these will be joined by DRIVe derivatives of the new S60 and V60 and also the V70 and S80 models, available in mid-2011.
The DRIVe range has been commended by many publications and has received 2009's Green Car of the Year from What Car? for the S40 DRIVe with Start/Stop and the Green Car of the Year 2009 from TheGreenCarWebsite.co.uk for the C30 DRIVe with Start/Stop.
In the UK, these further DRIVe enhancements take on added significance as Volvo Car UK continues its Emissions Equality campaign, which has already been successful in persuading London Mayor Boris Johnson to reconsider the pricing structure for the Congestion Charge Zone.
Under the previous rules, hybrid models were exempted from the Charge despite some models having significantly higher CO2 emissions than some petrol and diesel models - a situation Volvo Car UK believed to be unfair. With the new 2011 legislation, all vehicles with emissions under 100g/km are exempted from the charge. The C30, S40 and V50 DRIVe now all qualify for Congestion Charge exemption under these new rules, saving London-based owners more than £2,500 per year.
Volvo Cars' commitment to environmental care extends beyond increasing fuel economy and driving down CO2 emissions. With its' Emission Equality Campaign, Volvo Car UK is campaigning for an automotive air pollutants environmental label to sit alongside the already established CO2 label displayed in new and used car showrooms.
This is in addition to the set-up of an Emissions Equality Think Tank to put air quality to the forefront of peoples' minds on a continued basis and also the already launched iPhone application that gives information on complete emissions of any vehicle to properly inform new/used vehicle purchasers.
Volvo Cars is also investigating range extenders, hybrids and full battery propulsion. A V70 featuring plug-in hybrid technology has already been shown along with a C30 DRIVe Electric. A V60 plug-in hybrid diesel is due for launch in 2012.
NB: Pricing, performance and economy data for each model can be found in the included price lists.
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