Volvo Car UK has launched revised DRIVe versions of the Volvo S40 saloon and Volvo V50 estate, complete with Start/Stop technology, that reduces CO2 emissions to just 99g/km. The revisions reduce the CO2 emissions of the Volvo S40 and Volvo V50 by a further 5g/km and mean they now join the Volvo C30 DRIVe under the 100g/km threshold.
The changes make the Volvo V50 the largest and most versatile sub-100g/km estate car currently on sale in the UK, while both models benefit from road tax exemption and fuel economy of up to 74mpg. The new models are also good news for company car drivers, who can enjoy a premium vehicle while lowering their Benefit in Kind tax bills.
In the UK, the changes take on added significance as Volvo Car UK continues its Emissions Equality campaign, which has already been successful in getting London Mayor Boris Johnson to reconsider the pricing structure for the Congestion Charge Zone.
Under the current rules, hybrid models are exempted from the Charge despite having significantly higher CO2 emissions than some petrol and diesel models - a situation Volvo Car UK believes is unfair. Proposed new legislation could see all vehicles with emissions under 100g/km exempted from the charge from January 2011. The Volvo C30, Volvo S40 and Volvo V50 DRIVe would all qualify for Congestion Charge exemption under the new rules, saving London-based owners more than £2,000 per year.
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, Volvo S40 and Volvo V50 there are currently another two models with CO2 emissions below 120 g/km: the Volvo V70 (119g) and Volvo S80 (119g). In early 2011, these will be joined by DRIVe derivatives of the new Volvo S60 and Volvo V60 models.
The Volvo C30, Volvo S40 and Volvo V50 DRIVe are the first three models with the upgraded 1.6-litre diesel engine to meet the Euro 5 exhaust emission regulations being implemented in January 2011. The further-developed engine combined with a six-speed manual gearbox and start/stop function have made it possible for Volvo's engine experts to cut CO2 emissions from 104 g/km to 99 g/km.
"We've cut another five grams compared with the previous version. This means that both the S40 and the V50 are at the very top of their respective segments in terms of fuel economy," says Magnus Jonsson, 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 below 120 g/km, and three with emissions below one hundred grams, shows that few of our competitors can beat us in the drive towards increasingly eco-efficient cars," he concluded.
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