Volvo is the latest brand to launch a low-CO2 sub-brand with under-120g/km diesel versions of the C30, S40 and V50 will be shown at in Paris next month ahead of a mid-November production start.


All three are equipped with efficiency-enhancing features and branded ‘DRIVe’.


The new 1.6-litre diesel models will offer outstanding fuel consumption of up to 64.2mpg (European test cycle) for the C30 and 62.8mpg for the S40 and V50, with UK annual road tax band B CO2 output of 115g/km for the C30 and 118g/km for the S40 and V50.


“These new low emissions mean that the Volvo C30 and V50 offer best-in-class CO2 in their segments,” Volvo said.


“We wanted to demonstrate that low CO2 ratings are not solely the preserve of small diesel cars. By offering the Volvo V50 with emission levels below 120g/km, we are also making it possible for families and other customers who require extra space to make an active pro-environmental choice,” said Volvo Cars’ soon-to-depart president and CEO Fredrik Arp.


The cars have reduced air resistance with ride height lowered 10mm, a front spoiler on the S40 and V50,  a covered radiator grille with wind-deflecting panel behind that provides better aerodynamics inside the engine compartment, wind deflectors in front of the front wheels to steer the airflow and aerodynamically optimised wheels with a unique ‘libra’ rim with diamond cut finish and large unobstructed area that goes all the way out to the tyre to make the rim look considerable larger than it actually is. The total drag reduction of 10-15% is due to the design of the rim.


The C30 also has underbody panels for more efficient airflow and a new rear bumper.


All the cars are equipped with a new generation of Michelin tyres with low rolling resistance and longer third, fourth and fifth gears for a 1.5% reduction in fuel consumption without affecting driveability.


Driveline changes include optimised engine cooling, engine management and power steering and a new transmission oil which creates much lower friction. A gearchange indicator is included in the information display.


“Changing the transmission oil gives us a 0.75% lower fuel consumption. Tyres with low rolling resistance save another 2%. Each of these measures may seem rather modest, but it is important to look at the whole picture. Taken together, all the small adjustments have helped us achieve our aim, with emissions below 120g/km for all three cars, without in any way compromising on either driving properties or comfort, which was an important requirement,” said Volvo’s R&D chief Magnus Jonsson.


“We will offer our diesel-powered DRIVe cars throughout Europe, even in countries that today do not offer any form of financial incentive. We are doing this to give everyone the opportunity to choose a pro-environmental alternative from Volvo,” added Arp.


Volvo expects to sell over 20,000 1.6D DRIVe cars next year in Europe. Sales are expected to spread fairly uniformly throughout the region, with France, Sweden and Spain accounting for most sales due to particularly favourable terms offered to buyers in these countries.


The price supplement for the DRIVe package is estimated at between EUR150 and EUR450 depending on model and market. The DRIVe cars can be specified with most of the options and accessories that Volvo offer, apart from those that affect the cars’ aerodynamic properties.


Volvo also offers a flexifuel range of five car models and three bioethanol engines.