Volvo has announced revised DRIVe variants of its and V70 estate models – the first large premium executive cars to emit less than 120g/km of CO2.
For the latest news and deals, click here to sign up to the Which? Car email
DRIVe is Volvo’s green brand, and the new DRIVe and V70 DRIVe models return 62.8mpg combined, according to official EU testing cycles, and emit just 119g/km CO2 – meaning owners will pay only £35 a year in road tax.
Like getting a free tank of fuel
The economy and emissions figures are particularly impressive for cars that compete in the same class as the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, and .
Existing DRIVe versions of the S80 and V70 emit 129g/km CO2, and Volvo calculates that the new cars will save an average of 150 kilograms of CO2 over the course of a year.
Fuel consumption savings should be in the region of 60 litres for the same period, apparently – the equivalent of a free tankful.
1.6 diesel power – enough?
Both cars are powered by a 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine, similar to that in the and other DRIVe Volvos.
It produces 107bhp and 177lb ft of torque (pulling power) – enough to propel these big, heavy executive vehicles from 0-60mph in as little as 11.7 seconds, and on to a top speed of 118mph (12.1 seconds for 0-60mph in the V70).
Volvo claims they do not feel at all sluggish, in spite of the small-engine, very-big-car combination.
The improvements in efficiency are chiefly brought about by intelligent battery recharging, which sees the alternator do the charging only when the engine is under light load, as well as low friction drive belt technology for the alternator and the air conditioning.
The Volvo S80 and V70 DRIVe models are available in SE, SE Premium, SE Lux and SE Lux Premium specifications – so there are no compromises in equipment levels.
Extensive range of eco-friendly cars
Volvo Cars President and CEO, Stephen Odell, said: ‘There has been a swift pace of development since the launch of our first 119g/km models in Paris in autumn 2008. Now that we have brought two of the large models in below the magical 120g/km limit, few of our competitors can match us when it comes to offering customers as extensive range of low emission cars.’
You can bet, however, that BMW for one won’t be far behind. The German manufacturer already produces a 320d EfficientDynamics saloon that emits just 109g/km CO2 and returns 68.9mpg combined.
Pricing for the new Volvo S80 and V70 DRIVe models will be announced soon.
Follow Which? Car on Twitter
The Which? Car team is on Twitter, to offer you help and advice as and when you need it.
We’re monitoring our Twitter account every day, so if you have an account, please send us you thoughts and questions to @whichcar.
Don’t worry if you haven’t got a Twitter account – you can still stay in the loop by regularly checking www.twitter.com/whichcar.