The CO2 emissions of Volvo’s S40 and V50 DRIVe models have been cut to 99g/km thanks to a raft of new updates.
A 99g/km Volvo estate is a significant achievement. The V50 may not be the largest Volvo wagon, but it is the most practical vehicle from any brand to yet crack the magic 100g/km threshold – meaning free car tax and, if all goes to plan, London congestion charge exemption next year as well.
This latest V50 DRIVe estate variant and platform partner S40 DRIVe saloon have both shed 5g/km CO2 compared to the previous 104g/km versions; this in turn was an improvement over the original 119g/km DRIVe models, introduced in 2008 at the Paris Motor Show.
DRIVe models have auto start-stop
The newest developments come through further fettling of the 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine, along with automatic start-stop technology and the introduction of a six-speed manual gearbox.
As well as low CO2 emissions, this results in combined fuel economy of up to 74mpg – according to official EU testing.
Volvo is presently lobbying London Mayor Boris Johnson to have the current congestion charge exemption rules changed. Volvo wants to see every vehicle emitting under 100g/km CO2 given free passage throughout the nation’s capital – regardless of fuel or drivetrain type. At present, many hybrid vehicles exempt from the congestion charge emit far more than 99g/km CO2, while genuine low CO2 crusaders such as these Volvos are forced to pay full price.
New S40 and V50 to appear in Paris
When the new DRIVe Volvo S40 and V50 go on sale – most likely early next year – they will join the existing C30 DRIVe, which already emits 99g/km CO2, and four other Volvos that emit less than 120g/km.
Full pricing, performance and specification details to follow. The new cars will be among Volvo’s star attractions at this year’s Paris Motor Show.