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Future models - Volvo - C30 - 1.6D DRIVe

First look: Volvo eco brand DRIVes efficiency

Carbon copy: Volvo is following in the footsteps of its German rivals by creating a green sub-brand.

Lower consumption and emissions are at the heart of Volvo's DRIVe sub-brand

16 Sep 2008

VOLVO CARS has jumped on the clean-diesel bandwagon with the announcement of its DRIVe range of clean, frugal models.

Following in the footsteps of Mercedes’ Bluetec, Volkswagen’s Bluemotion and BMW’s Efficient Dynamics, the Ford-owned Swede will roll out DRIVe in Europe by the end of the year.

Volvo hopes DRIVe owners will score special parking, congestion or tax break concessions offered in 13 different European countries at the moment.

Initially, the models in question will be the C30, S40 and V50 small-car range, and are based on the C30 Efficiency concept previewed at last September’s Frankfurt motor show.

The most efficient model is said to use just 4.4 litres per 100 kilometres of fuel (a 0.5L/100km improvement at cruising speeds) and emit only 115 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre, thanks to improved aerodynamics, the implementation of less rolling resistant tyres, optimised gear ratios for third, fourth and fifth, and better mechanical efficiency.

18 center imageTop to bottom: Volvo C30, S40, and V50 1.6D DRIVe.

Included in the latter is a 1.6-litre common-rail four-cylinder turbo-diesel unit with modified engine cooling and transmission oil, as well as power steering and engine management system alterations, while a gear change indicator aims to assist drivers in achieving more frugal driving techniques.

Freer air flow results from a ride height slammed down by 10mm, revised grille, air dam, wheels and underbody treatments, special wind deflectors ahead of the front wheels, and a different rear spoiler and bumper for the C30, while the others gain a rear spoiler from upper-spec variations.

On the C30 DRIVe, careful highway cruising can drop that figure down to 3.7L/100km.

"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 CO2/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 President and CEO, Fredrik Arp.

Meanwhile, particulate filter traps are now fitted to all Volvo diesels, snaring up to 95 per cent of all soot particles.

Volvo's other European environmental initiatives include bio-ethanol engines, as well as on-going hybrid technology research and development.

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