Volvo has further reduced the emissions of its DRIVe S40 saloon and V50 estate cars from 104 g/km to just 99 g/km CO2.
The previous 104 g/km emissions figure was impressive as it was, but the further 5 g/km drop to 99 g/km CO2 is excellent for a saloon, and especially for an estate, of this size. It certainly safeguards Volvo V50’s position as the largest sub-100 g/km estate car currently on sale in the UK.
The S40 and V50 DRIVe estate , along with the C30 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 to cut CO2 emissions from 104 g/km to 99 g/km.
The changes also mean that the S40 saloon and V50 estate both return 74 mpg, and they benefit from road tax exemption, as well as lower Benefit in Kind tax bills for company car drivers.
In the UK, the changes take on added significance as Volvo 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 cars are exempt from the charge despite some hybrid models having significantly higher CO2 emissions than many petrol and diesel models – a situation Volvo believes is unfair. Proposed new legislation could see all vehicles with emissions under 100 g/km exempted from the charge from January 2011. The C30, S40 and 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, S40 and 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 S60 and V60 models.