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Volvo Introduces C30, S40 and V50 1.6D DRIVe Models with Lower Fuel Consumption

Volvo’s 1.6D DRIVe models.

At the upcoming Paris Motor Show in early October, Volvo Cars will introduce new diesel variants of the C30, S40 and V50 models with fuel consumption of 4.4 liters/100 km (53.5 mpg US) (C30) or 4.5 liters/100 km (52 mpg US) (S40 and V50). The corresponding CO2 figures of 115 and 118 g/km give the C30 and V50 best-in-class CO2 emissions in their segments. All three models are equipped with a special set of efficiency-enhancing features and marked with the DRIVe emblem to signal their uprated environmental properties.

The DRIVe models are based on the Volvo C30 Efficiency concept car that was shown at the Frankfurt motor show in October 2007. (Earlier post.) The measures adopted to reduce CO2 emissions that were presented then will be in production before the end of the year in the C30, S40 and the V50.

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 120 g CO2/km, we are also making it possible for families and other customers who require extra space to make an active pro-environmental choice.

—Volvo Cars President and CEO Fredrik Arp

The cars were optimized within four distinct areas:

  • Reduced air resistance. Measures taken include lowering the chassis height by about 10 mm; using a front spoiler, as on the T5 (S40 and V50); a covered radiator grill with a wind-deflecting panel; wind deflectors in front of the front wheels; aerodynamically optimized wheels; underbody panels for more efficient airflow under the car (C30); a new rear spoiler for the C30; and a new rear bumper for the C30.

  • Lower rolling resistance. All the cars are equipped as standard with a new generation of Michelin tires with low rolling resistance. Available for 15 and 16 inch wheels.

  • Higher ratios. Gearbox with altered ratios for third, fourth and fifth gears.

  • More efficient driveline. Optimized engine cooling, engine management and power steering; new transmission oil with lower friction; and a gearchange indicator in the information display.

Changing the transmission oil gives us a 0.75 percent lower fuel consumption. Tires with low rolling resistance save another two percent. 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 120 g/km for all three cars. Without in any way compromising on either driving properties or comfort, which was an important requirement.

—Magnus Jonsson, Senior Vice President, Research & Development at Volvo Cars

Volvo’s DRIVe cars are all certified according to the mandatory European NEDC standard. In addition, the Volvo C30 has excelled in the ECO test, which carries out even more comprehensive measurements of CO2 and particulate emissions. This certification process relies on stars and points, in a similar way to the EuroNCAP programme for safety. The independent ECO test places the Volvo C30 at the top of its size category, with four stars and 76 points in the overall assessment of the car’s total environmental performance.

All new diesel models from Volvo are also fitted with a maintenance-free particle filter that traps about 95 percent of all soot particles.

Volvo will sell the DRIVe cars throughout Europe, and expects to sell more than 20,000 1.6D DRIVe cars next year. Sales are expected to spread fairly uniformly throughout the region, with France, Sweden and Spain accounting for most sales.

The price supplement for the DRIVe package is estimated at between €150 - 450 (US$212 - 635) depending on model and market. The DRIVe cars can be specified with most of the options and accessories that Volvo offers, apart from those that affect the cars’ aerodynamic properties.



It is amazing to see how many simple minor but cumulatively important changes can get over 50 mpg for less than $600.

If all other car manufacturers would do the same, it would be an important first step towards liquid fuel consumption reduction.


I notice that one of those changes was lowering chassis height. I have to wonder about the impact of that for older drivers whose physical condition (stiff joints, arthritis, etc.) makes physical bending and maneuvering difficult. Might be fine for younger drivers but with an aging population (at least here in the states) I wonder if some solutions are truly doable from an ergonomic standpoint.


Larry, lowering the chassis by 10mm ~2/5 of an inch is not going to make that much of a difference for elderly people.

I would think these elderly people who have mobility issues probably should NOT be driving anyways. It seems at least once every two weeks we read about an older driver plowing into a building, person at a cross walk, or through an intersection because the vehicle "just went by itself and wouldn't stop" but you never hear of younger drivers having the same issues (nor is there ever any mechanical issues found with the older drivers' vehicles)


About the ergonomics. The question is not age but size.

Many older people are fat. Big people + small car = bad.

Neglecting excess weight older people will be smaller than young people. Often they can move very ably and quickly. But they choose not to because the medical consequences of bumps and strains are serious.

Older drivers who think the car "just went by itself and wouldn't stop" aren't necessarily lying. They were confused or couldn't react quickly and the vehicle did seem to go by itself.

Where I live drivers over 75 must pass driving tests every year. That seems about right to me, maybe even a little lower. We will never see a risk free world.

Come again, 4.4 liters/100 km is amazing, nothing in the US bar a prius even comes close.


Meh, my car (Seat Toledo, powered by VW 1.9l diesel) consumes about 4.5l/100 km too on the highway at 90 km/h and about 4.8l/100km in regular driving if I'm using hypermiling techniques and my mife isn't nagging about speeding up at times.


Come again, 4.4 liters/100 km is amazing, nothing in the US bar a prius even comes close.

My car has 143 hp and is rated at 4.5 l/100km (52 mpg US).
That's my personal performance/economy sweet spot. Many people will love those Volvos though. The same (PSA developed) engine can be found in the Mini Cooper D, with a rating of 3.9 l/100km.

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