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Volvo jumps on green brand bandwagon

Date: 09 September 2008   |   Author: Hugh Hunston

Volvo aims to strengthen its fleet presence from January with specific Drive eco-branded sub-121g/km versions of the C30, S40 and V50 - all capable of more than 60mpg.

With Volvo outlining a price premium of between £122 and £366, depending on model and country, fleets are likely to take the bulk of the variants' UK sales. Ford charges £250 extra for its Econetic Mondeo and Focus.

The Drive trio is powered by a modified 109PS, 1.6-litre diesel engine that contributes to CO2 ratings of 115g/km for the C30 and 118g/km for both the S40 and V50.

The package of technical and aerodynamic measures results in combined fuel economy figures of 64.7mpg for the coupe and 62.7mpg for the saloon and estate car.

Volvo claims the emission figures for the S40 and V50 place them at the top of their respective sectors' low CO2 leagues.

Volvo's lowest CO2 models incorporate optimised engine management and cooling systems, lowered suspensions, altered gear ratios, revised aerodynamics, low resistance tyres and lower friction transmission oil.

Despite claiming the high ground on environmental and safety fronts Volvo is late in embracing the specific green branding trend, which includes Ford's Econetic, BMW's Efficient Dynamics, Fiat's Eco, Skoda's Greenline, Vauxhall's Ecoflex and VW's Bluemotion.

It is not known how many cars out of the 20,000 European Drive models production schedule will come to the UK.