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Volvo has begun slashing emissions across its model range by ditching its existing engines in favour of cleaner and more economical four-cylinder units.
The V60 estate tested here?and the S60 (its four-door upper medium equivalent) are the first models to get the Swedish firm's new diesel and petrol engines - both 2.0-litre four-cylinders wearing the Drive-e banner - which will gradually form the bulk of available units in the range.
Power will range from 120hp to 300hp depending on the variant, and new eight-speed automatic gearboxes, launched with the latest engines, or revised six-speed manuals will be available.
Over the next three years, the four-cylinder engines will be rolled out across the company's entire model range, with the intention of dragging down emissions and boosting economy even further. They also offer weight-saving and packaging advantages.
The move isn't just about lowering CO2, though. A lot of Volvo's current engines are supplied by other manufacturers, such as Ford, whereas the latest suite of engines are built in-house, so it's a more cost-effective move for the company in the long run.
Similar to Volkswagen's TSI engines, the petrol unit uses a turbocharger and a supercharger to improve low-speed pulling power, while the diesel is a twin-turbo affair and has a trick new injection system (the first of its kind according to Volvo), which monitors the amount of fuel sent to each cylinder.
Even more frugal is the fact that the petrol and diesel versions of the new 2.0-litre unit have what Volvo calls a "common" features, so there's minimal work involved to convert it between the two fuel types.
To top it all off, the engines have even been designed with future hybrid versions in mind, and, put simply, they can have an electric motor bolted onto them with minimal fuss to create a ready-made hybrid variant.
BusinessCar tested a 181hp 2.0-litre automatic V60 D4 SE. To drive, it proved responsive and refined, while in other aspects it is unchanged from the outgoing model, with neutral handling, plenty of grip and a comfortable ride. The only small negative was that the power sometimes arrived with a slight surge when moving off from rest.
Outside, the V60 has received a subtle cosmetic re-working, and now features a broader grill and a new bonnet. Inside, the interior maintains Volvo's trademark minimalist class, adding nothing more than some extra front seat support.
The firm's less-is-more approach doesn't extend to P11D values, though, which have increased slightly with the advent of the new engines.
Volvo V60 D4 SE Bus. Ed. Geartronic
Model price range
Service, maintenance and repair
Vehicle Excise Duty
Cost per mile
BIK 20/40% per month
Boot space min/max
Useful efficiency gains for an already clean estate car.