The existing Volvo C30, S40 and V50 models will all benefit from a Start/Stop system.
This means CO2 emissions of just 104g/km for the Volvo C30, and 107g/km for the S40 and V50 – down from an already impressive 115g/km and 118g/km for the current Volvo DRIVe cars.
As for fuel economy, the 1.6D engine will now return 72.4mpg in the C30 and 70.6mpg in the S40 and V50. The brand new third generation Toyota Prius can do no better – although that does use petrol rather than diesel.
More controversially, this 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine also makes its way into DRIVe versions of the V70 estate and forthcoming facelifted S80 saloon.
With a slightly different state of tune (if the same 109bhp / 240Nm of torque) and the usual eco modifications, this will bring both these big cars down to just 129g/km CO2, with an accompanying 57.6mpg. Highly commendable.
However, performance figures are yet to be revealed – and Car Dealer does wonder how such a small engine will cope with all that mass.
Volvo has also announced DRIVe versions of the XC60 SUV and XC70 lifestyle estate.
These use a special version of Volvo’s venerable 175bhp 2.4D turbodiesel plus front-wheel drive instead of four-wheel drive to achieve 159g/km CO2 and 47.1mpg.
This makes the XC60 the first premium SUV to drop below the 160g/km ‘Writing Down Allowance’ threshold for company car drivers, which comes into effect 1 April.
Pricing details for all these DRIVe Volvos will be confirmed closer to launch. They make their public debut at the Geneva Motor Show next week.
By CJ Hubbard