Volvo's eco-friendly DRIVe: first photos and video

Published: 10 September 2008

DRIVe is Volvo’s new eco-friendly, fuel-efficient technology that will be unveiled at the Paris motor show in October 2008, and we’ll see it first on the C30, S40 and V50 1.6-litre diesel models. All of these cars achieve CO2 figures below 120g/km, which places them in the UK’s VED tax band B and, according to Volvo, makes them the most efficient cars in their respective classes. UK sales start in January 2009.

What’s the tech behind Volvo’s DRIVe?

It’s all the stuff you’ll find on every other manufacturer’s eco variants. The most significant gains have been achieved by reducing drag. All cars in the DRIVe range feature low rolling resistance tyres, fitted around fancy new diamond cut ‘Libra’ wheels.

Volvo claims these reduce air resistance by 10-15 percent. We say they look gloriously like Christmas tree decorations.

Ride heights have also been lowered by 10mm, and the C30 gets new front and rear spoliers – while the S40 and V50 keep the bodykits from their respective T5 models. Longer gear ratios reduce fuel consumption by 1.5 percent, and a gearchange indicator informs the driver of the optimal time to change gear for efficiency.

And why should I care?

It’s easy to scoff at Volvo’s DRIVe scheme, especially when nearly every other mainstream manufacturer seems to have an environmentally friendly range. But with fuel prices continuing to soar, cars like these are becoming an increasingly tempting purchase.

Headline figures are impressive, with claimed fuel economies of 64.2mpg for the C30 and 62.8mpg for the S40 and V50. And with sub-120g/km emissions across the DRIVe range, it means that these new models will only cost £35 a year to tax in the UK.

Scroll down the page to the embedded player to view Volvo’s unedited footage (no sound) of the DRIVe range

Would you buy a Volvo DRIVe model over the regular range? Click ‘Add your comment’ below and have your say