Volvo Car's latest step in its 'drive towards zero' emissions strategy is the launch of an automatic gearbox option in four Volvo DRIVe models - the S60 DRIVe, V60 DRIVe, V70 DRIVe and the S80 DRIVe.
For the first time, these models can now be ordered with Volvo's powershift dual-clutch automatic gearbox. And Volvo tells us that buyers of these cars will not compromise on environmental care or economy as the automatic gearboxed cars deliver similar fuel economy and emissions as the class-leading manual boxed variants.
"For the first time ever, we have managed to bring the fuel consumption in variants with an automatic gearbox down to the same level as in the manual versions. An impressive achievement by our powertrain experts," says Peter Mertens, senior vice president of research and development at the Volvo Car Corporation.
Fuel consumption for a combined cycle and CO2 emissions is similar for the V60, V70 and S80 DRIVe automatic models at 4.5l/ 00km (62.8mpg ) and 119g/km.
The Volvo S60 DRIVe automatic goes a little better with a return of 4.3l/100km (65.7mpg ) and 114g/km. And with all variants at sub 120g of CO2, they fall into the lowest band for both VRT and road tax in Ireland.
The low consumption and emission levels are the result of a number of technological improvements such as reducing friction between gearbox components; modifying the engine and gearbox software; the start/stop system cuts off the diesel engine when the car is still rolling (below 3mph ); and finally, all electrical systems have been optimised to create lower energy consumption.
The S60, V60, V70 and S80 DRIVe models are all fitted with Volvo's latest four cylinder, eight valve, 1.6-litre turbo diesel engine, delivering low CO2 while still delivering a healthy 115bhp and 270Nm of torque.
Volvo tells us the DRIVe powershift production is starting about now (mid-February ), and can be ordered from dealers. Prices (excluding delivery and related dealer charges ) start at €34,764 for the S60 DRIVe, €36,797 for the V60 DRIVe, €40,654 for the V70 DRIVe and €37,605 for the S80 DRIVe.
David Baddeley, managing director of Volvo Car Ireland, told the Advertiser: "We expect the addition of the automatic gearbox to be of significant interest to both customers and potential customers, providing the luxury of automatic with the high efficiency and low CO2 demanded by our customers today.”