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Volvos get new engine and gearbox

  • Twin-clutch auto keeps CO2 down and improves MPG
  • Will be fitted to S60, V60, V70 and S80 DRIVe
  • New T3 petrol engine will emit 135g/km of CO2

A number of Volvo models are set to be offered with a new automatic gearbox and a new petrol engine to further improve economy and emissions.

Until now, if you wanted a low-CO2, economical Volvo you’d have to buy a manual car. However, the Swedish firm has announced an all-new dual-clutch automatic gearbox, which will offer the same emissions and economy as the manual model, when coupled with a diesel engine.

Available on the S60, V60, V70 and S80 models, the ‘Powershift’ gearbox changes between gears extremely quickly and enables the ultra-efficient DRIVe range to keep emissions low.

There is a manual mode which is operated by the gear selector if required, but no sporty paddle shift for the green-focused DRIVe models.

Each of the cars uses Volvo’s 1.6-litre diesel engine for the best efficiency. The S60 will return 65.7mpg and emits 114g/km of CO2. The estate version, the V60, returns exactly the same fuel economy and CO2 emissions as the V70 and S80. All three cars are capable of 62.8mpg on the combined cycle while emitting 119g/km.

For company car drivers the net result is BIK taxation of 13%.

In other news, the company is also offering a 1.6-litre ‘T3’ petrol engine that emits 135g/km of CO2. The 148bhp unit is available in both S60 and V60 models, and on the S60 will achieve a combined fuel economy of 49mpg.

"Keeping the CO2 emissions below 140 grams is essential since this is a level used by many fleet customers. We have managed to do this in the T3 version through a number of small, significant improvements. We have also optimised the gearbox gearing for maximum fuel efficiency without losing the engine characteristics," says Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development at the Volvo Car Corporation.

The T3 engine can also be ordered with the Powershift automatic, meaning the S60 will return 39.8mpg and 164g/km of CO2. The numbers are higher than the manual car since there’s no stop/start, brake energy regeneration and other DRIVe technology.

The new T3 engine will be available to order in early 2012, with the first deliveries starting in April.