Volvo is adding a powerful 180bhp version of its new generation, 2.4-litre D5 turbodiesel to the V50 Sportswagon range.

The new five-cylinder, 2.4-litre, 180bhp D5 turbodiesel will join the existing four-cylinder, 136bhp 2.0D, currently the most popular model in the V50 Sportswagon range, to provide a choice of two powerful turbodiesels for the UK’s continuing strong demand for diesel flexibility and economy.

The combination of the higher performance of the larger 2.4-litre D5 engine in the Volvo V50’s Sportswagon bodyshell will make it an attractive and competitive alternative to other premium diesel rivals, such as the Audi A4 Avant 2.5TDI (161bhp) and the ubiquitous BMW 3-Series touring 320D (163bhp). This 180bhp version of the D5 engine will also become available in the all new Volvo C70 coupe/convertible in summer 2006, and will also be extremely competitive against the diesel-powered soft-tops from Audi and BMW.

“The Volvo V50 D5 is very competitive in the premium sector for compact diesel cars,” says Peter Ewerstrand, Volvo Car Corporation project manager. “The engine’s high performance and the body’s torsional rigidity, together with the widely acclaimed chassis, result in a wonderful driving experience with the emphasis on power, control and comfort,” Peter continued.

The D5 engine is derived from Volvo’s second generation, Euro IV compliant D5 (and 2.4D) engines introduced to the S60 saloon, V70 estate, XC70 AWD and XC90 AWD models earlier this year, but in order to fit the five-cylinder engine into a smaller engine compartment, the entire engine installation and most of the ancillaries have been altered, and the manifold and turbocharger have, for example, been integrated into one single unit.

An electronically controlled turbocharger and an advanced injection system for efficient combustion result in smooth performance delivery and masses of torque (350Nm), with low emissions and high fuel economy. The Volvo V50 D5 will initially be available with a five-speed geartronic transmission, which according to preliminary performance figures is capable of 0-62mph in 8.8 seconds. A manual version will follow in 2007.

Full details, including prices and specifications, are due to be announced in spring 2006, with the first cars arriving in June/July.