[tl:gallery size=469×351]Yes, it’s still July. There’s five months and a few days of 2011 left. This hasn’t stopped Volvo launching its 2012 model range.


The headline news, certainly as far as caravanners are concerned, is the uprated D5 engine. The most powerful diesel which Volvo offers now has more power and torque than before.


We’ve tested the new D5 in the S60 saloon. With 212bhp and 324lb.ft, the revised engine makes the S60 seriously quick. Unlike some diesels, the D5 pulls cleanly even from low revs and is still accelerating hard at the top end.


What’s really impressive, though, is that this performance hasn’t been achieved at the expense of fuel economy or emissions. Volvo says the D5 is the most powerful engine on sale in the UK to emit less than 130g/km of carbon dioxide (just 124g/km for the S60 manual). Official figures promise 60.1mpg on the combined cycle.


The S60 D5 has a kerbweight of 1669kg, giving an 85% match figure of

1419kg. Its priced from £27,145. The same engine in the V60 estate costs from £28,320, or £30,100 in the V70 estate. Prices for the D5 in the XC60 SUV start from £31,250, and £31,135 in the S80 saloon.


If you don’t need the power the D5 offers, the new DRIVe versions of the S60 and V60 are cleaner still and easier on the wallet. The 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine achieves 65.7mpg and emits 114g/km of carbon dioxide, according to official figures. It has a kerbweight of 1574kg (including 75kg for the driver). However, the legal towing limit of 1300kg is rather restrictive. The S60 DRIVe is priced from £23,495. The V60 DRIVe is priced from £24,670.


Vying with the new and revised engines for top billing is the availability of four-wheel drive on the V60, priced at £1850 more than the front-wheel-drive car.


Throughout the range, equipment levels have been improved and prices have been revised. The 2012 cars are available to order now.