Volvo has built its last diesel car: no depression about farewell to compression-ignition

David Linklater
  • Sign in required

    Please sign in to your account to add a vehicle to favourite

  • Share this article

This is the last-ever diesel Volvo, coming off the line in Torslanda, Sweden.

This is the last-ever diesel Volvo, coming off the line in Torslanda, Sweden.

Volvo announced it would be done with diesel cars at Climate Week in New York City in September 2023, and now it's happened: the maker's plant in Torslanda, Sweden, has just produced its last diesel-powered passenger vehicle, an XC90 SUV.

Volvo's plant in Ghent, Belgium, finished with diesel back in February: its last was a V60 sedan.

Volvo XC90.
Diesle has from hero to zero for Volvo in just five years - as it has for many European makers.

The company says it's a watershed moment: "In recent years, the electric revolution has evolved quicker than most of us could have imagined – and it’s largely propelled by tightening regulations around tailpipe emissions, as well as customer demand in response to the climate crisis and a desire for cleaner urban air.

"Only five years ago, the diesel engine was our bread and butter in Europe, just like it was for most other car makers. The majority of the cars we sold in Europe in 2019 ran on diesel, while electric models were just starting to gain traction."

Today, most Volvo sales on the Continent are electrified cars (which includes hybrids). Last year, sales of fully electric Volvos increased by 70 per cent. Diesels have been absent from Volvo New Zealand's lineup for some time.

Volvo's diesel milestones


Volvo 244 GL D6.
Sixy as: now-classic 1979 244 with diesel power.


1979: Volvo introduces its first-ever diesel car: the 244 GL D6. It's the world’s first six-cylinder diesel engine for passenger cars.


Volvo V70.
Turn-of-the-century V70 featured Volvo's first in-house diesel.


2001. The V70 introduces Volvo's first self-built diesel engine. This five-cylinder, manufactured at the Volvo powertrain plant in Skövde, Sweden, will eventually power many Volvo cars across Europe. It’s made in several different versions and is even on the racetrack in a car called the S60 Challenge. Volvo Penta also uses it as a base for a marine engine.

2008. The Drive-E lineup features small, efficient 1.6-litre diesel engines. Some can go 1300km on a single tank, and emission levels are so low that they get classified as "green engines" in Sweden. 


Volvo V60 D6.
Diesel-electric and it's not even a train: 2012 V60 D6 PHEV.


2012. The V60 D6 is the world’s first plug-in hybrid fitted with a diesel engine. Depending on the driving mode, it can go as far as 50km on electric power, with total range of up to 1000km.

2013. Volvo Engine Architecture (VEA) is the company's second's bespoke diesel engine family. The new engines are used in a variety of models and become a success in the second-generation XC90. They live on until the end, powering the very last diesel-powered V60 and XC90 models.

2023. Volvo farewells combustion engines by selling its stake in Aurobay, the combustion engine joint-venture company it has with parent company Geely Holding.

Keep up to date with DRIVEN Car Guide

Sign up for the latest news, reviews, our favourite cars and more.

By signing up for this newsletter, you agree to NZME's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.