Slowly but surely, Volvo has remade its entire lineup, introducing new models and new engines including the 400 horsepower XC90 T8 plug-in hybrid. Having already crammed V6 horsepower into a 2.0 liter four-banger, the next step for Volvo is a tiny three-cylinder gas engine offering as much as 180 horsepower. Sounds like a worthy rival for Ford’s three-cylinder EcoBoost.
The new line of Drive-E engines from Volvo was designed to replace V6 engines, and so far it seems to be doing the trick with as much as 450 horsepower without any electric motor assistance. But not every Volvo needs as much horsepower, especially with the Swedish-Chinese automaker looking to offer smaller models based on its new scalable architecture.
“The beauty of the new 3-cylinder engine we are developing is that it can be built on the same production lines as our 4-cylinder engine, offering flexible production potential which can be adapted to suit business needs as we grow. This marks an important step forward for Volvo Cars. In terms of our power and efficiency, Volvo’s engineering excellence will shine through with the Drive-E 3-cylinder engine,” says Dr. Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research & Development.
One of the first models earmarked for the new turbocharged three-cylinder is the V60, though there are no doubt other applications in the future for this efficient fuel sipper. Volvo says this new engine targets Euro 7 emissions compliance, and I don’t doubt it’s been built with an eye towards a possible hybrid applications in the not-too-distant future.