Volvo’s new Compact Modular Architecture is specifically designed for the company’s T5 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrain. The T5 uses Volvo’s new 1.5-liter 3 cylinder gas engine coupled to a new 7 speed dual clutch transmission. It also has a 74 horsepower electric motor and a 9.7 kWh battery. The company thinks the T5 system could replace diesel engines in its lineup in coming years.
Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson says, “It is a very attractive alternative to a diesel engine. It offers much lower CO2 levels but more or less the same performance in both horsepower and torque. On cost, I would say that within a couple of years, we will see a crossover point with the diesel getting more expensive and the [hybrid system] going down.”
Asked if diesel cars will still be on sale in 10 years, Samuelsson replied, “Diesels will be more expensive. They will have much more advanced after-treatment, with additional fluids that have to be filled not once a year but probably every time you fill the car.”
While diesels are still viewed favorably by European drivers because of their fuel economy, European regulators are ratcheting up emissions standards in the coming years. Diesel engines will have a tougher time meeting those standards without expensive new technology. Also, the perception about diesels is changing, thanks to the blizzard of negative publicity that followed in the wake of the Volkswagen diesel emissions cheating scandal that broke into the news almost a year ago.
The T5 powertrain will be used for the first time in the new plug-in XC40 which is scheduled to do on sale in 2017. It will have lower emissions than previous diesel offerings while providing similar performance at a competitive price. Volvo expects that tougher diesel emissions standards and the availability of new plug-in hybrids will lower the manufacturer’s diesel output significantly over time. Volvo may offer the T5 package in other vehicles in its 40 series model lineup as well.
Source: Inside EVs Photo credit: Volvo