Engine downsizing has become the name of the game, and at next week's Frankfurt Motor Show, Volvo will reveal its new smaller diesel and petrol engines - in an all-new concept car.
The Chinese-owned Swedish carmaker's new Volvo Environmental Architecture (VEA) focuses on four-cylinder engines, combined with direct injection for petrol engines and common-rail for its diesel powerplants.
Peter Mertens, Volvo's R&D boss, said the new engines have been developed to significantly improve the carmaker's average fuel consumption and to lower carbon emissions.
Each engine has also been designed with hybrid applications in mind - which it will need to power larger models, including a future flagship based on the Concept Universe design study (pictured above).
"We will develop four-cylinder engines with higher performance than today’s six-cylinder units and lower fuel consumption than the current four-cylinder generation," Mertens said.
"It's a bold step to restrict ourselves to four cylinders, but it gives us huge freedom and opportunities in achieving our CO2 targets," he said.
Designed for front-wheel and all-wheel-drive use, the VEA engines will weigh up to 90kg less than Volvo's current engines, and will reduce the number of unique parts by a huge 60 percent.
The new engines will be boosted by a kinetic energy recovery system, which Volvo will begin testing later this year. According to Mertens, the system has the potential to offer an additonal 60kW, while cutting fuel consumption by up to 20 percent.
While one of the new engines will drive Volvo's Frankfurt concept, underpinning it will be a new modular architecture dubbed Scalable Platform Architecture. The new platform will replace the brand's current Ford co-developed platforms.
As with the almost universal platforms underpinning the latest Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen Group models, Volvo's new platform will accommodate many types of vehicles, from small and large sedans to SUVs and sports models.
Watch for more details to come out of Frankfurt next week.