Volvo has released technical details of its new Drive-E range of engines, promising four-cylinder economy with six- or eight-cylinder power.
The Drive-E engine range consists of just two four-cylinder engines – one petrol, one diesel, both 2.0 litre – that are considered flexible enough to replace eight engine architectures on three platforms.
At the heart of the new design is Volvo’s “i-Art” linear engine-combustion technology in the diesel, with a small computer mounted in the top of each diesel injector. Volvo even claims that it sounds better.
The most powerful petrol engine combines a compressor and a turbocharger, while adding friction-reduction measures such as ball bearings on the camshaft, high-speed continuous variable valve timing and a fully variable electric water pump.
Volvo says both engines are prepared for future electrification, with a compact engine design and key components hybrid-ready.
Three Drive-E engine options will debut in Europe during the Australian Spring, with the petrol options dubbed the T5 and T6 while the single diesel option is called D4.
The T6 will produce 228kW, the T5 makes 182kW while the D4 is good for 135kW. The engines will initially power the new S60, V60 and XC60 range, and are accompanied by a new eight-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual.
Volvo’s new V70, XC70 and S80 will also be available with T5 or D4 power. In future models, variable levels of turbocharging mean the engines can range from 104kW to more than 228kW in the petrol and around 90kW to 170kW in the diesel.
“We have created smaller, more intelligent engines with power curves that give exciting driveability compared with engines with more cylinders, yet deliver the fuel economy of only four cylinders,” Volvo’s Derek Crabb said.
“In addition, by adding electrification such as plug-in hybrid technology, we will reach power figures in the V8 territory.”
Fuel economy improvements for the Drive-E engine verses an equivalent six-cylinder engine are expected to be between 10 and 30 percent.
Volvo Australia says the local roll-out schedule for the new Drive-E engines will be confirmed “in due course”.