Volvo has started production of its new Volvo Engine Architecture (VEA) powertrains this week, with the range destined for a role in nearly all of the carmaker's model lines.
Announded at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, the VEA range will include a number of petrol and diesel four-cylinder engines, and a new three-cylinder engine will debut in the future.
Volvo remains quiet on the specifics of the new engines, although it confirmed earlier this year that the diesel units will feature a world-first system known as i-ART.
The technology sees a pressure sensor fitted to each fuel injector, rather than the sole unit used by existing common-rail diesel systems, enabling more accurate metering of fuel delivery to each cylinder.
"Increasing the rail pressure to an exceptionally high 2,500 Bar, while adding the i-ART technology, can be described as the second step in the diesel revolution," Volvo powertrain boss Derek Crabb said.
The technology promises improvements to fuel economy and emissions, along with boosted outputs and a “powerful sound character".
Aside from the i-ART common-rail diesel versions, petrol VEA engines will use direct injection. All are designed to be paired with electric motors and, down the road, a new kinetic energy recovery system.
Varying levels of turbocharging will spread the VEA engines’ capabilities across mainstream and performance models, and will continue the trend of downsized capacities.
"Our four-cylinder engines will offer higher performance than today's six-cylinder units and lower fuel consumption than the current four-cylinder generation,” Mr Crabb added.
“On top of that, electrification will bring us up into power figures in today's V8-territory."
Volvo is yet to specify capacities or which models will benefit first from the new engines and transmission, but the next generation XC90 SUV in 2014 is likely.
The new engines will eventually be joined by a new KERS project still in development, and Volvo says the technology could grace four-cylinder engines with big six-cylinder power, while cutting fuel consumption by a hefty 25 percent.
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