Volvo to Phase in Three and Four Cylinder Engines Over the Next Decade
Volvo announced that it would be switching over to three and four cylinder engines across its entire model range instead of five and six cylinder variants in an attempt to increase fuel economy. The company plans to phase in the new engines over the next decade with the four-cylinders introduced within the next two years itself. We hear that the engines will borrow the “twincharger” technology pioneered by Volvo’s KAD marine diesel engines some 20 years ago.
A good example of this cylinder downsize strategy is Ford’s Ecoboost engines which have been quite successful as they offer equivalent power to competitors motors with less cylinders. As Volvo’s product and vehicle line chief, Lex Kerssemakers, explained to CarSales, Volvo’s twincharger design uses a supercharger to boost power at low engine speeds, coupled with a turbocharger to boost power at higher engine speeds. The net result is relatively seamless acceleration, or “very good driving performance,” as Kerssemakers calls it.
Expect to see twincharging along with the electrification of Volvo’s largest vehicles the S80 sedan or its XC90 crossover. Whether the vehicles would benefit from mild hybrid or full hybrid drivetrains is yet to be revealed.