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Volvo drives three-cylinder push

Coming soon: Volvo has revealed its new-generation three-cylinder Drive-E engine which will make up to 135kW and power the Swedish car-maker’s new compact models, starting with the next V40 and later the XC40 SUV (Volvo XC Coupe concept shown).

Next-gen three-cylinder unit that could power XC40 has been revealed by Volvo

15 Dec 2014

VOLVO has announced that it is developing a three-cylinder petrol unit to power its future compact models as a part of its new-generation Drive-E powertrain program of efficient high-output engines.

The powerplant will have broad range of performance levels and produce up to 135kW, with Volvo Car Group senior vice president research and development Peter Mertens confirming that development work had entered the final stages.

“The development program for the new three-cylinder engine is very advanced and we have already begun prototype testing of the unit,” he said.

Volvo powertrain vice president Michael Fleiss said the powerplant has benefited from the technology and experience gained from the development of the four-cylinder Drive-E engines that will power the new XC90 SUV.

Mr Fleiss added that while it is intended for cars built on Volvo’s new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform, its flexibility could see it in larger vehicles.

“We have learned a lot from the development of our four-cylinder Drive-E engines and translated this into a highly responsive, compact and powerful premium-quality three-cylinder engine,” he said.

“The engine is being developed primarily with our new CMA architecture in mind but will also provide power for our 60 Series cars thanks to Volvo’s advanced turbo technologies, while also meeting Euro 7 emission targets.”

Volvo’s CMA platform has been develop with its Chinese parent company Geely and will first replace the underpinnings of the V40 hatch before being used across new models including the future XC40 compact SUV.

Dr Mertens said a manufacturing advantage of the new three-cylinder unit is that it can be assembled on the same line as other engines.

“The beauty of the new three-cylinder engine we are developing is that it can be built on the same production lines as our four-cylinder engine, offering flexible production potential which can be adapted to suit business needs as we grow,’ he said.

“This marks an important step forward for Volvo Cars. In terms of our power and efficiency, Volvo’s engineering excellence will shine through with the Drive-E three-cylinder engine.”

Volvo started its roll-out of four-cylinder Drive-E engines in Australia earlier this year with the S60 sedan, V60 wagon and XC60 SUV the first to offer the new small capacity fuel-efficient powerplants.

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