Future Volvos Powered By Turbocharged Modular 4-Cylinders

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
future volvos powered by turbocharged modular 4 cylinders

Amid Volvo’s announcement of a plug-in hybrid for markets besides diesel-loving Europe came another tidbit about the lone Swedish brand’s future direction. Rather than 5, 6 or 8 cylinder engines like years past, Volvo will be downsizing, much like BMW – and using modular engines to boot, much like their Bavarian rivals.

While Volvo’s plans weren’t articulated as well as BMW’s modular engines, the 4-cylinder will not only form the core of Volvo’s lineup, but a 3-cylinder version is possible. Each cylinder will be 500 cc’s by itself, and use a variety of turbochargers to attain various power levels. Volvo is also claiming that fuel economy will be 30 percent better than their current engines without any sacrifice in performance. Good news, considering that the XC60, which offers a punchy T6 engine that can move the XC60 and S60 sedan down the road pretty well (as much as 325 horsepower and 350 lb-ft depending on trim level), but also offers V8 fuel consumption, returning an EPA rated 19/25mpg.

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  • NormSV650 NormSV650 on Jan 06, 2012

    Teens to mid-20's for fuel economy in a small turbo? I hope that's the worst as it gets with an XC with awd and fully equipped Thule.

  • Swedishiron Swedishiron on Jan 06, 2012

    Volvo hasn't implemented Direct Injection yet (DI engines generally get better fuel economy) and Mercedes took a while to do it too. There have been some serious concerns of durability issues due to heavy fuel dilution of oils in DI engines causing premature break down of even the best synthetic oils. Of course cost of implementing DI is a major factor too. However the lower maintenance cost and generally purchase price of a Volvo will make up for the superior fuel economy you might get in a VAG product, BMW or Mercedes. If you plan on keeping your car long term a Direct Injection engine may not be what you want.

    • See 1 previous
    • Wmba Wmba on Jan 07, 2012

      @wmba Edit to add that crankcase ventilation air oil separation is as important as treating exhaust gas recirculation. Both streams get fed back into the intake manifold, and both are addressed in new engine designs. There are literally dozens of SAE papers on these twin subjects, so no excuse for engine designers to hide behind.

  • Detlump Detlump on Jan 06, 2012

    How premature is the oil dilution? Would it mark a return to 3K oil changes? Or even less? I am glad Volvo is finally trying to improve MPG, it has been a long time coming. Still it would be nice to get a Volvo diesel here in the US. It seems a natural to me, those great seats and diesel range, 18 gallon tank - please Volvo just do it!

  • HerrKaLeun HerrKaLeun on Jan 07, 2012

    every time they claim 30% fuel efficiency improvement, I want to see the actual MPG numbers in a real car.