Volvo introducing new downsized 4-cylinder engine range, with fuel economy improvements up to 35%; hybrid and flywheel drive systems
5 September 2011
The Volvo Car Corporation is introducing a new, downsized engine range consisting solely of four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines. The upcoming four-cylinder VEA (Volvo Environmental Architecture) engine range includes common rail diesels and direct injected gasoline engines. It covers the range from high-power and -torque variants to fuel-efficient derivatives.
The new VEA engines reduce the number of unique parts by 60%. The new powertrains are also up to 90 kg lighter than the present ones and fuel economy is improved by up to 35%.
It’s time to stop counting cylinders. At the Frankfurt Motor Show we will reveal a new concept car. It proves that downsized engines can go hand in hand with our customers’ expectations on luxury and driving pleasure.
Our four-cylinder focus is the perfect way for us to quickly reduce CO2 emissions and fuel consumption. We will develop four-cylinder engines with higher performance than today’s six-cylinder units and lower fuel consumption than the current four-cylinder generation.—Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development at the Volvo Car Corporation
Modularity and compact transverse design are also ideal for future electrification developments. To cover all customer requirements, certain engines will gain added performance via hybrid or other spearhead technology, such as flywheel drive. (Earlier post.)
Later this autumn, the Volvo Car Corporation will become one of the first car makers in the world to test the potential of flywheel drive on public roads. The KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) captures braking energy in a flywheel that spins at up to 60,000 revs a minute. Once released, this stored energy can either accelerate the car or propel the vehicle once it reaches cruising speed.
The flywheel system offers the driver an additional 80 horsepower while reducing fuel consumption by up to 20%, according to Mertens.
Scalable Platform Architecture. The Volvo Car Corporation will promote economies of scale within the company’s own model range via a new vehicle architecture: SPA (Scalable Platform Architecture). SPA allows most Volvo models to be built on the same production line irrespective of vehicle size and complexity.
In addition to the industrial benefits of common vehicle architecture there are also significant product-related advantages; upcoming SPA models will be 100-150 kg lighter than current models of the same size.
The new architecture also enables electrification at all levels, and new chassis technologies combined with the lower weight and improved weight distribution will boost driving dynamics. The electrical architecture is the backbone of the company’s drive to reinforce its leading position in active safety.
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