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Volvo Cars well along with 3-cylinder gasoline engine development program; prototype testing underway

Volvo Car’s 3-cylinder gasoline engine. Click to enlarge.

Volvo Cars confirmed its production program to develop a lightweight 3-cylinder Drive-E gasoline engine. The engine, wholly developed in Sweden, will join the company’s 4-cylinder Drive-E engines (earlier post). “The development program for the new 3-cylinder engine is very advanced and we have already begun prototype testing of the unit,” said Dr. Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Car Group.

Volvo has a long history of developing its own unique 6-, 5- and 4-cylinder engines and in-house expertise. (Volvo has been developing its own powertrain solutions since the company was founded in 1927.) The move to include a 3-cylinder in Volvo’s engine program is a natural next step in its downsizing strategy, the company said.

Volvo Cars’ new three-cylinder engine. Click to enlarge.

We have learned a lot from the development of our 4-cylinder Drive-E engines and translated this into a highly responsive, compact and powerful premium-quality 3-cylinder engine. 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.

—Michael Fleiss, Vice President Powertrain at Volvo Car Group

The new Drive-E 3-cylinder engine is designed to support several different applications, in-line with the demand for a real-world blend of performance and efficiency.

The beauty of the new 3-cylinder engine we are developing is that it can be built on the same production lines as our 4-cylinder engine, offering flexible production potential which can be adapted to suit business needs as we grow. 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 3-cylinder engine.

—Peter Mertens

The 4-cylinder Drive-E Powertrains launched in 2013; the 4-cylinder Drive-E engines are used as the base of the new Volvo Twin Engine plug-in hybrid electric powertrain.



Not so long ago, most everybody wanted a 400+ cc, V-8 and some with more $$ bought V-10 and V-12.

Yesterday, many downsized to V-6 and more and more to 4 cyls.

Today we are proposed 3-cyls improved units.

At that rate, 1 and 2 cyls units will be proposed in the very near future.

The next step will be BEVs with zero cyl?

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