Volvo Says Less Can Be More When It Comes to Engine Size +VIDEO
New downsized engine range – without compromising luxury or driving pleasure
GOTHENBURG - September 6, 2011: Volvo Car Corporation takes the next step towards zero emissions and climate impact through a new, downsized engine range – consisting solely of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. “It is 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 customer’s expectations on luxury and driving pleasure,“ says Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development at the Volvo Car Corporation.
Volvo Car Corporation’s upcoming four-cylinder engine range VEA (Volvo Environmental Architecture) includes common rail diesels and direct injected petrol engines. It covers the whole range from high power and torque variants to fuel-efficient derivatives. “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,” continues Peter Mertens. The new VEA engines reduces the number of unique parts is reduced with 60 percent. The new power trains are also up to 90 kg lighter than the present ones and fuel economy is improved by up to 35 percent.
Watch the Volvo VNR
Pioneering flywheel technology
The modularity and compact transverse design is 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. Later this autumn, for instance, Volvo Car Corporation will become one of the first carmakers in the world to test the potential of flywheels on public roads. The so-called KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) captures braking energy in a flywheel that spins at up to 60,000 revs a minute. Once released again, the stored energy can 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 percent,” says Peter Mertens.
Competing with the best
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. “We’re taking our technological future into our own hands. Both our new architecture and the new engine range will enable us to be on par or even beat our toughest competitors in crucial areas such as driving dynamics and attention to detail,” says Peter Mertens.
Volvo takes the lead in lightweight design
In addition to the industrial benefits of common vehicle architecture there are also significant product related advantages. Volvo Car Corporation will take the lead in automotive lightweight design with upcoming SPA models being 100-150 kg lighter than present models of the same size. The new architecture enables electrification on all levels – and new chassis technologies combined with the lower weight and improved weight distribution will boost driving dynamics. The electrical architecture becomes the backbone in the company’s efforts to reinforce the leading position in active safety.
Promoting exciting design
The new concept car shown next week in Frankfurt also shows that SPA gives Volvo Car Corporation’s design team greater freedom to give forthcoming Volvo models more exciting looks. “The new architecture means we can sharpen our design language, carving out just the right athletic and dynamic aura that is so important to the most demanding prestige car buyers. The Frankfurt concept car is a great example of what we can achieve with the new architecture,” Peter Horbury, Vice President Design at Volvo Car Corporation.
See Volvo's beautiful new luxury concept, Pt. 1