Volvo product boss confirms four-cylinder future with electrification, all-wheel drive and twincharging the icing on the cake...
Volvo has confirmed it will pursue an exclusively four-cylinder future and introduce its own version of twincharger technology as it strives to survive as a standalone manufacturer.
Product and vehicle line boss for the brand, Lex Kerssemakers, delivered a glimpse into the Swedish brand's blueprint for the future to motoring.com.au at last week's Geneva motor show. He said the company would launch the first of its new Volvo designed four-cylinder engines within two years and at around the same time seek to phase out existing five and six-cylinder engines, as well as other carryover powerplants.
According to Kerssemakers, Volvo will offer a range of four-cylinder powerplants and introduce its own version of twincharger technology. Though Volkswagen has grabbed the limelight with this combination of supercharger and turbocharger (on the same engine), Volvo pioneered the technology with its KAD series marine diesel engines two decades ago.
Kerssemakers hinted that this hi-tech solution would find its way into the largest Volvos. Electrification will also be used to augment the performance of four-cylinder powerplants in vehicles such as the next generation XC90 and S80.
"We start the launch of the four-cylinder turbos within the next two years and then, depending a little bit on, on regulations and on demands, we will phase out the [five and] six-cylinders.
"We see some hurdles to take about driving performance [for larger cars] but we are very comfortable, especially on the petrol side... Very comfortable.
"[With] this four-cylinder turbo technology -- turbo high-end, compressor at the low end -- you can create very good driving performance," he opined.
Though the new engines are Volvo designed and built, the company is still looking for alliances, he says. Even though the brand is seeking to grow output from 450,000 to 800,000 units per annum (half of which will come from China), an appropriate alliance (or alliances) is seen as key to the brand's survival.
"We have announced already that we are looking for alliances -- strategic partners for the C-platform in the future, and for potentially smaller drivetrains. So like everybody else in the automotive industry, we’ll talk to people and explore opportunities," Kerssemakers stated.