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New Volvo engine family is ready for electric drive

Developed under the Volvo Engine Architecture (VEA) moniker, Drive-E engines are based on a capacity of 500cc per cylinder and share key components such as fuel injection systems to reduce cost.

The carmaker said this will allow 60% fewer unique parts to be used, while power outputs will be varied by different levels of turbocharging rather than larger-capacity units. Its first four-cylinder diesels will offer between 120 and 230bhp, while petrols will range from 140 to over 300bhp, all available with a new eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual gearbox.

Further power increases will be offered by electrification. The Drive-E units are designed to have starter/generator motors connected easily, and are compact enough that other electric components can be fitted under the bonnet or at the rear axle for future hybrid and plug-in hybrid models.

‘We have created smaller, more intelligent engines with power curves that give exciting driveability compared with engines with more cylinders yet deliver the fuel economy of only four cylinders. In addition, by adding electrification such as plug-in hybrid technology, we will reach power figures in the V8 territory,’ said Derek Crabb, vice president powertrain engineering at Volvo Car Group (pictured).

Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.

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