The Swedish automaker, now controlled by China’s Geely, is in its own renaissance age today – both in terms of models and technology. And at the forefront of the company’s engine future lies a pint-sized three-cylinder unit.
Although just a prototype today, the new unit is already being intensely developed and tested at the company’s test track in Gothenburg, Sweden. And, with the next generation of the V40 compact being readied for global sales – including in the United States – the three-cylinder is set to star as the company’s response to the aggressive US corporate fuel economy and European Euro 7 emissions requirements set for 2020. The small engine is, according to Peter Martens, Volvo’s vice president of research and development, on track to support the company’s strive to meet the goals without the need to add costly technologies, such as plug in hybrid or electric powertrains.
Owned today by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, Volvo is trying to reinvent itself with the aid of an $11 billion investment levied by the new corporate parent. The company has decided to set aside any plans for engines larger than a four-cylinder and wants to meet all efficiency and emissions requirements globally only through the further development of conventional gasoline and diesel powertrains.