Volvo Cars’ New Drive-E Powertrains – Efficient Driving Pleasure With World-first Technologies


GOTHENBURG, Sweden, August 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Volvo Cars’ new Drive-E range of powertrains takes efficient driving pleasure to a new dimension in which the number of cylinders is no longer important to describe power and drivability.

“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,” says Derek Crabb, Vice President Powertrain Engineering at Volvo Car Group.

Drive-E diesels will range from 120 to 230 hp. Petrol versions will start at 140 hp and go all the way up to 300-plus hp.

Several levels of turbo charging open up the flexibility to cover the whole range, from fuel-efficient derivatives through to high power and torque variants. In order to cover all customer requirements, some engines will also gain added performance via electrification or other spearhead technology.

Three DRIVE-E engines
Initially, the new S60, V60 and XC60 will be available with three engines from the new engine family: the 306 hp petrol turbo T6, the 245 hp T5 and the turbo diesel D4 with 181 hp. A new 8-speed automatic gearbox contributes to a refined drive and excellent fuel economy. The T5 and the D4 are also available in the new Volvo V70, XC70 and S80.

New eight-speed automatic gearbox
To deliver the desired responsive, smooth and fuel-efficient drivability, the engines are teamed either with a new eight-speed automatic gearbox or an enhanced six-speed manual, tuned for improved fuel economy.

“The sophisticated Drive-E technologies give the customer high performance, improved fuel economy, considerably lower emissions and a powerful sound character. Our four-cylinder engines will offer higher performance than today’s six-cylinder units and lower fuel consumption than the current four-cylinder generation,” says Derek Crabb.

He adds: “If you take a four-cylinder Drive-E engine versus any six-cylinder engine, there’s a massive weight and size reduction for the same power. Fuel economy savings are anything from 10 to 30 per cent, depending on which engine you’re comparing it to.”

Petrol engine with compressor and turbo
Using the supercharger to fill in the bottom end torque gives the petrol engine a big, naturally aspirated feel. The mechanically linked compressor starts to function immediately at low revs, while the turbocharger kicks in when the airflow builds up.

Other improvements to the Drive-E petrol engines include friction-reduction measures such as ball bearings on the camshaft, high-speed continuous variable valve timing and intelligent heat management with a fully variable electric water pump.

Prepared for electrification
The Drive-E engines are prepared for future electrification from the start. Key components, such as the Integrated Starter Generator, can be connected easily – and the compact size of the four-cylinder engines means that the electric motor can be fitted in the front or rear of the vehicle. The battery pack will be located in the centre of the car.