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Volvo to kill six-cylinder engines, develop new platform [video]

New concept headed for Frankfurt

To cope with increasing environmental pressures, Volvo has announced plans to axe their six-cylinder engines.

This will probably raise a few eyebrows, but the company says their future engine lineup will consist exclusively of four-cylinder petrol and diesel powerplants. According to Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President of Research and Development, "It's time to stop counting cylinders."

As part of the initiative, Volvo will introduce a new range of VEA (Volvo Environmental Architecture) engines which promise to be lighter (up to 90 kg / 198 lbs), more powerful and up to 35% more fuel efficient than the current six-cylinder units.

Additionally, the automaker will develop a new SPA (Scalable Platform Architecture) platform. It will underpin a variety of models and allow the vehicles to weigh approximately 100-150 kg (220-330 lbs) less than the cars they replace.

Volvo will provide additional information at the Frankfurt Motor Show, where they will unveil a new concept which rides on the SPA platform.

Source: Volvo

Volvo Car Corporation's world-class technology initiative: New downsized engine range - without compromising luxury or driving pleasure

The Volvo Car Corporation is taking 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's 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 customers' expectations on luxury and driving pleasure," says Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development at the Volvo Car Corporation.

The Volvo Car Corporation's upcoming four-cylinder VEA (Volvo Environmental Architecture) engine range 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 reduce the number of unique parts by 60 percent. The new powertrains are also up to 90 kg lighter than the present ones and fuel economy is improved by up to 35 percent.

Pioneering flywheel technology
Modularity and compact transverse design are 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, the Volvo Car Corporation will become one of the first car makers in the world to test the potential of flywheel drive 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, this stored energy can either 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
The 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 fuel economy," 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. The Volvo Car Corporation will take the lead in automotive lightweight design with upcoming SPA models being 100-150 kg lighter than current models of the same size.
The new architecture enables electrification at all levels - and new chassis technologies combined with the lower weight and improved weight distribution will boost driving dynamics. The electrical architecture is the backbone of the company's drive to reinforce its leading position in active safety.

Promoting exciting design
The new concept car unveiled next week in Frankfurt also shows that SPA offers the 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," relates Peter Horbury, Vice President Design at the Volvo Car Corporation.

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Comments (11)

Grey
What an idiot thank god they canned him! the T6 is the best engine in Volvo's arsenal. A recycled ceo from VW will only do what he does best, create another mediocre econobox brand yeeesh evil be gone!
Aug 31, 2013 1:24 am
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sensei
The Volvo guys sounds just like the computer in an old Red vs Blue series. Anyone know how small a manufacturer has to be to be exempt from the stricter regulations?
Sep 9, 2011 10:06 am
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stickshifter
if they saved at least the 5 cylinder engines....
Sep 7, 2011 5:57 am
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AG4
The Volvo 5-cylinder engines are being replaced by 4-cylinder engines (Ford EcoBoost engines rebadged as GDTi) for the same reason.
Sep 7, 2011 6:34 am
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Douglas6250
lol gotta love your comment "angry vacuum cleaner" !! Your right though !!
Sep 6, 2011 11:32 pm
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droid_dtm
I'm all for downsizing in the interest of economy and environmental gains, but can't help but think what its going to do to the 'soul' of future cars. Engine acoustical drama is gonna be a thing of the past, unless new methodologies are adopted... like 1.6 litre V8 engine for instance, or a 1.4 litre inline 5. I wonder if any manufacturers are looking into the feasibility of such units. Here's hoping
Sep 6, 2011 4:53 pm
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benz_man
I forgot what supplier it was, but the VW group is investing heavily with them in "electronic mufflers" and sound reproduction systems to counter the downsizing trends only casualty, which you so wonderfully labeled "acoustic drama". I've never personally heard these devices, but I did view an acoustic wave form and the 4-cyl engine pulses were manipulated to match the pulses of the 8-cyl wave form. It seemed pretty trick.
Sep 6, 2011 5:45 pm
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shaahinmt
a v8 with small displace ment would be a foul economi disaster because the mass of the moving parts + extra 4 cylinder ring friction would be a drag on the engine and it wouldn't even sound like a 350 chevy but more like a angry vacuum cleaner.
Sep 6, 2011 5:56 pm
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pzigly
um..... f1 cars do not sound like angry vac cleaners and they have small displacement enngines lol.
Sep 7, 2011 2:35 pm
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shaahinmt
we are talking about production cars sir. F1 engines are useful only at hi RPMs because of the way they are timed and cammed. the cylinder head design of a 99% of normal cast engine heads would not allow flow past 7000 rpm while most F1 engines run at between 2 to 3 times that number. a race engine sounds nothing like a production car. please gather data before posting comments.
Sep 7, 2011 11:27 pm
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pzigly
If uve ever listened to an f1 car u dont hear the roar of a v8 like in a mustang or a vette. You hear the loud noise of a percision machine because the engine is small. For a regular car that has a low displacement but 8 cylinders the sound would be like a precision machine also. obviously not like a f1 car but certainly not like a vacuum cleaner
Sep 8, 2011 1:43 am
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