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September 5, 2011, 8:25 pm
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Volvo announced today that it plans to reveal a new concept car at
next week's Frankfurt Motor show. This new study, pictures of which
have not yet been released, will highlight the Swedish company’s new
downsized engine range, which will feature only four-cylinder
gasoline and diesel engines.
“It’s time to stop counting cylinders”, said Volvo’s Senior Vice
President for Research and Development, Peter Martens. “The concept
we will reveal at Frankfurt proves that downsized engines can go hand
in hand with our customers’ expectations on luxury and driving
The new modular Volvo Environmental Architecture (VEA) four-cylinder
engine range features direct injection for its gasoline and common
rail for its diesel variants. According to Martens, the new engines
are ideal for hybrid applications and will reduce fuel consumption
and CO2 emissions without sacrificing performance.
“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," said Martens.
Volvo claims that the VEA range, which is designed for transverse
applications, will reduce the number of unique engine parts by an
impressive 60%. It will also be up to 90 kg (198 pounds) lighter than
the current range and improve fuel consumption by up to 35%.
Later this autumn Volvo will also test the Kinetic Energy Recovering
System, which captures braking energy that would otherwise be
dissipated as heat and power a flywheel that spins at up to 60,000
rpm. This system that is already used in Formula 1 will “offer the
driver an additional 80HP while reducing fuel consumption by up to
20%," according to Martens.
Last, but not least, Volvo announced that it is developing a new model
range that will be based on a new, modular structure called Scalable
Platform Architecture (current Volvo models are based on previous
owner’s Ford platforms) that will also be 100-150 kg (220-330 pounds)
lighter than current models.
The SPA architecture will allow the company to base most of its new
models on the same modular platform, thus achieving significant cuts
in development, tooling and manufacturing costs. And, as Martens
claims, “along with the new engine range, will enable us to be on par
or even beat our toughest competitors in driving dynamics and fuel
The new engines and platform will also benefit future models looks as
the company’s head of design, Peter Horbury, said that the Frankfurt
concept will be “a great example of what we can achieve with the new
architecture and engines.”