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Volvo’s new Drive-E powertrains to launch this autumn

The first three engines from Volvo’s two-liter, four-cylinder Drive-E powertrain family will be launched in autumn 2013.
The whole Drive-E engine range, which during the development phase was called Volvo Engine Architecture (VEA), consists of two four-cylinder engines, one common rail diesel and one direct-injected gasoline version. They replace eight engine architectures on three platforms. Drive-E diesels will range from 121ps to 233ps. Gasoline versions will start at 142ps and go all the way up to 300+ ps.
Initially, the new S60, V60 and XC60 FWD, will be available with the first diesel engine from the Drive-E family, the new D4, with 183ps. The S60 and V60 will also be joined by a new T6 engine, with 310ps powering the front wheels. Both engines will be available with a new eight-speed automatic gearbox. Volvo Cars' powertrain engineers have developed the engines in-house at Volvo’s high-tech engine plant in Skövde, Sweden. The engines are teamed either with a new eight-speed automatic gearbox or an enhanced six-speed manual, tuned for improved fuel economy.
"Our four-cylinder engines will offer higher performance than today's six-cylinder units and lower fuel consumption than the current four-cylinder generation," said Derek Crabb, vice president of powertrain engineering at Volvo. "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%, depending on which engine you're comparing it to."
The diesels feature world-first i-Art technology. By featuring pressure feedback from each fuel injector instead of using a traditional single pressure sensor in the common rail, i-Art makes it possible to continuously monitor and adapt fuel injection per combustion in each of the four cylinders. Each injector has a small computer on top of it that monitors injection pressure. Using this information, the self-adapting i-Art system makes sure that the ideal amount of fuel is injected during each combustion cycle.
The diesels also feature state-of-the-art twin-turbo, reduced friction and a smart valve solution on the cooling system for a more rapid heat-up phase after a cold start. According to Volvo, a supercharger is used to fill in the bottom end torque to give the gasoline engine a 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 gasoline 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.
The Drive-E engines are also prepared for future electrification. 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 center of the car.

22 August 2013


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