Volvo develops first ever three-cylinder engine

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Volvo Cars has detailed its new three-cylinder powertrain. The all-new Drive-E unit will debut in the XC40 compact SUV and is the first of its kind in the company’s 91-year history.

The 1.5 liter, direct-injection gasoline engine was developed in-house using the same modular design as Volvo’s four-cylinder Drive-E engines and is bolted to a 6-speed transmission. An optional 8-speed transmission is expected to follow in 2019.

With the new engine designed for integration into Twin Engine plug-in hybrid cars, a hybridized system as well as a pure electric powertrain option for the XC40 will be added later in the year.

“Our new three-cylinder engine is an exciting development for the XC40 and for Volvo Cars in general,” said Alexander Petrofski, senior director at Volvo Cars. “This compact engine design provides the flexibility we need as we introduce more powertrain options for XC40 customers.”

In line with Volvo Cars’s strategy to continue improving economies of scale, the engine will roll off the same production lines as the company’s four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines.

Volvo’s current D3 150hp diesel and T4 190hp petrol engines are also available to broaden the XC40 engine offering.

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Sam joined the UKi Media & Events automotive team in 2017. Having started out as assistant editor for a number of titles including Engine + Powertrain Technology International, Automotive Testing Technology International and Professional Motorsport World, he was appointed editor of E+PTI in 2020. Sam produces content for both the magazine and website.

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