Volvo has committed its drivetrain future to four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines and varying degrees of electrification.
To that end, the Chinese-owned Swedish company has begun production of the first engine variants in the new four-cylinder family at a Volvo plant in Skövde, Sweden.
All development and production take place in-house as a vital part of the company's strategy for independence. Total control over those functions and a reduced number of engine variants will give Volvo says a great deal of flexibility in its production system.
The new VEA (Volvo Engine Architecture) engines, developed by a team of Swedish engineers, are optimized to deliver higher performance than today's six-cylinder engines, while offering lower fuel consumption than the current generation of four-cylinders.
"During the development of VEA, the starting point was our customers and what we wanted to offer them in regard to good fuel economy, low environmental impact and immense driving pleasure at an attractive price," says Derek Crabb, Volvo's vice-president of powertrain engineering.
The new engine also provides a sound base for developing future-generation technologies to achieve world-class fuel economy, he explains.
The VEA family replaces eight previous engine architectures on three different platforms. The first variants will be fitted to the Volvo S60, V60, XC60, V70, XC70 and S80 in the fall of 2013.
All versions are built on the same production line. By the end of the year the production rate will be 2000 engines a week.