Volvo unveils 456 PS Drive-E petrol engine

Volvo unveils 456 PS Drive-E petrol engine image

Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: Volvo | posted October 08, 2014 08:26

Uses Triple Boost Technology on a four-cylinder engine

Volvo's commitment to fuel efficiency without sacrificing performance is clearly evident in this latest revelation, a 2.0L four-cylinder Drive-E gas engine with a 456 PS output.

Leading the way in technical innovation and cutting-edge engineering, Volvo’s powertrain team builds on the success of the Drive-E engine by implementing emission-reducing turbo technology in this latest project.

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“When we launched the Drive-E powertrain family, our aim was to deliver the most advanced 4-cylinder engines in the industry based on emissions and fuel consumption relative to performance and drivability. We knew that 320 hp in our petrol configuration was just a starting point. The 450 hp High Performance Drive-E Powertrain Concept, demonstrates this ambition and the versatility of the Drive-E Powertrains,” says Dr. Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President for Research and Development at Volvo Car Group.

Volvo’s 2.0L four-cylinder Drive-E gas engine achieves an output of 456 PS using technologies not usually found in a four-cylinder engine.  It uses two parallel turbochargers that is fed by an electrically powered turbo-compressor.  The compressed air is then used to spool up the two parallel turbochargers while fuel is funneled by a dual fuel pump operating at 250 bar pressure.  The power density attained using the triple boost and fuel system allows for maximum performance without any turbo lag.

“There are several high power small size applications where one large turbo is used to create a high level of power available from other manufacturers, but the driving experience suffers due to slow engine response. We felt that with our heritage of being among the first car companies to embrace and offer a broad range of turbo technology since 1981, that we could improve this,” says Michael Fleiss, Vice President of Powertrain Engineering at Volvo Car Group.

The High Performance Drive-E Powertrain Concept attracted the attention and involvement of Volvo Cars suppliers AVL, Denso and Volvo Polestar Racing at an early stage, which allowed theories and technologies from racing applications to be infused in the development process.

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“This was a very exciting project as we pioneered a combination of technologies in the same application, and the result is a quite unique engine with its high power yet quick response. Above all, its compact size improves weight distribution between the front and rear axle and lowers the center of gravity - two factors that have a significant effect on the handling, whether it is a race car or a street car,” said Mattias Evensson, Race Engine Director at Volvo Polestar Racing.

“It may sound odd, but this 450 hp powertrain concept is an important part of the Drive-E development program. Down-sizing must offer customers attractive and usable power for broad scale emissions reduction to work. Compact powertrains free up space and weight in the structure of the car, which can be used for electrification and even further emissions reduction. And that is our ultimate ambition,” concludes Dr. Mertens.