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Volvo reveals 450hp Drive-E Powertrain Concept

Volvo has revealed its next-generation 450hp High Performance Drive-E Powertrain Concept, which hints at the future of Volvo’s engine technology.

VOLVO HAS REVEALED details of its twin-turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder 450hp High Performance Drive-E Powertrain Concept. This new more powerful Drive-E concept is an extension of Volvo’s Drive-E Powertrain range which was introduced in 2013.

“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,” said Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President for Research and Development at Volvo Car Group.

“We knew that 320hp in our petrol configuration was just a starting point. The 450hp High Performance Drive-E Powertrain Concept, demonstrates this ambition and the versatility of the Drive-E Powertrains.”

“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.

According to a statement by Volvo, the Drive-E Powertrain Concept uses two parallel turbochargers, which are fed by an electrically powered turbo-compressor. The compressed air from this unit, rather than being fed to the cylinders, is instead used to spool up the two parallel turbochargers. Fuel is fed by a dual-fuel pump working at 250 bar pressure. “With this kind of power density, this triple boost installation and unique fuel system, enables a very dynamic drivability without any turbo lag, compared to a mono-turbo,” a statement read. As the engine concept is only being bench tested, Volvo hasn’t said what sort of fuel consumption it might return.

The High Performance Drive-E Powertrain Concept saw involvement from a raft of Volvo parts suppliers, including AVL and Denso, as well as its own Volvo Polestar Racing.

“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.


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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober