That future, in the United States at least, begins this fall, when Volvo will reintroduce a four-cylinder engine for the first time since 2004. Automotive News (subscription required) says that front-wheel-drive versions of the S60 and S80 sedans, the XC60 crossover and the XC70 wagon will be the first to appear with the new 2.0-liter engine.
Using Volvo Environmental Architecture design, the 2.0-liter engines will eventually range from 150 to 300 horsepower, though it isn’t clear where the S60, S80, XC60 and XC70 models fit on that rather broad range. Volvo is introducing the four-cylinder engine in these models since they’re based on a similar platform, but all-wheel-drive versions will retain the current drivetrain.
Volvo sees the new engines as essential to improving fuel economy and saving weight, and it believes that turbocharging can make up for lost displacement. In other words, improved fuel economy won’t come at the expense of performance and driveability.
While U.S. models will continue to be gasoline powered, the automaker is working on four-cylinder diesel variants for the European market. Volvo isn’t committing to a date, but it has said that diesel engines could be an option for U.S. customers in the future as well.