Having launched its new generation of Drive-E engines in four-cylinder format, Volvo is now working to develop three-cylinder engines sharing the modular, 0.5-liter cylinder design. The new three-cylinder engines, which accordingly will displace 1.5 liters, will appear in Volvo’s new range of compact cars being developed with Volvo’s Chinese parent company Geely, as well as the next-generation S60 and V60.

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“The development program for the new three-cylinder engine is very advanced and we have already begun prototype testing of the unit,” Volvo R&D chief Peter Mertens said in a statement. “We have learned a lot from the development of our four-cylinder Drive-E engines and translated this into a highly responsive, compact and powerful premium-quality three-cylinder engine.”

Volvo is predicting outputs ranging up to 180 horsepower for the new three-cylinder engines, which will come in both gasoline and diesel flavors. The most potent units will be fitted with turbocharging and we may eventually see the engines used in combination with hybrid systems or perhaps even as range-extenders for electric cars.

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The first application for the new engines will likely be the next S60 and V60, as these are due before the arrival of Volvo’s new range of compact cars. The new compact cars will ride on a modular platform dubbed CMA and are expected to include a S40 sedan, V40 hatchback and XC40 compact crossover.


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