Volvo Going On All Fours: Cylinders, That Is

September 21st, 2011

Volvo You concept

One of my early posts as a CarGuru was about the possibility of outlawing the V8 engine.

Naturally the post was met with outrage and ridicule. How dare I even suggest that V8 engines are mostly overkill and wasteful and only needed in commercial-grade trucks? That was even before the advent of Ford’s EcoBoost and other mass turbo technology that has further rendered most V8 engines obsolete.

Of course, if it were my decision, I would reserve the right to allow V8s in such cars as the Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro. Some traditions you just don’t mess with!

The future of Volvo?

Volvo, according to Automotive News, is going a step further than banning V8 engines and will use nothing bigger than a 4-cylinder in upcoming vehicles…

Within the next 10 years, and beginning as soon as 2013, the Swedish automaker plans to eliminate all engines bigger than four cylinders in an effort to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions. The classic Volvo 5-cylinder? Gone. V6 power? History. Big V8-powered XC90? No more.

In their place, Volvo will use 3- and 4-cylinder units in both gasoline and diesel form.

The new engine strategy will be called Volvo Environmental Architecture (VEA), and the automaker says the new mills will be around 200 pounds lighter than its current engines and improve fuel economy by 35 percent without a penalty in the performance department. Impressive!

Expect 1.5-liter 3-cylinder and 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engines to start popping up in production models by 2013. By 2020, the entire lineup will be filled with them.

What, exactly, that lineup will look like remains to be seen. Will the XC90 and XC60 still be around, or will Volvo move in the direction of smaller city cars to accommodate these smaller engines? The Volvo You concept in Frankfurt could be a hint of things to come.

Will other automakers follow Volvo’s lead and organically rid the market of V8 options?

-tgriffith

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  1. Randy
    September 22nd, 2011 at 06:37 | #1

    Volvo was saddled with V8′s by Ford, who is now out of the picture, so they can go back to making somewhat smaller, more efficient vehicles. I personally haven’t driven ANY recent vehicle (including my body on frame Trailblazer) that doesn’t do just fine with a 6-cylinder or smaller engine. Frankly, my Trailblazer’s 6-cylinder engine outperforms the V8′s I’ve had in full size pickups and cars like the Caprice.

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