Nowadays it seems everything is enhanced with a V8 conversion. Many drift cars and race cars are opting for large capacity eight-cylinder engines for greater reliability and a wider torque band. For emissions, however, it is the opposite — car manufacturers are opting for small capacity four-cylinder turbocharged engines, and Volvo is bringing their own creation into the mix. Three decades ago, Volvo were pioneers in racing with the Volvo 240 which used a 2100cc turbocharged engine producing 320hp (238kW); enough to bring them victory in numerous DTM events. So how could you have a four-cylinder turbo that has the same characteristics as a V8? Volvo finally has the answer.
Volvo has just announced something they have been working on named the ‘Volvo E Powertrain’. In a bid to reduce emissions, but still keep their customers excited, Volvo was met with a real challenge. How do you inspire petrolheads to drive a hybrid, or a diesel powered vehicle? As Volvo discovered, you can’t. Volvo’s premium sedans and station wagons are powered by V8 and turbocharged six-cylinder engines. Volvo had to solve the problem of how to get a small capacity turbocharged engine to not only produce the same power, but do so without any turbo lag.
What Volvo has achieved is astonishing. A 2000cc turbocharged engine with 335kW (450hp) and zero turbo lag, a world first. This was no easy task, but Volvo have figured out the best turbo combination. An electrically-driven turbocharger builds initial boost pressure, forcing air into the two combustion-driven, parallel configuration turbochargers providing instant boost response once the throttle is stood on. Once the revs get higher, the electrically driven turbocharger cuts out and the two parallel turbochargers take over and give you the whopping 335kW output.
Volvo also worked alongside Denso from the get go, who designed a special 250 bar (2650psi) fuel system, adding to the efficiency of the engine.
It is still uncertain whether this engine will find its way into a production vehicle, but with all the hype they are investing in, and the race interest it is receiving, it’s looking likely!