The new Volvo block joins the global trend for downsizing with big manufacturers like Ford, Mini and Audi chasing better fuel efficiency through small, three cylinder engines that challenge the idea that "there's no replacement for displacement."
The three-cylinder engine is designed to work in a raft of different Volvo cars, and takes advantage of the company's experience with turbocharging to deliver plenty of power from the small block.
Peak power for the engine is currently claimed to be 180 hp (134 kW), a figure which is significantly higher than the 95 hp (75 kW) that Audi's 1.0-liter, three-cylinder petrol engine produces in the updated A1.
"We have learned a lot from the development of our 4-cylinder Drive-E engines and translated this into a highly responsive, compact and powerful premium-quality 3-cylinder engine," says Michael Fleiss, Vice President Powertrain at Volvo Car Group.
Fleiss says that the new engine will meet Euro 7 emission targets (though we are not sure exactly what that translates to at this point) and offers a flexible production option as the brand continues to grow. Production will take place on the same line that Volvo uses for its four-cylinder engines, which also helps keep costs down.