Automotive

Volvo's 4-cylinder concept engine pumps out 450 hp

Volvo's 4-cylinder concept eng...
The high powered engine is also designed to improve weight distribution between the front and rear axle and lower the center of gravity, for race and street vehicles
The high powered engine is also designed to improve weight distribution between the front and rear axle and lower the center of gravity, for race and street vehicles
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The Swede’s new 2.0 liter petrol powered unit features triple boost technology capable of generating 450 hp
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The Swede’s new 2.0 liter petrol powered unit features triple boost technology capable of generating 450 hp
The high powered engine is also designed to improve weight distribution between the front and rear axle and lower the center of gravity, for race and street vehicles
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The high powered engine is also designed to improve weight distribution between the front and rear axle and lower the center of gravity, for race and street vehicles
The triple boost 2.0 liter 4-cylinder gas engine that Volvo is working on is capable of developing power outputs on par with many high output V8s and race tweaked track engines
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The triple boost 2.0 liter 4-cylinder gas engine that Volvo is working on is capable of developing power outputs on par with many high output V8s and race tweaked track engines
Of course blowing extra air into the engine requires more fuel, which is why Volvo has set up a dual fuel pump system that works at 250 bar pressure
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Of course blowing extra air into the engine requires more fuel, which is why Volvo has set up a dual fuel pump system that works at 250 bar pressure
Ahead of the parallel twin turbochargers are two compressor units that "wind up" the impeller units prior to power coming online, thus eliminating turbo lag
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Ahead of the parallel twin turbochargers are two compressor units that "wind up" the impeller units prior to power coming online, thus eliminating turbo lag
The pre-spooling compressors are designed to reduce or eliminate the dreaded turbo-lag that plagues most old-school turbo engines
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The pre-spooling compressors are designed to reduce or eliminate the dreaded turbo-lag that plagues most old-school turbo engines
Unlike regular turbocharged engines which rely on engine exhaust to spin the turbos, Volvo has come up with a clever bit of pre-spooling engineering in the high powered 4-cylinder
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Unlike regular turbocharged engines which rely on engine exhaust to spin the turbos, Volvo has come up with a clever bit of pre-spooling engineering in the high powered 4-cylinder
AVL, Denso and Volvo’s Polestar Racing team helped bring performance theories and racing application technologies into the development process
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AVL, Denso and Volvo’s Polestar Racing team helped bring performance theories and racing application technologies into the development process

The unveiling of a new four-banger engine wouldn’t normally garner much attention, but Volvo's High Performance Drive-E Powertrain Concept is an exception. The 2.0 liter, gas-powered unit features "triple boost" technology capable of generating no less than 450 hp.

Unlike regular turbocharged engines which rely on engine exhaust to spin the turbos, thus forcefeeding additional air into the engine, Volvo has come up with a clever bit of pre-spooling engineering. Ahead of the parallel twin turbochargers are two compressor units that “wind up” the impeller units prior to power coming online. This pre-spooling thus reduces, or almost eliminates, the dreaded turbo-lag disease that plagues most old-school turbo engines.

The 4-cylinder gas engine concept is capable of developing power outputs on par with many high output V8s and race tweaked track engines. A direct injection system with dual fuel pumps working at 250 bar pressure helps meet added fuel requirements and also assists in developing extra power to the hungry 2.0 liter.

Ahead of the parallel twin turbochargers are two compressor units that "wind up" the impeller units prior to power coming online, thus eliminating turbo lag
Ahead of the parallel twin turbochargers are two compressor units that "wind up" the impeller units prior to power coming online, thus eliminating turbo lag

"When we launched the Drive-E powertrain family, our aim was to deliver the most advanced 4-cylinder engines in the industry based on emissions and fuel consumption relative to performance and drivability," says Dr. Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President for Research and Development at Volvo Car Group. "We knew that 320 horsepower in our petrol configuration was just a starting point. The 450 horsepower High Performance Drive-E Powertrain Concept, demonstrates this ambition and the versatility of the Drive-E Powertrains."

Although Volvo is taking much of the credit for the highpowered powerplant, it’s important to note that its suppliers such as AVL, Denso and even Volvo’s Polestar Racing team helped bring performance and racing technologies into the process.

"This was a very exciting project as we pioneered a combination of technologies in the same application, and the result is a quite unique engine with its high power yet quick response," says Mattias Evensson, Race Engine Director at Volvo Polestar Racing. "Above all, its compact size improves weight distribution between the front and rear axle and lowers the center of gravity - two factors that have a significant effect on the handling, whether it is a race car or a street car."

Unlike regular turbocharged engines which rely on engine exhaust to spin the turbos, Volvo has come up with a clever bit of pre-spooling engineering in the high powered 4-cylinder
Unlike regular turbocharged engines which rely on engine exhaust to spin the turbos, Volvo has come up with a clever bit of pre-spooling engineering in the high powered 4-cylinder

Volvo's development of the concept engine is part of an ongoing process that aims to reduce emissions without compromising performance."Down-sizing must offer customers attractive and usable power for broad scale emissions reduction to work," Dr. Mertens points out. "Compact powertrains free up space and weight in the structure of the car, which can be used for electrification and even further emissions reduction, and that is our ultimate ambition."

Source: Volvo Cars

17 comments
Michael Wilson
I suppose next, such a concept engine will go into one of their polestar cars, like the 500hp Polestar s60 or the 450hp Polestar C30. They could combine it with the kers on the back axle that debuted last year for a combined 530hp...Would be pretty sweet
BigGoofyGuy
I think it is cool that they are doing more with less. It would be neat to see it in some small cars and watch peoples eyes bug out when they go really fast. :)
*Joe*
The 250 bar fuel pressure would be due to direct injection rather than just needing more fuel. While 450HP is great for that engine, your comparison to "high output V8s and race tweaked track engines" is a bit of a stretch. That is a highly tuned and stressed 4 cylinder engine, whereas common V8s that will last 100's of thousands of miles (e.g. Camaros, Mustangs) make similar power without high performance tuning. Tuned V8s (e.g. Hennessey, Saleen) will make 1000+HP in very streetable cars. So, no, 450HP doesn't compare to modern high output V8s.
hdm
hard to imagine why they are working on 450hp gas engines... there should be a law protecting us from the stupidity of those who crave high hp... the efficiency, no matter how high, is too low.
JweenyPwee
@hdm...People should be free to buy whatever they darn well want. It's not your money. You're not their babysitter. You don't know better than they do, you may just think you do. I think squeezing as much power as possible out of as little displacement as possible is outstanding, not only for enthusiasts, but the environment. Audi's RS7 puts out darn near 600hp and gets upwards of 28mpg highway. And that's a V8! 20 years ago that kind of power would get single digit MPG. This is outstanding progress. Fun goes up parallel to environmental responsibility. What's not to love? 450hp for a fuel efficient 4 cylinder? What's not to love? Fun and efficiency. Win-win. Your sentiment would actually impede progress.
Mel Tisdale
The trouble with high performance cars is that they can get into trouble far too quickly, with dire consequences. This is from today's U.K. news: "Figures from the department of transport (DoT) show 60% of people killed on Britain's roads lose their lives in a rural location. Over the last year, some 862 deaths have occurred on English country roads and 7,537 people have been severely injured, the DoT said. Despite these statistics, drivers still remain oblivious to the danger; over a quarter (28%) of drivers admit to having had a near miss on a country road. Some 6% admitted to having a collision, while 40% have been surprised by an unexpected hazard, such as an animal. A third (34 %) said they took a bend too fast." I suspect that if we could ask them, more than 34% of those killed would also admit to taking a bend too fast. The problem is that a percentage of those killed were not going too fast, they just happened to get in the way of someone who was. Whilst I don't like autonomous cars, one spin off from their development will be that speed and acceleration rate will be limited to what is safe for the road and its condition. Perhaps then, the likes of Volvo, erstwhile a 'safety -first' car maker might try and reclaim that image. Leave the "BRRRM! BRRRM!" stuff to those who cannot see the wood for the trees. As oil supply struggles to meet demand, their products will go the way of the dinosaurs. Even then, it is by no means certain that we will have sufficient oil to produce the crops and transport them as supply struggles to meet the demands of a rising population. Perhaps Volvo might like to see what they can do with a 500 cc engine. It should still deliver over 100 hp. With acceleration being limited, turbo lag won't be a problem so it could even be a simpler unit.
ASHDIL
Hey Mel.....its not the car's problem that it is fast and efficient...its the idiot behind the wheel that does not respect what he/she is driving ...and needs a tune up!!!!! That said....I tend to agree with JweenyPwee..... I would like to use this Engine on a water pump system I am designing for a village in rural South Africa....(incidentally gas (biogas in particular) is readily available and supa cheap.....Nice idea.....for this reservoir i have in mind!!!!!
Jim Sadler
Perhaps Volvo should have a sign that says "We Build Cars For Idiots" Why in the world would anyone need a car that has 450 HP? Morbid accidents and pollution are part of this type of mind set. Really 90% of our vehicles are just fine with 100HP and a few of the heavy SUVs might need 160 HP. Volvo is not being responsible in offering such nonsense for sale. Maybe they will get the point when some teen gets into one of these 450 HP models and smashes into a Volvo family sedan at 150 mph. And by the way 450HP is limp by race car standards. Hoople heads can pretend they have a race car but take a peak at the hP of a tiny race engine for the INDY 500. Less than one litter and they have to detune to keep it down to 900 hp.
Bob
Big horsepower numbers seem to lose any meaning after a certain point. Unless you are a race car driver, the average person can't handle the extra performance. Often that extra horsepower is not useable do to roads, tires and gear ratios. I remember back in the 60s when several of the guys would parade their souped up 500hp, geared down hot rods around town. Later in the evening they would go out to the edge of town for the big drag race. Usually at least one or both would stall or go up in smoke. Not much of a show.
Cowfy Kaufman
only 450? bah.humbug.give us some power volvo.stop horsing around.by the way what in the name of anything is the pre spooling that works the majic?what exactly powers that? that is where the dog is buried here and what kind of tech. article do you write without the slightest mention of how that works?