Volvo has ventured into a new era of technological independence with the launch of its new, lighter, fuel efficient DRIVe engines. VEA programme manager, Jan-Elrik Larsson tells AOL Cars that 'these engines will have the potential to outperform a V8'.
Volvo has so far produced three new DRIVe units, a petrol T6 and T5 as well as a 'state-of-the-art' diesel D4. Only the T6 and D4 will come to the UK and are set to arrive in early 2014.
The brand's aim is to produce light, fuel efficient engines but with high performance figures. 'Our aim is to produce smaller engines with reduced emissions, without sacrificing the power that you'd usually find in a V8,' explains Larsson.
These engines will debut on the all-new V60 sports wagon, the S60 coupe and the XC60 SUV models, and the S60 T6 will produce an impressive 302bhp and can go from 0-62mph in a respectable 5.9 seconds.
Nevertheless, thanks to the engines being significantly lighter then their predecessors by between 30-90kg (dependant on the engine) the S60 model is estimated to have a combined fuel consumption of 44.1mpg.
'We made three major decisions to produce 2.0-litre, four cylinder engines and to ensure that they each have electrification compatibility,' Larsson explains. 'Each engine has the potential to have a small electric motor between the engine and the gearbox, with room for a bigger one on the rear axel, so each engine has EV and hybrid potential.'
Over the next few years, Volvo says it will work to introduce at least a further eight more DRIVe engines to the family.
'We are working on the development of more DRIVe engines,' says Larsson. 'We aim to have eight engines in the DRIVe range by 2015 and eventually, the entire range will be powered by DRIVe. We plan to develop eight engines in the DRIVe family, all of which will be 2.0-litres.'
He adds: 'Today, the V12 is dead. Tomorrow, the V8 will follow. And soon, the V6 will too.'
Larsson explains that there is a trend in downsizing as customers continue to look for vehicles with better efficiency. He says Volvo 'will be selling more smaller engines in the future and the 2.0-litre engines will provide increased fuel efficiency with the pace of a V8, while maintaining a reasonable price'.
Volvo says this is the beginning of its future in technological independence and eco-friendly performance engines, all of which will be developed and manufactured in Sweden.
The Volvo S60 T6 will come to the UK in R Design spec only, which features various exterior design extras, with a price-tag of £38,135.