Las Vegas, NV – When I agreed to go to Las Vegas to test drive the drive-e powertrain with Volvo I thought it was an electric vehicle (EV). Apparently, many other journalists did as well, because one of the first things Volvo told us was that e did not stand for electric, it stood for efficiency. Volvo’s $11 billion restructuring of the new engine family is based on it’s new Drive-E philosophy, which increases the efficiency of the internal combustion engine while reducing the carbon emissions of the engine.
The new Volvo Engine Architecture (VEA) is comprised of three 2.0-liter inline 4s, two gasoline internal combustion engines and one diesel engine. The gasoline versions are coming to America, the diesel stays in Europe.
The 2.0-liter Drive-E engines will go into three versions of the recently updated 2015 Volvo S60 sedan, 2015 Volvo V60 wagon, and 2015 Volvo XC60 crossover models, mated with 8-speed automatic transmissions. The two engines, fitted with both turbochargers and superchargers, are the two most powerful engines for Volvo in the smallest, most intelligent and versatile architecture yet.
Derek Crabb, Vice President Powertrain Engineering, Volvo Cars, explains the new engines robustness, how Volvo has made the internal combustion engine smaller, and by allowing more air to go through it, they have increased the potency. Crabb worked on the Formula-one engines so he knows how to create a powerful engine, up to 900 horsepower. Volvo used the drive-e prototype in racing.
Volvo has made the engine smaller so that they can make it more powerful and e-fficient. I love it when Crabb walks by the dark engines and says, “we will develop smaller more intelligent engines with so much power that they will turn 8-cylinder engines into dinosaurs.”
Crabb also talks about these engines being used in plug-in hybrids from Volvo. The video shows how this engine would be used in a plug-in hybrid car.
Maybe drive-e does mean electric after all.