According to Volvo’s research and development department, the group is in the process of creating a 1.5-litre 3-cylinder turbo engine that could power entry-level versions of the S90, V90 and XC90.
The Volvo S90 is expected to be launched in the UK with a mix of four-cylinder diesels and T8 hybrid, which combines a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor. However, in a new development the firm is also working to create a 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine as it prepares its new small-vehicle architecture.
Dr Peter Mertens, Volvo’s head of research and development, said: “We have been running a V40 mule with the turbocharged 3-cylinder engine and a dual-clutch gearbox, and it’s already excellent. With the 1.5 we can easily get up to 150bhp and more, and unless somebody told you, you wouldn’t know it’s a three-pot. We will definitely have it in the next ’60’ series models (S60, V60 and XC60) and I can easily see how it would end up in the S90 as well. It’s really promising.”
The three cylinder motor is likely to be offered in the firm’s larger vehicles as part of a softer, more modest hybrid set-up that will sit below the T8 in the range.