Just after releasing the turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder in the new 2015 Volvo S60 and XC60, the company has stretched the limits of forced induction once again. Volvo has just announced the development of a triple-charged 450 horsepower 2-liter 4-cylinder engine. The unit would be the world’s most powerful 4-cylinder upon its official release.
Developed under the “Drive E” category of Volvo engines, this new engine is an extension of Volvo’s 320 horsepower twin-charged unit announced last year. Dr. Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President of Research and Development for Volvo, said in a press release that, “We knew that 320 horsepower in our petrol configuration was just the starting point. The 450 horsepower High Performance Drive E Powetrain Concept demonstrates this ambition and the versatility of the Drive E powertrains.” It seems that this extremely high-performance 4-cylinder variant was always in Volvo’s foresight, developed carefully and methodically–when launched, this engine will even trump the 355 horsepower 4-cylinder found in the Mercedes CLA45 AMG, hinting at the performance potential of the cars that do receive this unit.
This new engine uses an interesting setup of forced induction to develop such staggering power figures. Two identical turbochargers feed compressed and intercooled air directly into the cylinders, while a third turbo compressor serves solely to spool up the two active turbochargers. Though the third turbocharger doesn’t directly influence power output, the fact that it is electrically operated suggests that this new engine may eliminate turbo lag altogether. The turbos will be able to spool instantly regardless of engine speed and exhaust output, a valuable quality for acceleration from a standstill and for high-speed passing.
From a performance standpoint, the engine’s small displacement and low weight pay dividends for vehicle handling, as reduced weight over the front axle would improve weight distribution and allow for a lower center of gravity. Unsurprisingly, several Volvo-oriented tuners, including the famed Polestar, aided in the development of this impressive engine, and it’s possible that Polestar may use it in an upcoming mass-market performance car.
Stay tuned on TFLcar.com for the engine’s official release into Volvo’s lineup.
Please enjoy this TFLcar.com video review of the twin-charged 2014 Volvo S60.
Frank caught automotive fever early in life. Hailing from a long line of car fanatics, he was able to recite the year and model of every car that passed him by age five. His passion and love for the automobile have only grown since then. When not thinking about cars, he is reading, writing, learning, or dreaming about them. His area of expertise is in the realm of German and Italian cars, of which Porsche is a favorite. Frank currently resides in the heart of NASCAR country in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his family. He enjoys driving exotic cars in the beautiful Carolina weather.