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Volvo Set for Downsized Powertrain Revolution

Swedish maker switches to 4-cylinders; will add 3-cylinder and a pair of Plug-ins.

by on Aug.27, 2014

Volvo has high hopes for the 400-horsepower T8 plug-in hybrid powertrain it will offer on the XC90.

The all-new XC90 SUV that made its debut this week marks the beginning of a major shift in powertrain strategy by Volvo Cars, the Swedish automaker abandoning V-6 and V-8 power in favor of more advanced 4-cylinder gas, diesel and hybrid technology.

But Volvo is set to reach even further, company officials reveal, in its bid to balance performance and fuel economy. It also is developing a new line of 3-cylinder engines, and will soon add not just one but two different plug-in hybrid powertrains to its line-up.

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“A few years ago, I would have said this was a risky strategy,” admitted Lex Kerssemakers, the maker’s global product strategy chief, but he added he is “confident” about the approach as buyers around the world migrate to smaller, more fuel-efficient engines even in big SUVs and crossovers like the 2016 Volvo XC90.

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Volvo Line-Up Will Be Dominated by Battery Power

Maker adding two plants in China, but U.S. production still under study.

by on Mar.08, 2011

Volvo plans to offer the world's first diesel-electric plug-in hybrid in 2012.

Long identified with the latest in safety technology, Sweden’s Volvo is putting an increasing emphasis on battery power.  By the end of the decade, in fact, the majority of its products will be driven by hybrid-electric, plug-in or pure battery-electric powertrains, Volvo Chief Executive Stephan Jacoby reveals.

Until now lagging behind many of its competitors when it comes to the “electrification” of the automobile, Volvo is rapidly making up for lost time.  It is preparing to launch its first battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, a version of the compact C30.  And Volvo is using its stand at this month’s  Geneva Motor Show to give the public a look at the plug-in diesel-hybrid version of its bigger V60 wagon, which it plans to bring to market in 2012.

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“I would say the majority (if Volvo products) would use some form of electrification” by 2020, Jacoby, a former Volkswagen executive, revealed.  “I think the CO2 regulations will lead to that.”

Jacoby joined the Swedish maker last year after Volvo was acquired by the ambitious Chinese Geely Holding Co.  Last month, the parent firm revealed plans to invest as much as $11 billion into its new subsidiary, part of a global growth strategy that it expects to double Volvo sales. (more…)