Volvo’s powertrain team has once again proved the company’s technological leadership in emissions-reducing turbo technology. This follows a successful introduction of Volvo’s Drive-E Powertrain range in 2013.
“When we launched the Drive-E powertrain family, our aim was to deliver the most advanced 4-cylinder engines in the industry based on emissions and fuel consumption relative to performance and drivability,” said Dr. Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President for Research and Development at Volvo Car Group.
“We knew that the 242 kW in our petrol configuration was just a starting point. The 330 kW High Performance Drive-E Powertrain Concept, demonstrates this ambition and the versatility of the Drive-E Powertrains.”
The 330 kW High Performance Drive-E Powertrain Concept is based on a set of technologies not usually found in a four cylinder engine. The engine utilizes two parallel turbochargers, which are fed by an electrically powered turbo-compressor.
The compressed air from this unit, rather than being fed to the cylinders, is instead used to spool up the two parallel turbochargers. Fuel is fed by a dual fuel pump working at 250 bar pressure. With this kind of power density, this triple boost installation and unique fuel system, enables a very dynamic drivability without any turbo lag, compared to a mono-turbo.
“There are several high power small size applications where one large turbo is used to create a high level of power available from other manufacturers, but the driving experience suffers due to slow engine response,” said Michael Fleiss, Vice President of Powertrain Engineering at Volvo Car Group.
“We felt that with our heritage of being among the first car companies to embrace and offer a broad range of turbo technology since 1981, that we could improve this.”
The High Performance Drive-E Powertrain Concept attracted the attention and involvement of Volvo Cars suppliers AVL, Denso and Volvo Polestar Racing at an early stage, which allowed theories and technologies from racing applications to be infused in the development process.
“This was a very exciting project as we pioneered a combination of technologies in the same application, and the result is a quite unique engine with its high power yet quick response,” said Mattias Evensson, Race Engine Director at Volvo Polestar Racing.
“Above all, its compact size improves weight distribution between the front and rear axle and lowers the centre of gravity – two factors that have a significant effect on the handling, whether it is a race car or a street car.”