Volvo has revealed a remarkable 450hp 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that uses two turbochargers and an electric turbo compressor to deliver its BMW M3-beating output.
The concept becomes one of world’s highest-output engine by size, topping even the 220hp per litre output of Mitsubishi’s aggressive Evo X FQ-440 MR special edition.
The technological showcase has been revealed to highlight the firm’s future Drive-E engine strategy, which is based around using a core 2.0-litre four-cylinder motor and increasing its output by adding features to it.
In this case, the petrol-powered engine uses two parallel turbochargers, which are fed by an additional electrically-driven turbo compressor. This eliminates turbo lag and improves engine response, while also allowing Volvo to use the large capacity turbos necessary to deliver such an exceptional power output.
“There are several high power small size applications where one large turbo is used to create a high level of power,” said Volvo’s Vice President of Powertrain Engineering Michael Fleiss, “but the driving experience suffers due to slow engine response.
“We felt… that we could improve this.”
Volvo’s 450hp 2.0-litre ‘a strategic development’
Volvo calls the engine concept its High Performance Drive-E Powertrain Concept, and the performance was sufficiently eyebrow-raising to attract interest from Volvo partners AVL, Denso and Volvo Polestar Racing. Volvo says this enabled racing concepts to be integrated into the engine at an early stage.
Volvo Polestar Racing Race Engine Director Matttias Evensson was particularly interested because “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”.
Does this hint at a future Volvo Polestar S60 2.0-litre tri-turbo BMW M3 challenger? Here’s hoping…
“This 450hp powertrain concept is an important part of the Drive-E development programme,” said Volvo Senior Vice President for R&D Dr. Peter Mertens. “Downsizing must offer customers attractive and usable power for broad scale emissions reduction to work.
“Compact powertrains free up space and weight in the structure of the car, which can be used for electrification and even further emissions reduction. And that is our ultimate ambition.”