Volvo has shared engines with former owner Ford but also has form developing its own

Volvo has shared engines with former owner Ford but also has form developing its own

Volvo has confirmed that it is developing its first lightweight, three cylinder, petrol engine.

The automaker, which has a long history of developing its own unique six, five and four cylinder engines and in-house expertise, said it had been able to move the three cylinder development programme forward thanks to investments from parent company Zhejiang Geely.

R&D chief Peter Mertens said: "We have come a long way in the last few years and have recaptured our position as a leader in the field of powertrain engineering. The development programme for the new three cylinder engine is very advanced and we have already begun prototype testing of the unit."

He added that the move to include a three cylinder programme was a natural next step in Volvo’s strategy of downsizing. The technology and analysis techniques enable more power and better fuel economy from smaller displacement internal combustion engines than ever before.

Powertrain chief Michael Fleiss said: "We have learned a lot from the development of our four cylinder Drive-E engines and translated this into a highly responsive, compact and powerful premium quality three cylinder engine. The engine is being developed primarily with our new [small car] CMA architecture in mind but will also provide power for our 60 series cars thanks to advanced turbo technologies, while also meeting Euro 7 emission targets."

The new I3 engine is designed for several different applications in line with the growing demand for a blend of performance and efficiency. It can be built on the same production lines as the four cylinder engine, offering flexible production potential.