After years of virtual stagnation, Volvo seems to be on a serious roll. While the second generation of the XC90 is already demonstrating that the Swedes haven’t lost it when it comes to innovative safety technology, the automaker is also proving that it is still the master of turbocharging, especially thanks to the new High-Performance Drive-E Powertrain Concept. The four-cylinder engine receives a considerable amount of boost, thanks to the three snail shells strapped to it. Even more impressive is the fact that with a displacement of just 2.0-liters, Volvo says the power plant is pumping out “no less than” 450 horsepower!
The XC90 will be made available with an impressive 2.0-liter Drive-E powertrain that features a turbo and supercharger. The concept engine’s setup is similar, but with an additional turbo, and the mechanical supercharger is replaced by an electric version. Engineers designed the setup so that the supercharger blows compressed air into the two turbos, eliminating any lag and the potential heat issues from using recycled exhaust gases. To keep up with the more advanced configuration, a new dual fuel pump is used, which sends gasoline to the cylinders at 3,626 psi.
Certainly 450 horsepower is nothing to turn your nose up at, especially from a four-banger. For Volvo, the concept engine could be absolutely transformative. Not only does it have the potential to sip gasoline while providing incredible performance, if put into production it would be by far the most powerful engine the automaker has ever used. It far outclasses the turbocharged inline six-cylinder used in the current Polestar models, which pushes out 345 horsepower.
The next big question is what models the new engine will eventually be installed in. The S60 seems like a likely candidate, while the upcoming S90 is an intriguing. The wagons from those two platforms, the V60 and V90, would likely be prime targets as well. What would be truly phenomenal is if the Swedes drop the engine into a smaller car, creating something truly sporty. At this point, almost anything seems possible from Volvo.