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Volvo prepares for plug-in hybrids with new three-cylinder engine

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Volvo Cars has launched its new three-cylinder Drive-E powertrain in the XC40, the company’s first entry into the compact SUV segment.

The new powertrain is the first three-cylinder engine in the company’s 91-year history.

The all-new 1.5-litre, three-cylinder, direct-injection petrol engine was developed in-house using the same modular design as Volvo’s four-cylinder Drive-E engines. The three-cylinder powertrain (badged T3) comes with a six-speed manual transmission. An optional eight-speed automatic transmission will follow next year.

In line with Volvo Cars’ strategy to continue improving economies of scale, the engine will roll off the same production lines as the company’s four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines.

“Our new three-cylinder engine is an exciting development for the XC40 and for Volvo Cars in general,” said Alexander Petrofski, Senior Director Cluster 40 at Volvo Cars. “This compact engine design provides the flexibility we need as we introduce more powertrain options for XC40 customers.”

Volvo’s current D3 diesel and T4 petrol engines are also added to broaden the XC40 engine offer.

Furthermore, the new three-cylinder powertrain has been deliberately designed for integration into Twin Engine plug-in hybrid cars. A hybridised as well as a pure electric powertrain option for the XC40 will be added later. More details will be available in due course.

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