Volvo Concentrating on Hybrids, Downsized Engines for U.S. Market
Volvo Car Corporation will rely on a powertrain strategy based on its new downsized 4-cylinder VEA (Volvo Environmental Architecture) engine platform and hybrids for the US market, said John Maloney, recently appointed President of Volvo Cars, US, in an interview at the Detroit Auto Show.
The direction for the US was underscored by the unveiling of the XC60 gasoline-electric Plug-in Hybrid Concept at the show (pictured, read more about the XC60 here). The front wheels of the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept are powered by a four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine from the forthcoming VEA family which produces 280 hp (209 kW) and maximum torque of 380 N·m (280 lb-ft). Power delivery to the front wheels comes via a newly developed eight-speed automatic transmission.
The engine in the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept has no conventional starter motor or alternator. Instead, there is an Integrated Starter motor and Generator (ISG) connected to the crankshaft, which is located between the engine and the transmission. The ISG is capable of delivering an extra 34 kW (45 hp) during acceleration. It also charges the battery during braking.
The rear axle of the XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept is driven by an electric motor producing 70 hp (52 kW) and 200 N·m (148 lb-ft). It is supplied with power from a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery pack installed under the floor of the load compartment.
Volvo will bring the gasoline plug-in technology to market in the US “in a couple of years”, according to Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation, although without saying which model will be the first to feature the system.