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Volvo Makes 2-Liter, 4-Cyl. Engine with 450+HP

by Paul Strauss

With the exception of race cars, it’s rare that you see a small 4-cylinder engine with more than 300 horsepower. Even when they’ve been turbocharged, most of them end up in the 200s. But Volvo has managed to develop a version of its 4-banger that pushes out over 450 horsepower, dubbed the High Performance Drive-E Powertrain Concept.

Having previously built gas-powered 4-cylinder engines with up to 320 horsepower, Volvo was already pushing the envelope, so I’m especially impressed with their ability to get so much power out of such a small engine 2.0-liter engine. Using parallel turbochargers, an electric turbo-compressor, and a dual fuel pump that runs at 250 bar pressure, the engine is able to achieve V8-levels of power, and without turbo lag.

Obviously, working with 4-cylinder engines has significant weight, fuel economy and emissions benefits, so this sort of development effort could be huge in the production of future vehicles. At this point, there are no production vehicles in the works which will use this engine, but I think it’s only a matter of time before we see its impact.

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