Four cylinders good, says Volvo

* New petrol and diesel four-cylinder engines * Performance of bigger engine with improved economy * New concept car for Frankfurt show...

Four cylinders good, says Volvo

Volvo is launching a new range of four-cylinder engines that promises the performance of six-cylinder units while improving on the economy of its current four-pot engines.

The company will reveal a concept car at the Frankfurt motor show next week that will showcase its new engine technology.

'It's time to stop counting cylinders,' said Peter Mertens, senior vice-president of research and development at Volvo. 'The concept car proves that downsized engines can go hand-in-hand with our customers' expectations on luxury and driving pleasure.'

Volvo claims the focus on four-cylinder engines will quickly reduce its cars' CO2 emissions and fuel consumption.

'We will develop four-cylinder engines with higher performance than today's six-cylinder units and lower fuel consumption than the current four-cylinder generation.'

Volvo says it will launch a range of four-cylinder, direct-injection petrol and common-rail diesel engines 'from the most fuel-efficient derivatives to high torque and power variants.'

The engines are also ideal for electrification developments, says Volvo. It claims certain engines will gain added performance via hybrid or 'other spearhead technology'.

One such technology is flywheel drive. The system captures braking energy in a flywheel that spins at up to 60,000rpm. Once released, this stored energy can either accelerate the car or propel the vehicle once it reaches cruising speed. Volvo will begin testing the system on public roads later this year.

'The flywheel system offers the driver an additional 80 horsepower while reducing fuel consumption by up to 20%,' said Mertens.

We'll have more information on the new Volvo concept car and its new engines later today.