S80’s Secret Formula Is Under The Hood
Arresting looks and remarkable ergonomics are not enough to drive aficionados wild. Moreover, Volvo boosts auto performance by perking the engine up. What is under the hood is as equally important as other auto parts. With said modifications, Volvo expects that the Volvo S80 will not only turn heads but turn preferences as well.
Volvo Cars earlier unveiled an entirely new high-efficiency six-cylinder in-line engine that features an advanced induction system that contributes to both good performance and impressive fuel efficiency. A number of innovative solutions created by Volvo’s pool of engineers made it possible to produce an extraordinarily compact engine. “I think that this will be one of the most impressive six-cylinder engines on the market”, said Derek Crabb, Vice President Powertrain at Volvo Cars.
The six-cylinder 3.2 liters engine is made entirely of aluminum and has a bigger displacement than its predecessor 2.9. The automaker improved power to 175 kW as is torque, at 320 Nm. This corresponds to increases of 31 kW and 40 Nm respectively. Said engine has been designed to blend with the new six-speed automatic transmission. Further, the entire driveline has been engineered to complement with the rest of the auto parts to create balance and harmonious drive feel in every respect.
Volvo engineers applied a wide range of technologically advanced solutions to the Volvo S80’s valvetrain and a variable intake system. The solutions made it possible for the engine to be exploited efficiently throughout the rev range. As such, it could promote alert response and superb performance. This is done without compromising the fuel efficiency of the vehicle.
The Volvo S80’s valvetrain features the Cam Profile Switching (CPS) and the Variable Cam Timing (VCT). These features contribute significantly to the flexibility and driveability of the Volvo S80. CPS allows the inlet valves to be lifted to two varied heights depending on the load and speed of the engine. “In principle, Cam Profile Switching creates two engines in one,” explained Crabb.
“We can unite widely differing demands on one and the same engine and easily meet the requirements of customers with entirely different wishes. For instance, we can equally easily satisfy customers who prioritize performance as well as those who are more interested in driving comfort and fuel economy,” he further adds.
The VIS, on the other hand, is given two throttle flap valves which adjust the intake manifold volume to complement the driving situation. This system boosts torque and power to manage a thrilling ride. “Through precise interplay with the flap valves we actually get three different torque curves that are integrated with one another,” said Crabb. “Consequently, we can exploit the engine’s capacity to the maximum and extract the highest possible power throughout the rev range. The result is alert response to the accelerator pedal at both low and high speeds, with both generous power and good driveability.”
Another secret ingredient to the Volvo S80’s formula is the compact format. Despite the engine’s 3.2 liter displacement, it has extremely compact exterior dimensions. The entire package is only 3 millimeters longer than Volvo’s five-cylinder engine. The total engine length is 625 millimeters. “A compact format is a matter of safety,” explained Crabb. “It is particularly important that the engine takes up minimal space longitudinally in the vehicle. Volvo’s engines are fitted transversely and a compact engine thus has more space to move inside the engine compartment in the event of an impact that deforms the car’s front. This helps reduce the risk of engine penetration into the passenger compartment.”
The compact solution integrates Shaft In Shaft design. “We are very proud of this compact solution,” added Crabb. “A lot of highly advanced development work was required in order to arrive at a design that ensures smooth and quiet operation.”
“All told, the new six-cylinder engine offers a premium experience in every respect,” concluded Crabb. “This applies to its performance and fuel efficiency, and also to its driving comfort and the sound of the engine. The fact that the engine’s design also helps enhance safety isn’t something the customer usually thinks about, but it is naturally a central part of Volvo’s product concept.”
The new six-cylinder engine is built in Ford’s Bridgend factory in Wales. It is also where Volvo fuel injectors are assembled. The factory, built in 1980, has manufactured about 10 million engines by 2001.
About the Author: Glady Reign is a 32 year old is a consultant for an automotive firm based in Detroit, Mi. she is a native of the motor city and grew up around cars hence her expertise in the automotive field.