Volvo’s current generation of gasoline and diesel engines will be its last. Speaking to Road & Track, CEO Håkan Samuelsson said Volvo will not develop the Drive-E family of three- and four-cylinder engines any further, aside from potentially adding a third (electric) compressor on the 2.0-liter to help it reach 400 horsepower before any hybrid assistance.
Samuelsson stated in July 2017 that all future models would be hybrids and EVs beginning in 2019, which “marks the end of the solely combustion-engine-powered car.” Weeks earlier, he had announced Polestar as a separate performance brand using only hybrid and EV powertrains. Volvo will continue selling Polestar trims for its high-performance gasoline-powered cars, as the company recently clarified.
Geely, Volvo’s parent company, has already launched Lynk & Co as a Volvo-based Chinese EV brand and also plans to shift its home-market Geely lineup to Volvo platforms and technologies. A final, complete transition to battery-electric Volvo and Polestar models won’t happen for some time, but it is Samuelsson’s ultimate goal.
The Drive-E family that Volvo unveiled in 2013 was a quiet revolution among mainstream internal-combustion engines, designed from the onset to accommodate turbocharging, supercharging, and electric assist—or all three—while complying with future global emissions regulations and taxes favoring 2.0-liter displacements. To expect these engines to serve another 20 years isn’t out of the question. Volvo’s previous modular engine family, first introduced in 1990 as a 2.9-liter inline-six for the flagship 960, powered Volvos for more than two decades. The Drive-E didn’t replace the last of Volvo’s various four-, five-, and six-cylinder engines, all derived from the unit that debuted in the 960, until the 2017 model year.