We knew it was coming and now it’s here. Meet the first-ever three-cylinder engine made by Volvo, a company once famous for its lovely five-cylinder motors, in its entire 91-year history. The new Drive-E powertrain is joining the engine lineup of the brand’s first entry into the compact SUV class, the cute XC40.
Developed in-house, the new unit is based on the modular four-cylinder Drive-E engines and will be mated to either a six-speed manual gearbox or an optional eight-speed automatic. It will be assembled at the same production lines as Volvo’s four-cylinder diesel and gasoline engines.
The Swedish company owned by Geely is not revealing any power and performance numbers, but is saying the new 1.5-liter engine will be used in a future plug-in hybrid powertrain for the XC40. Also confirmed is a purely electric variant of the small SUV.
Speaking of the XC40, the latest model from Volvo is also receiving a 150-horsepower (112-kilowatt) diesel and a 190-hp (142-kW) gasoline options, depending on the market. Customers will also be able to choose from more trim levels, as well as additional equipment.
The range-topping Inscription model offers 18-, 19-, or 20-inch wheels, unique skidplates, side window and grill mesh chrome, and model-specific car colors. Inside the cabin, the XC40 gets newly designed crystal gear knob and Driftwood decorations, features we’ve already seen in the XC90 and XC60 SUVs.