Volvo Car Australia managing director Matt Braid told CarAdvice the local division would ideally launch both a petrol and a diesel engine from its all-new ‘Drive-E’ family simultaneously in its premium mid-sized sedan, wagon and SUV models in April, but is still deciding on the initial launch line-up and dealing with production availability.
“[The new engines] go into production week 46 (mid November) this year, and we’re currently deciding which one or ones we’re going to take,” Braid said at the launch of the updated Volvo XC60.
“I think [petrol and diesel] would be good. We’ll kick off with one of each if we can… If not we’ll launch with one and go from there.”
Braid said the new engines would replace older ones from the existing range, and said the local arm would aim for uniformity, offering engine tunes that would work across all three model lines.
As such, it’s likely the first engines launched will be entry-level petrol and diesel units.
The first turbo diesel engine tipped for our market is the 135kW/400Nm D4. The new motor produces 15kW more than the current 2.0-litre five-cylinder D4, is roughly 2.5 seconds quicker from 0-100km/h (down to approximately 7.5-8.0secs across the three models), and is more than 30 per cent more fuel efficient (consuming a claimed 4.1-4.6 litres per 100km on the combined cycle).
The turbocharged 182kW/350Nm T5 is also a chance to replace the current 177kW/320Nm unit. It is more than a second quicker to 100km/h (under 6.5 seconds in the S60), and promises to reduce fuel consumption to high-5s/low-6s.
European demand for those front-wheel-drive models, however, means new engines coupled with all-wheel-drive will suffer a delayed production start date, and won't arrive locally until the following year.
The most powerful version of the new engine family, Volvo’s new twin-charged (turbocharged and supercharged) 228kW/400Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder T6 engine, has been heavily hyped as a successor to the current performance flagship, the 242kW/480Nm 3.0-litre six-cylinder T6 all-wheel drive.
The new T6 is initially available overseas in front-wheel drive, though Braid confirmed an all-wheel-drive version is planned. The local boss's preference for uniformity across model lines, the seeming necessity for the flagship XC60 to remain all-wheel drive, and the fact
local division has never offered its T6 models in anything other than AWD all point to a 2015 launch for the twin-charged motor.
Braid said Drive-E engines would exclusively power the local division’s medium- and full-sized model lines within the coming years.