Volvo has unveiled a 336kW ‘triple boost’ engine prototype based on its new Drive-E powertrain family.

Volvo Cars reveals 450 horsepower High Performance Drive-E Powertrain Concept

The 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine concept utilises two parallel turbochargers that are fed by an electrically powered turbo-compressor. Rather than being fed to the cylinders, the compressed air from the turbo-compressor is used to spool up the two turbochargers. Fuel is fed by a dual fuel pump working at 250 bar pressure.

Volvo claims the High Performance Drive-E Powertrain Concept enables “very dynamic driveability without any turbo lag”.

Volvo Cars reveals 450 horsepower High Performance Drive-E Powertrain Concept

The engine is the result of collaboration between Volvo Cars and suppliers AVL and Denso, and Volvo Polestar Racing.

Volvo Polestar Racing vice president of powertrain engineering Mattias Evensson described the prototype powertrain as “quite a unique engine with its high power yet quick response”.

“Above all, its compact size improve weight distribution between the front and rear axle and lowers the centre of gravity – two factors that have a significant effect on the handling, whether it is a racecar or a street car.”

Volvo Cars reveals 450 horsepower High Performance Drive-E Powertrain Concept

While Volvo has announced no plans to put the triple boost engine into a production car, senior vice president for research and development Dr Peter Mertens said the concept demonstrated the versatility of the engine family and advanced the brand’s work into engine downsizing.

“It may sound odd, but this [336kW] engine is part of this work,” Mertens said.

“Downsizing must offer customers attractive and usable power for broad scale emissions reduction to work. Compact powertrains free up space and weight in the structure of the car, which can be used for electrification and even further emissions reduction. And that is our ultimate ambition.”

The most powerful Drive-E production engine currently available is the 240kW/400Nm turbocharged and supercharged T6 petrol.

The Swedish manufacturer becomes the latest to push the limits of its 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. In March, Audi unveiled the TT quattro Sport concept with 309kW, while Volkswagen followed up in April with the 295kW Golf R400 concept.