Volvo Car Group is commencing the in-house production of the first variants of its new four-cylinder engine family, as part of the carmaker’s strategy for independence. The carmaker has chosen to produce its own four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines and driveline electrification, giving it total control over the development and production of the powerplants and drivelines.
The strategy, which effectively reduces the number of engine variants, allows Volvo to become more flexible. Derek Crabb, Vice President Powertrain Engineering, remarked that the production of the Volvo Engine Architecture (VEA) engines marks a milestone in Volvo Cars' history.
He said that with their new engine family, the carmaker is focusing on two additional vital properties – “driving pleasure and fuel efficiency.” State-of-the-art preparations for the production start of the new VEA engines have been under way for around two years at Volvo Car Group's engine plant in Skövde.
All versions of the VEA engines are produced on the same line located at the new part of the Skövde plant, allowing for efficient production. Oskar Falk, Volvo’s Vice President Global Engine Production, remarked that one of the biggest challenges was the remodeling of the production line for cylinder block processing, which involved replacing or converting 30 machining cells for costs of around half a billion kronor. Development and investment in the VEA engines is part of an all-inclusive expansion plan at Volvo Cars, which invested around SEK2 billion in the Skövde plant.
"During the development of VEA, the starting point was our customers and what we wanted to offer them in regard to good fuel economy, low environmental impact and immense driving pleasure at an attractive price. At the same time, however, it's also about the fact that Volvo Cars gets a sound basis for developing future-generation technologies featuring fuel economy of absolute world class," says Derek Crabb.