The latest company to jump onto the three-cylinder engine bandwagon is Volvo, who’ve just announced that they have plans to produce a lightweight three-cylinder petrol engine as part of its Drive-E engine family.

Volvo says the new three-cylinder engines will be built on the same production lines as their existing Drive-E four-cylinder engine, so it wouldn’t be too far fetched to assume they will have 1.5 litres of displacement, which is basically the four-cylinder with one cylinder dropped.

Multiple tunes are planned for the three-cylinder, with 180 horses as the highest output. A 180 horsepower 1.5 litre three-cylinder would basically replace the Ford 1.6 litre four-cylinder EcoBoost engine currently used in Volvo’s “T4” tune cars, with a lower powered version (say, 140-150 hp) being able to act as a “T3” tune.

“We have learned a lot from the development of our four-cylinder Drive­-E engines and translated this into a highly responsive, compact and powerful premium­ quality three-cylinder engine. The engine is being developed primarily with our new CMA architecture in mind but will also provide power for our 60 Series cars while also meeting Euro 7 emission targets,” says Michael Fleiss, VP Powertrain at Volvo Car.