Volvo CMA platform 1

Volvo may consider dropping diesel engines altogether due to more demanding emission standards, as reported by Car&Driver. Additionally, the Swedish company’s new generation of high-efficiency petrol hybrids may further promote such a move.

During the reveal of two new concepts that previewed the next 40 Series models in Gothenburg, Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson told Car&Driver that the carmaker will progressively replace diesel engine over the next decade or so.

“It is a very attractive alternative to a diesel engine. It offers much lower CO2 levels but more or less the same performance in both horsepower and torque. On cost, I would say that within a couple of years we will see a crossover, the diesel getting more expensive and the (hybrid system) going down.”

Volvo 40 concepts 10

Volvo’s new range of 40 Series models will be underpinned by its new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA). The new platform was designed from the get-go to facilitate conventional, full-electric and plug-in hybrid powertrains. The latter is in the form of the T5 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid, which you can read about in our earlier report.

For larger vehicles like the XC90, S90 and V90, all three of which rides on Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), these is the T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrain. On the seven-seater SUV, fuel consumption is as low as 2.1 litres per 100 km (47.6 km per litre) under the European NEDC cycle. Not only can the engines offer diesel-like economy, they are also cheaper to run according to Samuelsson.

“Diesels will be more expensive, they will have much more advanced after-treatment with additional fluids that have to be filled not once a year, but probably every time you refuel the car. I think that it’s very realistic that the percentage will go down. If it will go down to zero, I think we don’t need to speculate — let the future decide, let customers decide. We are flexible enough that we can make petrol and diesels on the same line, basically.”