Volvo Cars confirmed Tuesday it is working on a new lightweight three-cylinder gasoline engine. This new engine will be part of the company’s Drive E engine family.

“We have come a long way in the last few years at Volvo. Investments from our parent company, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, have enabled us to recapture our position as a leader in the field of powertrain engineering. The development program for the new three-cylinder engine is very advanced and we have already begun prototype testing of the unit,” said Dr. Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Car Group.

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Volvo has a history of developing its own unique six, five and four-cylinder engines. The company stated the move to include a triple in Volvo’s engine program is a natural next step in Volvo’s strategy of downsizing, adding the application of class-leading technology and analysis techniques enables more power and better fuel economy from smaller displacement internal combustion engines than ever before.

“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 3-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 thanks to Volvo’s advanced turbo technologies, while also meeting Euro 7 emission targets,” said Michael Fleiss, Vice President Powertrain at Volvo Car Group.

The Swedish company added the new Drive-E three-cylinder engine is designed to support several different applications, in-line with the growing demand for a real-world blend of performance and efficiency.

While Volvo did not mention it, it is clear from the pictures provided by the company that this engine will be turbocharged.

“The beauty of the new three-cylinder engine we are developing is that it can be built on the same production lines as our 4-cylinder engine, offering flexible production potential which can be adapted to suit business needs as we grow. This marks an important step forward for Volvo Cars. In terms of our power and efficiency, Volvo’s engineering excellence will shine through with the Drive-E 3-cylinder engine,” said Dr. Mertens.