Volvo has unveiled an updated V40 for 2015 and has taken the opportunity to introduce high-powered petrol and diesel versions of its all-new modular four-cylinder Drive-E engine family into its smallest model.
Buyers can now choose a £28,000 V40 D4 powered by a 188bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel, or a 242bhp V40 T5 with a twin-turbocharged petrol-burning engine.
Like many of the Drive-E engine family, the D4 version uses a new, Denso-developed system of injector pressure sensors that allow better fuel metering for smoother running and cleaner exhaust emissions.
In manual form, the D4 emits only 99g/km and offers a claimed combined fuel consumption figure of 74.3mpg — statistics currently in line with rivals at least 25 per cent less powerful. The V40 D4 has a top speed of over 140mph and can accelerate from 0-60mph in just 6.8sec.
Releasing these models is Volvo’s latest and most significant step on a journey to replace its entire suite of ageing and bought-in engines with a clean, own-design modular family of petrol and diesel power units under the Drive-E umbrella.
According to Michael Fleiss, Volvo’s head of powertrain, the company eventually wants to offer four Drive-E petrol engines in power outputs ranging from 150bhp to 300bhp, and four diesels of between 120bhp and 230bhp. All will be built in Sweden, although the company also intends to make Drive-E engines in China to power the models it will build there.
Even when all eight units are on sale, Chinese-owned Volvo’s modular engine range is unlikely to be complete.
According to Fleiss, the Drive-E family could “logically” be extended to include both petrol and diesel engines of a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder design.
Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below: