Volvo has already dropped V-8 engines from its product line, and the Swedish automaker has previously indicated that it would move away from five and six-cylinder engines in the name of better fuel economy, too.

CarSales, an Australian website, recently spoke to Volvo’s product and vehicle line head, Lex Kerssemakers, about the future of Volvo’s powertrain offerings, and it looks like good news is on the horizon.

Volvo will begin replacing six-cylinder engines with “twincharged” fours within the next two years, likely starting with its largest models.

Twincharging uses a supercharger at low engine speeds, in conjunction with a turbocharger at high engine speeds. The net result is a smaller, more fuel efficient engine that drives like a larger one and has no perceptible turbo lag.

To further boost fuel efficiency, Kerssemakers also hinted at electrification to supplement the powertrains used in the next generation XC90 crossover and S80 sedan.

He’s likely referring to a plug-in hybrid drivetrain, similar to the one used in Volvo's XC60 plug-in hybrid concept, shown at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.

While the automaker has dabbled in pure electric cars (like its test fleet of battery-powered C30s), Volvo’s CEO, Stefan Jacoby, is said to be a skeptic of their merits.

Longer term, there’s even been talk of Volvo introducing a range of three-cylinder engines, presumably to replace the automakers five-cylinder models. It’s likely that these smaller engines will also benefit from forced induction or supplemental electric power.


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