Los Angeles, California – Efficiency and electrification are key drivers for Volvo, the company said at a press conference at the Los Angeles Auto Show, including a move to only four-cylinder engines.

“We claim environmental leadership through groundbreaking initiatives within smart electrification and downsizing our conventional powertrains to four-cylinder engines solely,” said Stefan Jacoby, president and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation.

Volvo is already in the lead among European carmakers for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. In 2010, it outperformed Europe’s eight largest car manufacturers by cutting overall CO2 emissions by no less than 9 per cent. Jacoby said that one-third of the company’s research budgets are earmarked for reducing CO2 emissions.

The company’s new engine range, VEA (Volvo Environmental Architecture) consists solely of four-cylinder engines, some of which will include enhanced performance through electrification or other spearhead technology such as kinetic flywheel drive.

“It is time for the automotive industry to stop counting cylinders,” Jacoby said. “Focusing on four-cylinder engines is a perfect way to improve fuel economy without compromising driving pleasure or performance. We will offer customers four-cylinder engines with higher performance than present six-cylinder units. And they will have better fuel economy than the current generation of four-cylinder engines.”

Volvo’s electrification strategy includes the Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid, the world’s first diesel-powered plug-in hybrid, which will reach its first European customers in the fall of 2012. The company has also begun deliveries of a limited fleet of the C30 Electric.

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