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US:Volvo's Super 6: Hot new powerplant for Ford, Jaguar models too


The new engine debuts in the 2007 Volvo S80. (Photo by Brenda Priddy and Co.)

Volvo's Super 6: Hot new powerplant for Ford, Jaguar models too
GREG KABLE
AUTOWEEK

Ford’s Swedish partner Volvo is developing an advanced inline six-cylinder engine, known internally as SI6, as the powerplant for the next-generation S80 due in June 2006.

Conceived for both transverse and longitudinal applications, the four-valves-per-cylinder gasoline engine features an aluminum cylinder block and a total weight of about 400 pounds. With a compact chain-driven camshaft system, the engine is actually 1.0 millimeter shorter than Volvo’s widely offered five-cylinder—a feature that makes it suitable for a whole range of Ford models, according to AutoWeek sources.

Three different versions of the SI6 are planned: a base naturally aspirated 3.2-liter and a pair of performance-oriented turbo*charged 3.0-liter units. The former receives variable cam timing on the inlet valves, with the latter two adopting a more advanced system operating both the inlet and exhaust valves. The performance versions also receive a Garrett turbocharger with variable vane geometry.

In 3.2-liter guise the new six-cylinder produces 238 hp at 6000 rpm along with 236 lb-ft of torque at 3500 rpm, an increase of 42 hp and 26 lb-ft over Volvo’s current 2.9-liter five-cylinder engine. The light-pressure turbocharged unit delivers 285 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, while the top-of-the-line high-pressure turbo engine pumps out 350 hp and 332 lb-ft.

Beyond the S80, Ford is mum on plans for the SI6 engines. It’s likely the hottest ones will appear in future Focus RS models in Europe, Jaguar’s sport-tuned R versions and Volvo’s R performance cars.


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