• Feb 2, 2006
The new 2007 Volvo S80 will debut with an all-new inline six-cylinder engine designed in-house. The all-aluminum straight six was designed to be as small as possible, nearly the same size as the company’s trademark five-cylinder engines, so that it can be mounted transversely in the S80 and mated to a new six-speed automatic transmission. The package’s tiny dimensions are due in part to the relocation of the ancillary systems like the power steering pump and air conditioning compressor to behind the engine and above the gearbox. These items are therefore not driven by belts at the front of the engine but rather by gears at the rear.

The new 3.2L powerplant produces a healthy 232 horsepower and 236 lb/ft of torque and delivers about 24 mpg. We expect a silky smooth power delivery due to the nature of the inline six form factor and wouldn’t mind seeing this gem in other Ford products that might require big power in small places


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  • 20 Comments
      • 9 Years Ago
      Not very impressive next to BMW's newest 3.0 I6.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Volvo has been using a transverse mounted I6 in their S80 forever. Their I5 is derived from the (now old) I6, which was designed with the help of Porsche, I think.
      • 9 Years Ago
      There is no VW golf (from factory) with a transverse 90 degree V8.
      the VR6 saved width, to allow a transverse I6 fit without dramatically re-engineering the ancillaries(which is what Volvo did)
      The alternator is on the front side of the engine.
      The Audi uses rear transfer chains so the components (alternator, power steering pump, air conditioning compressor) can be removed from the front of the engine.

      'Plus, in-line's have a much better torque curve and less "rumble" than V's.' This statement is complete crap.
      The torque curve of a V6 can be just as good, or better depending on the complexity of the intake system. This volvo I6 has variable resonance intake manifold, just like MANY V6's. The rumble of a V6 is usually a result of having one plenum with 6 runners, not done too often because of poor cylinder filling-new mitsubishi 3.8 V6.
      • 9 Years Ago
      #10 - Yeah, and a Dodge Daytona had a highly boosted/powerful engine too - what's your point?

      A highly boosted turbo 4 does not provide linear power delivery, has higher maintenace costs (usually), and does not offer the mileage gains that appear on paper.

      Remember in the 80s when turbos were the answer? How many companies stuck with it? A Turbo is certainly a viable option and they can be well executed (the VW 2.0T for example), but I would not suggest that Saab has this magic engine devoid of serious faults. Everything in life has trade-offs.

      Also, I assume by your screename that you drive a Saab. Saabs are cool and quirky (until GM kills the brand, but I hope you are not trying to validate your choice on the forum.
      • 8 Years Ago
      More than the engine in itself we can expect benefits from the fact that unlike the 2.9l I6 it replaces, the new 3.2 I6 is mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox. The (otherwise nice) 4-speed automatic tranny put a heavy penalty on the old I6, making the low-pressure turbo I5 (with 5 gear automatic) a better buy than the non-turbo I6.
      • 9 Years Ago
      #6, Well, it's more impressive than the 215-hp base six. For the 3.0si, this is down 20hp but up 16lb-ft. I'd call that comparable, especially when this engine goes into what is most likely a considerably heavier S80.
      • 9 Years Ago
      To add to #8, there will also be two 3.0L turbo-charged versions with variable vane techology and variable cam timing on both inlet and exhaust valves.

      The low-pressure version delivers 285 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The high-pressure version produces 350 hp and 332 lb-ft. Not too shabby!

      These won't necessarily find application in the new S80, but may very well turn up in the new S60.
      • 9 Years Ago
      #14

      I've owned 3 Saabs, (two of them Ecotec based 2.0 turbos), and I have surpassed the EPA window sticker mileage on all of them. The Saab 2.3L Turbo has its torque peak around 1,800 rpm I believe which may not be as good as the impressive new Audi 2.0T, but it is a much older design without the benefit of direct injection and it still gets amazing fuel economy.

      A non-linear power delivery isn't necessarily a bad thing, but if somebody doesn't like it, then that's one disadvantage. One could counter that the disadvantage for a V6 or In-line 6 is increased fuel consumption.

      Experience the "silent hand" turbo rush of a Saab turbo and you'll understand.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Does putting more stuff behind the engine shift the weight further forward and unbalance the car toward the front?
      • 9 Years Ago
      The VR6 is no space saver. Yes, it goes in the same bay as the 2.0L engine, but Audi also dumps a 4.2L V8 in the same bay as a 2.0L engine, so that just doesn't mean much.

      The VR6, especially the new 3.2L 4-valve version is rather large. That doesn't mean it sucks though, it produces decent power for its size.

      This Volvo engine better be pretty damn small in order to justify making only 232HP. I'm sure GM could squeeze their pushrod straight six in that space or less and make 270HP.

      Note to DJ: chains and belts are both more efficient at transmitting power than gears. Gears are better if you can manage to use only two, but when you're trying to drive accessories and things that have to be far from the driveshaft, you need a lot of them. And that means more friction and more mass. Additionally, there's just no reason to think that because the accessories are gear driven that the accessories themselves will last longer.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Oh yes!! another fantastic story about volvo. you should all run out any buy this car!
      • 9 Years Ago
      6 cylinder focus anyone?
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