March 4 (Bloomberg) -- Volvo Car Group will offer only four-cylinder engines as the Swedish manufacturer owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. promotes hybrid systems to stand out from other upscale auto producers.
Customers who want more than the 190 horsepower generated by the standard combustion engines can order electric motors that give the vehicle as much as 400 horsepower, Volvo Cars Chief Executive Officer Hakan Samuelsson said in an interview today at the Geneva International Motor Show. The hybrid models will have four-wheel drive as the electric motors power the rear wheels while the conventional engines power the front.
“Sometimes you have to make radical choices, but we’re not a bit nervous about it,” Samuelsson said. “The brand has to stand out a bit more.”
Volvo, which built a reputation around safety and reliability, is in the midst of an 11 billion-euro ($15 billion), four-year project to develop a range of new models in an effort to almost double sales to 800,000 vehicles by 2020. The Gothenburg-based carmaker is about one-fourth the size of luxury-auto sales leader Bayerische Motoren Werke AG.