GOTHENBURG, Sweden -- For the first time, Volvo Car Corp. will sell a vehicle with a V-8 engine.
Developed and manufactured by Yamaha Corp. in Japan, the 4.4-liter V-8 engine will power the popular XC90 sport wagon. The V-8 version arrives early next year.
The XC90 is Volvo's top seller, and 90 percent of its buyers come from other brands.
Volvo hopes a V-8 will move the brand upscale and tempt buyers attracted to the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz M class.
A past relationship between parent Ford Motor Co. and Yamaha helped Volvo to get the engine.
Yamaha developed the all-aluminum transverse-mounted engine to fit the existing XC90 bay with minimal suspension changes. Volvo was unwilling to add 5 inches to the vehicle's length to make an existing Ford longitudinal V-8 fit, says Hans Wikman, Volvo Car vice president for large cars.
To save space in its east-west configuration, the engine's left-hand bank is positioned one-half cylinder ahead of the right bank. Instead of the typical 90-degree "V," the engine was given a 60-degree split, says Jorgen Svensson, XC90 chief program engineer.
The XC90 V-8 reaches 60 mph in seven seconds and meets ULEV II and Euro 5 emissions standards.
The XC90's existing five-speed automatic transmission couldn't handle the increased torque, so Volvo will source a six-speed transmission from Aisin Seiki Co. for the V-8, Svensson says.
While the five- and six-cylinder models offer a choice of front- or all-wheel drive, all XC90 V-8s will come with standard Haldex awd.
American dealers will receive their first orders in January.
Although exact pricing has not been finalized, Volvo has targeted $45,295 as the starting sticker price for the V-8, and about $47,000 typically equipped, says John Neu, Volvo Cars North America XC90 project manager.
By comparison, the base five-cylinder XC90 starts at $35,525 including destination.