Volvo i-ART diesel injection technologyEnlarge Photo
Volvo doesn't sell any diesel vehicles in the U.S, but if and when it decides to change that it'll certainly have some of the more advanced units on sale.
The company's new diesel engine family, launched this fall in Europe, features what Volvo calls 'i-ART' technology to help cut fuel consumption and emissions.
i-ART provides pressure feedback from each individual fuel injector rather than using a single pressure sensor in the common rail. This allows incredibly fine tuning of injection, on a per-combustion and per-cylinder basis.
Volvo certainly isn't understating the benefits of this new technology--as Volvo Vice President of Powertrain Engineering, Derek Crabb, explains: "Increasing the rail pressure to an exceptionally high 2,500 Bar, while adding the i-ART technology, can be described as the second step in the diesel revolution. It is a breakthrough comparable to when we invented the groundbreaking lambda sensor for the catalytic converter in 1976."
Combined with another new addition to the range, Volvo's first 8-speed automatic transmission, fuel economy and driveability should improve further.
Volvo promises the new 8-speed feels seamless in its gearchanges, and like others of its type improves the balance between fuel efficiency and performance.
Crabb is also confident that Volvo's expanding range of four-cylinder engines and electric powertrains--like the Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid--replacing the firm's larger five- and six-cylinder units, will give away nothing to their earlier counterparts. Indeed, Volvo is also gunning for gas-guzzling V-8s.
"We will create smaller, more intelligent engines with so much power that they will turn V8s into dinosaurs. Our four-cylinder engines will offer higher performance than today's six-cylinder units and lower fuel consumption than the current four-cylinder generation. On top of that, electrification will bring us up into power figures in today's V8-territory" says Crabb.
Now we just need Volvo to bring those diesel engines to the U.S.--something it still hasn't ruled out...