Volvo has already confirmed that all of its future engine families will be high-efficiency 4-cylinder units with modular designs based around Volvo Environmental Architecture (VEA). Now, the automaker has revealed that the first of these engines -- a potent but super-green turbodiesel due in European showrooms this fall -- will introduce new i-ART (intelligent Accuracy Refinement Technology), a Denso-developed system making its first appearance on a production passenger car engine. Matched with an advanced ultra-high-pressure common-rail design, i-ART consists of a microprocessor mounted on each injector that uses real-time closed-loop feedback to more precisely control the timing and the amount of fuel presented for combustion in each cylinder. Volvo claims this new i-ART system will deliver significantly better fuel economy, considerably lower emissions and enhanced performance along with "a powerful sound character."
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"Increasing the rail pressure to an exceptionally high 2,500 bar (36,250 psi), while adding the i-ART technology, can be described as the second step in the diesel revolution," noted Derek Crabb, Vice President Powertrain Engineering at Volvo Car Group. "It is a breakthrough comparable to when we invented the groundbreaking lambda sensor for the catalytic converter in 1976. It's another world-first for Volvo."
The new i-ART diesel engines are designed to accommodate a full range of turbocharging applications to ensure they can be used throughout the automaker's entire future product range. Volvo also indicated that some will be teamed with supplemental electric augmentation. "We will create smaller, more intelligent engines with so much power that they will turn V8s into dinosaurs," Crabb added. "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."
To back its new families of VEA gasoline and i-ART turbodiesel engines, Volvo also will introduce a new econo-enhancing 8-speed automatic transmission. While there's still no announced plan to bring diesel power to America, the new VEA gas engines and 8-speed autoshifter are expected to find their way into future U.S. Volvo models somewhere down the line.
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