Volvo, Powertrains & Dinosaurs

Gary S. Vasilash

Although Volvo isn’t exactly selling cars in the U.S. with great vigor—according to Autodata, through March it sold 15,107 vehicles in the U.S., giving it a 0.4% market share—Volvo Car Group is still working hard to develop new and innovative technology, presumably understanding that there are other parts of the world where the company might do better—to say nothing of the fact that it is owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, based in Hangzhou, China.

Volvo iArt 1

The company has announced something called “i-ART” technology for its diesel engines. Essentially, the i-ART system is based on using sensors for each fuel injector rather than a single pressure sensor for the entire common rail system. Explains Derek Crabb, Powertrain Engineering vice president at Volvo Car Group, “Each injector has a small computer on top, which monitors injection pressure. Using this information, the self-adapting i-ART system makes sure that the ideal amount of fuel is injected during each combustion cycle.”

Volvo iArt3

It is also worth noting that they’re performing injections at 2,500 bar.

Volvo has developed what it’s named “Volvo Engine Architecture.” It is the basis of a line of gasoline and diesel engines that will be introduced in the market this fall. This modular engine line will use direct injection. Turbocharging will be deployed. In some cases they’ll boost performance via electrification. Volvo has also developed an eight-speed automatic.

Crabb: “We will create smaller, more intelligent engines with so much power that they will turn V8s into dinosaurs.”

Volvo iArt 2

Volvo’s Derek Crabb

While many OEMs have said that the days of the V8 may be waning, this is the first time we’ve had someone come out with a Cretaceous reference.

Crabb went on to say, “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 to power figures in today’s V8 territory.”

The engines will be manufactured at the Volvo plant in Skövde, Sweden.

Here’s hoping that Volvo is able to emerged from the Land of the Lost sales-wise so these new powertains will have a chance to prove their evolutionary advances.