To say that Volvo has high hopes for its new VEA (Volvo Engine Architecture) engine family would be an understatement. How high? High enough for Derek Crabb, Vice President Powertrain Engineering at Volvo Car Group to come up with this statement: “We will create smaller, more intelligent engines with so much power that they will turn V8s into dinosaurs.”

Crabb went on to claim that their new four-cylinder engines would offer higher performance than today’s six-cylinder units and lower fuel consumption than the current four-cylinder generation. On top of that, electrification (hybrid or some sort) will bring it up into power figures in today’s V8-territory.

Vital in its plight to cut fuel consumption in the new diesel engines is Volvo’s i-ART technology – a world-first direct injection management system to eschew the use of a traditional single pressure sensor in the common rail injector. Instead it features pressure feedback from each fuel injector to continuously monitor and adapt fuel injection per combustion in each of the four cylinders.


Each injector now monitors the local injection pressure, while the self-adapting i-ART system makes sure that the ideal amount of fuel is injected during each combustion cycle. The result? An engine with improved fuel economy, considerably lower emissions and high performance output as well as a powerful sound character.

The Volvo i-ART technology combined with increased rail pressure to an exceptionally high 2,500 Bar is described as “the second step in the diesel revolution”. Volvo claims that it’s a huge breakthrough that’s comparable to when it invented the lambda sensor for the catalytic converter in 1976.

Together with the modular VEA engine family (which includes both diesel common rail and petrol direct injection line-ups, each offered with several levels of turbocharging), Volvo will also introduce a new eight-speed automatic gearbox that would further enhance driving refinement and fuel efficiency.

As they say, talk is cheap. Words are plentiful. Deeds are precious. We’ll see if Volvo can deliver on all its promises come the fourth quarter of this year.