Volvo hasn't yet seen fit to bring its diesel engines to U.S. shores, but if and when that day occurs the Swedish automaker will have some of the most advanced diesel technology on the road.

The company promises its new fuel pressure sensor technology is as groundbreaking as its lambda sensor for catalytic converters in 1976.

That's quite a claim, but the technology could back it up.

Traditionally, the car's electronic brain takes fuel pressure readings via a single sensor in the common rail. Volvo's new technology involves using a little computer on each fuel injector to measure pressure feedback.

Called i-ART, Volvo can now continually monitor and adapt fuel injection on a per-combustion, per-cylinder basis--allowing for far more precise injection and as a result, better economy, lower emissions and more performance.

"Increasing the rail pressure to an exceptionally high 2,500 bar (36,260 psi), 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. It's another world-first for Volvo," says Derek Crabb, Vice President Powertrain Engineering at Volvo.

Combined with a new eight-speed automatic transmission, also announced this week, the next generation engine family will be more efficient than ever.

As with other multi-speed gearbox options from other automakers, the eight-speed unit should allow a better mix of performance and economy--drivers will always be in the right gear to make best use of the engine's performance.

In comparison to Volvo's new generation of powerful four-cylinder units, says Derek crab, today's six-cylinder and V-8 engines will look "like dinosaurs".

Combined with electrification technology, such as that on the Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid on sale in Europe, performance will be right up with the best.

Volvo hasn't yet ruled out bringing diesel engines to the U.S--so if and when it does, they could prove a very compelling option.