The reduction of the fuel consumption and the emissions are the two main goals for the development of current and future engines. Both consumption and emissions are highly influenced by the fluid and the material temperatures of the engine. This offers potential especially at low engine speeds and engine loads to reduce the cooling power and increase the material temperatures to a tribologic and thermodynamic optimized level.The cooling system which is able to control the cooling power and the material temperatures, the required control devices and the control strategy are designated as intelligent heat management. The definition of the requirements for the control devices and the definition of the control strategies requires detailed knowledge about the thermal engine behavior.To determine the optimized operating of the intelligent heat management system and define the characteristics of the control devices numerical simulation models have been established at FEV and verified by experimental investigations. These models comprehend the combustion process, the heat rejection to the different engine components and also the tribologic system.The paper will present a detailed thermal engine model, describing the heat fluxes within the engine and the interaction of the material temperatures with the thermodynamic and the tribological system. A control strategy for the intelligent heat management and the benefits in terms of fuel consumption and emissions will be presented.