At the moment, no equipment is available for fast measurements of particulate matter (PM) from production CI engines, especially during transients. Against this background, virtual sensors may be an option, provided their precision can be validated. This paper presents a new approach to estimate PM emission based only on in-cylinder pressure data. To this end, an in-cylinder pressure trace is measured with a high resolution (0.5 CAD) and every trace is divided into 8 segments according to critical cylinder events (e.g. opening of the valves or the beginning of injection). A piecewise principle component analysis (PCA) is used to compress the information. This information is then used for PM estimation via a second order polynomial model structure. The key element is the separate use of pressure trace information before and during the early stages of combustion. The model is parameterized by steady points and transient experiments which include parts of the FTP and the NEDC. In order to confirm the model quality, the remaining parts of these transient cycles and a randomly generated transient cycle were applied for model validation and satisfying result can be achieved.