Drivers will experience a better motoring experience now that Volvo Trucks’ powertrain is made more efficient than before. With the latest generation of Euro 6 engines and the integrated intelligent Volvo I-Shift transmission, the automaker is taking another leap towards efficient transportation.
Claes Nilsson, President and CEO of Volvo Trucks, says that merging good drivability with fuel efficiency is a greater accomplishment than focusing in drivability or fuel efficiency. He explains that Volvo Trucks decided early on to succeed in both aspects that is why they are in command of the whole development and production process of the entire powertrain themselves. “In this way we can ensure optimal integration and communication between engine and transmission, and continuously fine-tune both hardware and software to achieve the best possible balance between good drivability and low fuel consumption.”
The integrated powertrain comprises an improved Euro 6 engine and Volvo’s exceptional I-Shift. The engine is an ideal example of how a number of small advanced together can lead to a huge improvement. The two most crucial updates are increased compression ratio on the D13 420 and 460 hp versions, and a new optimized turbocharger on the 500 and 540 hp variants of the D13 engine.
According to Mats Franzén, Product Manager Powertrain Components – Engines at Volvo Trucks, for a number of their customers, maintaining a high average speed is essential in order to save time—time that may be important to the transport mission. He adds that in the same way, it is critical to reduce fuel costs. “What we have now achieved is an engine and gearbox that utilize their full combined potential to deliver more efficient transportation.”
The amount of fuel the newest improvements can save depends on the truck’s specification and application area. For a Volvo FH on long haul operations, fuel consumption can be reduced by up to three percent. Meanwhile, for heavy transports, such as timber haulage, the saving may be even higher if the engine is combined with Volvo Trucks’ recently unveiled I-Shift with crawler gears and Tandem Axle Lift, the distinctive driven liftable rear axle.
Other crucial factors that help reduce fuel consumption are the aerodynamic enhancements made to the cab. Air drag gets increased disproportionately in relation to speed. For instance, by doubling the speed, aerodynamic forces increase by a factor of four, which mainly influences the fuel consumption for trucks.
Anders Tenstam, Senior Research Engineer for aerodynamic development, claims that when they work with aerodynamic enhancements, the holistic perspective is essential. “In order to identify those optimization measures that do the greatest good for our customers, we’ve minutely examined every single detail of the truck.”
Volvo Truck has also fine-tuned the front bumper spoiler, mud flaps, air deflector panels, and mud guards as well as the wheel wells. These are small details which, all together, contribute towards greater customer benefit.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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