2,400hp Volvo looking to break world speed records

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Built from the ground up to break records, The Iron Knight could be the world’s fastest truck


How much power do you need to set a new world speed record? Volvo Trucks believes the answer is 2,400hp and 6,000Nm of torque.

The Swedish truck maker has enlisted a special team of engineers, designers and technicians to create The Iron Knight, a custom-built monster that is looking to break a few international records.

With exception of the engine and the series-built I-Shift Dual Clutch transmission, The Iron Knight was built from scratch for the August 24 attempts and may even shape the future on-road Volvo models.

"The Iron Knight is the perfect way to showcase the competence and innovative power of Volvo Trucks," Volvo Trucks president and CEO Claes Nilsson says.

"At the same time, our aim was to generate new insights into technical and design solutions. The intention is to transfer some of these to our series-produced trucks."

With a powertrain based on the on-highway Volvo FH, The Iron Knight features a mid-mounted and modified D13 unit with water-cooled intercooler and four turbochargers.

Volvo says it has scaled down the electronics and re-programmed the truck’s software in the custom build to ensure "the highly tuned engine can communicate optimally with the transmission" – which itself has been reinforced to handle the high level of torque.

Volvo Trucks test engineer Niklas Öberg says the strengthened I-Shift Dual Clutch is "the best possible transmission for the job since it maintains torque on the drive wheel during gear changes, just like a racing car does."

"Thanks to this The Iron Knight can accelerate without losing vital time during gear changes," he says.



When it comes to the design the cab, where racing driver Boije Ovebrink will reside during the runs, Volvo Trucks senior designer Nigel Atterbury says The Iron Knight is a tribute to the FH.

"The Iron Knight has an attractive and powerful design inspired by today’s Volvo FH," he says.

"The cab is made of fibreglass and designed to cut air resistance to an absolute minimum.

"The side-skirts give the truck an impressive stance with their large air ducts that supply the engine with cooling-air," he continues.

"You just have to look at the vehicle to realise that this is a truly fast truck. Even when it’s at a standstill it looks like it’s on the move."

With a power-to-weight ratio above 0.5hp/kg, the 4.5-tonne truck will attempt to break two world records: 500 and 1000 metres from standstill.

The record attempts will be shown on YouTube on August 24.



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