Engine and software upgrades boost Volvo fuel economy

An upgraded D13 engine and switching off cruise control can equal up to 3 per cent in fuel savings

Engine and software upgrades boost Volvo fuel economy
These upgrades join the XXL Globetrotter cab as recent Australian developments


The launch of an upgraded D13 Euro 5 engine and new software will enable fuel savings of up to 3 per cent – when cruise control is not activated, Volvo Trucks Australia says.

A new function is called Volvo Torque Assist and is intended to reduce fuel consumption by providing more efficient driving when the cruise control is disabled in long-haul operations.

It is designed to automatically adapt the truck’s torque and acceleration to road topography, the load and speed changes.

"There is no doubt that fuel efficiency is one of the most pressing issues in the transport industry today," Volvo Trucks Australia vice president of sales Tony O’Connell says.

"Because of this, we want to maximise fuel saving measures, especially when cruise control is not applicable.

"I-See, our topography predictive cruise control, is still the best method for optimising fuel use, but it is not always suitable for all specific traffic and weather conditions.

"With Volvo Torque Assist we can still support drivers in such situations."

The function is only active when driving without using cruise control as a complement to I-See.

Another supporting function keeps the amount of injected fuel constant after the engine’s ‘green range’ has been passed.

The slightly compromised performance is compensated by improved fuel economy.

The pedal map has also been recalibrated.

A less sensitive pedal creates a smoother torque development, which in turn makes the truck easier to control, Volvo says.

"Drivers that are less skilled in economical driving will benefit more than those who already have that driving style," O’Connell says.

"The new software also gives a significant result with heavy loads, many slope changes or large speed variations, while drivers transporting lighter loads with constant speed on flat roads will save less fuel.

"Our extensive global field tests have actually seen examples of larger potential for fuel savings, than the 3 per cent."

Volvo took the heavy duty sales crown for the second month in a row

The hardware upgrades in the Euro 6 Step D versions of the D13 engine, released earlier in 2019 by Volvo Trucks globally, are also being used to raise the standards of Euro 5 engines.

Internal friction has been reduced with new cylinder liners and new V-shaped oil scraper rings.

Turbo efficiency has been improved and the engine management system is upgraded to a newer version with better computing capacity.

The hardware upgrades are said save about 1 per cent fuel, while the fuel-saving potential for the new software depends on driver experience, GCM and the operating conditions.

"This, coupled with I-Cruise, our intelligent cruise control which is standard in all FM and FH models for Long Haul applications could enable even greater savings," Volvo adds.


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