Though late by two years, the new-generation Volvo trucks nearly bridges the gap between the Volvo’s key offerings in India and other Western markets in terms of design and engineering.
Volvo Trucks India has launched the new updated versions of its premium heavy-duty trucks FH, FM, and FMX in the domestic market. With the blooming of trucking industry in India at present with upturn in sales for last few months, favourable tax policies and diesel prices, we find new products entering the market spurting competition. Volvo enjoyed a near monopoly over the premium truck segment until quite recently. Scania and Daimler’s Bharat Benz have now started to split their shares of the pie. Other manufacturers are not as inferior as once they were thought of either. So naturally Volvo is also expected to be pro-active.
These new trucks are on the lines of the biggest ever global line-up refresh in the brand’s history in 2012 and 2013. The line-up includes six models featuring new design language and state-of-the-art engineering and technology, compliant to the new European Union Euro 6 engine environment requirements. The flagship model of the global fleet is FH 16 features a massive 16.1-litre engine with 6-speed fully-automatic gearbox and fuel-saving technologies.
What Indian market gets is just the three of the six global models. Needless to say, our domestic market is a bit immature for the whole global line-up at present. That is the reason why Volvo offers only limited range of driveline, gearbox, and other technological options. But while considering the positive response to the small and medium-duty trucks of Bharat Benz in South India, Volvo can consider bring in its FL and FE range of trucks too in the near future.
The new FH, FM and FMX shares three exterior design features in common, the iron mark logo – which now enjoys a more prominent position just under the windscreen – the larger honeycomb-patterned grille and the V-shaped daytime running lights. However, all the three trucks express distinctive differences and are set to stand apart. The interiors of the cabin look almost like that of a premium car, with the driver seat view mimicking an airplane’s cockpit! The whole concept of the interior design focuses on the driver’s interests and optimum comforts.
Of the trio, the new FH (“Front High” cab) is the flagship model which is offered with Volvo-made 6-cylinder 13-litre inter-cooled engine with 520 hp output, mated to a 12-speed semi-automatic (I-Shift) gearbox. The FH series is the most powerful and one of the successful premium trucks across globe, and the new design makes its look elegant than aggressive to its capabilities.
The FM (“Flat Medium” height cab) is a versatile truck poised for multiple applications. It is powered by a 440 hp 13-litre engine with a 14-speed synchro manual transmission. The 12-speed I-Shift gearbox is optional. While the FMX ( “Forward control Medium Xtreme”) is an off-road truck for mining purposes. The engine options and technical specs are similar to FM range of trucks.
The existing (last generation) FH, FM, and FMX trucks will continue to be in production as “Classic” variants. Smaller engine options will also be offered with usual manual transmissions. The FM is also available in Tipper and Dump truck avatars.
Also, do watch this video featuring Volvo FH Truck: Even Big Trucks Can Rag With Track Machines!
Photo Credit: Volvo Trucks