With an average speed of 169 kmph crossing 1000 metres in just 21.29 seconds, the Volvo’s custom-built ‘Iron Knight‘ sprinted like maniac to became the world’s fastest truck at a closed-off test track in Sweden yesterday. The custom rig also broke the world record in standing-start 500 metres category as well, with an average speed of 131.29 kmph at 13.71 seconds.
Volvo Trucks is no stranger for innovative, bewitching projects like this, thereby serving the business motive of showcasing the brand’s technology and product capabilities. The Iron Knight involved technicians, designers, and engineers from various departments of Volvo Trucks who came together to build a speed maniac that can only live in a race track. Interestingly, the custom truck is partly based on the road-going Volvo FH sharing its 13-litre engine and the I-Shift Dual Clutch transmission, which the company claims as based on sports car technology and even demonstrated it in the race track sometime back.
However, the engine has been substantially modified to push to its limits, while every other components such as wheels, suspensions, brakes and others have been tailor for this race truck. Its fibre glass-made body panels, bumpers, large air-intakes and side skirts are all aerodynamically-tuned to achieve lowest drag co-efficient so as to shine in the track. The design of the truck is inspired from that of the FH, but is all the more different and track-sexy! Especially the rear tail lights and and the cabin rollbars are simply and mesmerising.
Notably, the mid-mounted and highly customised D13 diesel engine with water-cooled intercooler and four turbochargers pump out a whooping 2400 hp and 6000 Nm of max torque. The electric and electronic systems have been simplified and the ECU software has been re-caliberated. The powertrain is paired to an I-Shift Dual Clutch used in the road-going Volvo FH, but with an added reinforced clutch to tackle unusually high torque scenario. Every minute attention to the whole truck has resulted in an impressive power-to-weight ratio of little above 0.5 hp/kg, making it a track monster once the driver floors the accelerator!
Volvo Trucks says that the Iron Knight is a tribute to the Volvo FH, its technology and potentiality. The engineering team at Volvo have unearthed novel ways of binding technology with design.