Volvo Trucks has broken not one but two world speed records to become the worlds fastest truck with the beast they call “The Iron Knight”.
The purpose built truck from Volvo has broken the world speed record in the standing-start 500- and 1000-metre categories. The truck is completely custom built, but Volvo claims they have not touched i-Shift Dual Clutch transmission in anyway. The same drivetrain are found in the series production Volvo FH trucks.
Behind the wheel of The Iron Knight, was Boije Ovebrink, a Swedish truck racing driver with 30-years of experience and former FIA European Cup Truck Racing champion in 1994. Ovebrink also held five previous speed records, four of which were with Volvo.
The Iron Knight is a 2400 hp, 6000 Nm monster of a truck that only weighs 4.5 tonnes, which is feather weight in the world of trucks. That gives it a power-to-weight ratio of 0.5 hp/kg. The engine is a heavily modified D13 Volvo unit water-cooled intercooler and four turbochargers mounted in the middle of the chassis mated to the i-Shift dual clutch gearbox. Electronics on the truck were kept to a minimum to lower the vehicle’s weight, software was re-programmed to deliver high performance, and the cab is aerodynamically designed and made of fibre-glass. The side-skirts have large air intakes to supply the engine with cooling air.
The runs were carried out at “Skellefteå Drive Center” a former airfield outside Skellefteå in northern Sweden. The speed record was monitored and approved by the FIA. An average speed was calculated from two runs in both directions for it to qualify for a world record.
The Iron Knight crossed the 1000-metre mark at (an average time of both runs) of just 21.29 from a standing start and clocked an average top speed 169km/h. it also beat the corresponding record of 500-metre distance by hitting 131.29km/h and completing the distance in 13.71 seconds. During the record attempt, the truck also achieved a top speed of 276 km/h.
Ovebrink described The Iron Knight in a nutshell claiming it as “perfection”. He felt that it’s a worthy follow-up to the previous Wild Viking and Mean Green Trucks that set the previous records.
Some of the previous record holding trucks from Volvo are:
2007 – The Wild Viking: 1600hp, average top speed of 158.8 km/h.
2010 – NH-D16: 1800hp, average top speed of 166.7 km/h.
2011 – Mean Green (Hybrid) – 1800hp + 300hp electric motor, average top speed of 152.2 km/h
2012 – Mean Green (Hybrid) – second attempt, average speed of 236.6 km/h.
This video below shows the entire record braking attempt of the Volvo The Iron Knight.
Here are some behind the scene stuff which will give you a sense of what went in to achieve the record.
Also Read: Understanding Volvo’s CMA platform