Swede success on power
Volvo’s back on top of the performance chart, but with great economy, writesGRAHAMSMITH
VOLVO has released a 522kW version of its flagship FH16, and reclaimed the bragging rights to the world’s most powerful truck. The Swedish truckmaker last reigned over the truck world in 2007 when its 492kW FH16 was the most powerful truck in production.
MAN took over the mantle that same year when it unveiled its 507kW TGX 680.
The new Volvo FH16, released in Europe last month, has a record 522kW and 3150Nm.
The impressive power has not come at the expense of emissions or fuel economy. It meets the tough Euro 5 limits (Australia’s emission limits are the equivalent of Euro 4), and fuel consumption is the same as the existing engine.
Volvo Trucks president and CEO Stefan Jufors says the aim is to have the best performance and fuel economy in the segment.
‘‘With the new D16G engine, we have succeeded in keeping fuel consumption the same as before despite the power increase.’’ he says.
The 16-litre six-cylinder engine comes in 403kW and 447kW versions as well as the 522kW hero.
Maximum power and maximum torque span a wider rev range to make it more driver friendly.
Volvo uses Selective Catalytic Reduction to cut emissions, with NOx down by 40 per cent.
There is a new, electronically controlled 230kW exhaust brake as standard, and the option of Volvo’s engine brake, which has a braking capacity of 425kW.
It also features an oil thermostat to help fuel economy, and pre-injection to make the engine quieter.
The 700-horsepower FH16 is aimed at the heaviest and most demanding transport operations, such as road trains that operate in the Outback.
Volvo’s 660-horsepower FH16 has acquitted itself well in road train and B-double work since it was shown at the Brisbane Truck Show in 2007.
The 700-horsepower truck has performed well in field trials Volvo has done here, but the need for a larger converter for emissions reduces the size of the fuel tanks the truck can carry and that reduces its appeal for local operators.
Volvo national sales manager James Morris says the 700-horsepower FH16 was not part of the company’s plans for Australia, but could be introduced about 2011.