GREENSBORO, N.C. — Volvo is promising a more fuel-efficient VN series with its 2016 model year.
Improvements in aerodynamics and powertrain enhancements are expected to improve fuel economy up to 3.5% and 2.5%, respectively, the company announced.
Aerodynamics have been improved to better reflect how air flows, not just around the tractor, but also the trailer, the company explained.
“In real-world operations, an aerodynamic tractor doesn’t guarantee optimal aerodynamics for the tractor-trailer combination,” said Jason Spence, Volvo Trucks product marketing manager. “Through our holistic design approach, we’ve made further enhancements at key exterior and interior locations of our model year 2016 vehicles to greatly improve the transfer of air from the tractor to the trailer, ultimately improving the total aerodynamic performance of the complete vehicle.”
Volvo says its 2016 model year VN will be more fuel-efficient than today’s design.
Improvements have been made to the bumper, chassis and roof fairings of model year 2016 VN highway tractors. They improve airflow under the truck, around the tires and trailer gap, reducing turbulence.
Also new is XE Adaptive Gearing and Torque Management, which builds on Volvo’s popular XE Exceptional Efficiency powertrain package. The new options are designed for trucks that go out loaded and return empty or lightly loaded, as is often the case among bulk haulers, liquid tankers and flatbed carriers.
The system is both a direct drive and overdrive driveline, depending on the rear axle load, which is automatically determined by the system. When loaded, the transmission locks out the 12th gear and provides the benefits of a direct drive, but while empty or lightly loaded, the driveline operates in an overdrive configuration.
Customers can also set road speed limits for both loaded and unloaded conditions. XE-Adaptive Gearing ratings will initially be offered on Volvo’s D11 and D13 engines mated to an I-Shift transmission, Volvo announced.
It’s also offering three new torque control features, which Volvo says will improve fuel mileage, extend tire life and reduce driveline stress.
“XE-Adaptive Gearing and Torque Management powertrain options provide unprecedented customization for customers looking for an optimized solution to fit their specific needs,” said John Moore, Volvo Trucks product marketing manager, powertrain. “Our wide selection of torque management software allows motor carriers to break free from traditional driveline options and choose a spec that’s been tailored to terrain, load type, delivery and performance requirements.”
“With Volvo’s model year 2016 vehicles come an even greater value of ownership as we continue to refine the aerodynamic profile of our VN series tractors and redefine traditional expectations of powertrain performance through our integrated Volvo engines and I-Shift transmission,” added Göran Nyberg, president, Volvo Trucks North American Sales & Marketing. “Our latest enhancements provide a strong complement to the fuel efficiency improvements of up to 3% provided through last year’s introduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) 2014-certified engines.”