TORONTO, Ont. -- Volvo Trucks has expanded its XE (exceptional efficiency) powertrain package to include two new 16-litre offerings, including one aimed at long combination vehicle (LCV) applications.
“This is the first integrated fuel-efficient powertrain, specifically aimed at the heavy on-highway long combination vehicle,” Ed Saxman, drivetrain product manager with Volvo told Trucknews.com when announcing the new packages at Truck World.
Volvo’s award-winning 13-litre XE13 powertrain package was introduced last September for mainstream, 80,000-lb applications. The XE13 and XE16 packages are comprised of a set of specifications - central to which are the Volvo I-Shift transmission and Volvo engines - which through a process dubbed ‘downspeeding,’ allows the engine to turn 200 rpm slower than normal, delivering fuel savings of up to 3%.
The XE16 package is available in two configurations, one aimed at 80,000-lb GCW ratings running 70 mph and a heavier-spec’ version suitable for GCWs of 143,000 lbs and running at 62 mph. Both versions are powered by the Volvo D16 engine with 500 hp and 2,050 lb.-ft. of torque, a new rating for Volvo’s D16.
The LCV spec’ features an 18-inch heavy-duty rear axle with a 3.21 axle ratio, rather than the 3.73 ratio most commonly spec’d in LCV applications, Saxman explained. The package reduces cruising speed from 1,425 rpm to 1,225 rpm at 62 mph (100 km/h), providing fuel savings of about 3%, the company says.
“The XE16 directly addresses the needs of two important market segments that historically have had very few fuel-efficient powertrain options,” said Saxman. “The beauty of Volvo’s XE powertrain is that it delivers the full power and low-end torque needed for higher weight applications while saving fuel by running at a lower rpm.”
The XE16 package has been tested in Canadian LCV fleets and is also compatible with other on-highway, heavy-haul applications, such as conventional B-trains.
Interestingly, the XE16 package boasts greater torque than the 550-hp D16, which Saxman said “helps mitigate the extremely tall gearing.” Peak torque is available even while running as low as 1,000 rpm, contributing to excellent low-rpm drivability, Volvo claims.
The new package was developed very much with Canadian customers in mind, Saxman explained, noting the company researched in detail the spec’s most commonly used in LCV applications.
“Both XE16 packages provide unheralded fuel efficiency for customers requiring high horsepower and torque,” Saxman said.
The 80,000-lb version of the XE16 package (actually approved for 88,000 lbs), is designed for applications where the truck will typically run 70 mph, which is not uncommon in certain States but illegal in Ontario and Quebec, by virtue of their speed limiter laws, and in most other provinces as well, according to the signs on the side of the road.