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Volvo goes for beauty and brawn with VT 880

SCOTTSDALE, AZ Volvo Trucks North America is going after the owner/operator market with a distinctive new flagshi...

SCOTTSDALE, AZ Volvo Trucks North America is going after the owner/operator market with a distinctive new flagship truck, the long-hood, high-horsepower Volvo VT 880.

Aimed at the premium owner operator market, the Volvo VT combines beauty with brawn. Behind all the chrome that an owner/operator could possibly desire is the most powerful engine on the market today: the new Volvo D16 engine, with ratings up to 625 hp with 2250 lb-ft of torque.

"The Volvo VT 880 was designed for the owner operator who wants a very powerful, productive and efficient truck, with high horsepower and intense visual appeal," said Peter Karlsten, VTNA president and CEO. "This customer demands performance, power and an on-road image that matches the way he views himself a successful and progressive businessman."

Typical applications for the Volvo VT 880 with the D16’s high power ratings would be for customers who want to maintain high average legal speeds through mountains while transporting full-weight loads, such as refrigerated operations. It will also be excellent for heavy haul, drop frame and other high gross weight applications. The Volvo VT 880 will also be attractive to image-conscious and performance-oriented owner operators who value comfort, maneuverability and safety, Volvo officials said at the Scottsdale, Ariz unveiling of the new truck.

The Volvo VT 880 is available for Canadian and U.S. customers to order now, with customer deliveries beginning in June. Production at the New River Valley Plant will start in April at a low level and ramp up, with full production beginning in the fourth quarter of this year.

Volvo says it also looked to the future as it developed the VT 880. The truck is prepared to meet the demanding cooling requirements that will come with the 2007 and 2010 emissions standards. Its large grille and long hood and aerodynamic features were designed to channel cooling airflow around the engine, thus ensuring the VT 880’s engines can remain cooleven under the demanding conditions.

To provide the image many owner/operators expect from a premium truck, Volvo designers came up with modern interpretations of these classic features:
– A chrome grille that is 15% larger than other Volvo grilles, with a full chrome surround.
– Chrome bezels for the headlamps, inside the distinctive aerodynamic lamps.
– A polished, all-steel bumper, with a three-piece design for improved serviceability, plus available inset fog lamps with LED accent lights.
– Chrome air intake surrounds, with inset LEDs for a distinctive look at night.
– Polished steps, fuel tanks and tank straps, and quarter fenders highlight the side of the cab.
– And polished twin exhaust stacks, moved outboard to follow the profile of the cab; or, the stacks can also be mounted inboard for a more aerodynamic look.

The Volvo VT 880 also has two other elements owner operators typically look for in a "classic style" truck: a set-forward front axle and a long hood. But Volvo says it took these classic elements and gave them a modern Volvo interpretation, "for a look unlike anything else on the road."

And Volvo adds that while the VT 880 has an aggressive and powerful stance, the entire chassis has been tuned by Volvo engineers to produce a comfortable ride and smooth handling. The front axle has been moved forward 12.4 inches (315 mm) to what Volvo calls the "Comfort Position." This position optimizes cooling airflow for the high-horsepower engine, while giving the Volvo VT 880 a 45-degree wheel cut.

Just as the front axle moved forward, the cab itself moved back 8 inches (200 mm) on the chassis. This isolated the cab from the engine for an even quieter and smoother ride. It also gave the Volvo VT 880 a long 200-inch BBC (bumper to back of sleeper cab), which allows owner operators to improve aerodynamics and fuel economy by spec’ing a smaller gap between cab and trailer.

To handle the awesome 2250 lb-ft of torque produced by the 625 hp Volvo D16 engine, the Volvo VT 880 offers a non-torque-reactive rear suspension, the Hendrickson Primaax. It was specially engineered to provide a smooth, comfortable ride and good handling in high-torque, high gross weight applications.

On the safety front, the cab is made from welded high-strength steel and complies with the famous Swedish Impact Test, the most stringent truck crashworthiness test in the world. A driver’s airbag is standard. And the VT 880 will be available with Bendix enhanced stability protection braking systems.

Inside the cab, the Volvo VT 880’s 77-inch sleeper has more than 374 cubic feet of space, and more than 520 cubic feet of total living space, including the driver and passenger seat area..

The sleeper has an optional workstation that functions as dining table, office desk and den. After supper, the bench seats quickly convert to a full-length lower bunk. The upper bunk with premium mattress folds out from the back of the cab, and a foldaway ladder allows easy access.

The Volvo D16 engine is the heart of the new VT 880 and is the most powerful engine on the market. As an example of the D16’s usable power, the VT 880 operating at 80,000 pounds can maintain 65 mph on a 3% grade while running at 1400 rpm. That is an unmatched combination of torque, power and aerodynamics in the Volvo VT 880’s market.

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