Volvo Trucks says its new powertrain enhancements and advanced aerodynamics on VN highway tractors aim to deliver 8% better fuel efficiency over EPA 2007 engines – with additional gains possible through the use of new fleet management and driver development tools.
The company also introduced new interior features designed to increase comfort and productivity.
Volvo also introduced a new 455-hp and 1550/1750 lb ft torque rating for the D13 engine. It’s said to complement the company’s existing Eco-Torque and Dual-Torque ratings of 405, 425, 475, and 500 hp, designed to maximize fuel economy by providing a driver-intuitive, easy-to-use algorithm that rewards fuel-efficient driving and encourages low-rpm engine operation.
Eco-Torque and Dual Torque ratings take advantage of high-torque-rise engine curves and take effect in the top two gears, where drivers in linehaul operations spend as much as 95% of their driving time, Volvo says. On demand, engine torque will increase by 200 lb ft – even 300 lb ft in the case of the 425-horse motor – to allow the vehicle to remain in top gear on most grades. Eco-Torque ratings allow full performance and fuel economy in the remaining gears, while Dual-Torque ratings are available to allow lower-rated transmissions to be used.
Volvo offers Eco-Torque ratings on D11 and D16 engines too.
Drivers can also now achieve fuel savings through Volvo’s new “Mass Based Variable Torque” software that senses the trucks gross weight and adjusts the engine’s torque when it’s lightly loaded.
New exterior components in the ‘Fuel Enhancement’ package offered on 2011 Volvo VN models include redesigned mirror heads with aerodynamic shrouds and arms, redesigned hood mirrors that also increase visibility, new bumper and side fairings, and a newly designed bug deflector that compromises fuel efficiency less than aftermarket devices do. VN daycab models also now offer a more aerodynamic roof fairing and sun visor.
Volvo has also rolled out an online driver development program focused on equipping drivers with technical knowledge about their truck, information about its active safety features, and techniques for maximizing fuel efficiency.
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