Volvo XE Powertrain Packages

Volvo launches a new XE powertrain packageA new XE – eXceptional Efficiency – powertrain package for linehaul applications has been launched by Volvo Trucks.

It also introduced Adaptive Loading, a new 6×2 liftable forward axle that automatically adjusts to load weight changes and offers 4×2 operation under certain conditions. It’s essentially the same as Mack’s new 6×2 option.

Like Volvo’s other XE packages, XE super direct drive improves fuel efficiency by lowering engine rpm at a given vehicle speed. By using a direct-drive Volvo I-Shift automated manual transmission, the new package offers additional fuel efficiency benefits compared with conventional direct drive transmissions.

XE super direct drive, which will be available for order mid-year, is designed for linehaul applications that operate in top gear at a gross combination weight rating of 80,000 pounds or less with maximum engine torque of 1850 lb ft.

XE super direct drive incorporates Meritor’s new super-fast 2.28 ratio for its 14X tandem drive axle and RPL35 driveline. While Meritor’s existing 14X tandem is designed to handle higher torques, Meritor has fortified the design by enlarging the pinion system to accommodate extreme torque levels associated with downspeeding. The 2.28 axle ratio and driveline engineered for downspeeding ensure that torque is transmitted evenly throughout the drivetrain.

A 2.47 rear-axle ratio with a direct-drive transmission amounts to 1370 rpm at 65 miles per hour. A 2.28 rear axle ratio equals 1265 rpm at the same speed. The 105 fewer rpm between the two equates to an approximate 1.5% improvement in fuel efficiency.

Beginning with model year 2016, XE packages feature specific torque profiles based on a variety of factors, such as load profile, cruise speed, terrain, type of roads used, and the customer’s priorities for fuel efficiency versus performance. XE currently is available in High Torque, Economy and Adaptive Gearing packages, depending on application.

Earlier this year, Volvo launched an online tool to help customers select the best torque package by answering just a few questions about their operation.


Rolf Lockwood is editor emeritus of Today's Trucking and a regular contributor to

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