Volvo released a concept truck getting people talking. The incredible $40 million machine seems rather pricey for a semi-truck. The fancy new model sure is getting a lot of attention, even if it won’t hit the road anytime soon. The truck is still “cost-prohibitive,” truckinginfo.com wrote of the vehicle, but the knowledge gleaned from this grand experiment will apply to future Volvo programs.
The goal of the Volvo SuperTruck project is to build vehicle prototypes that push the boundaries of both fuel and freight efficiency.
Göran Nyberg, president of Volvo Trucks North America, called the Volvo SuperTruck project a “knowledge accelerator.”
“We wanted to see what we could take from the project and get into our customers’ hands even before the project finished,” he said. “We found some significant improvement that we could add to the existing VNL lineup.”
Enhancements featured in the 2017 engine lineup, which Volvo says increase fuel economy by 6.5%, include:
- a new piston design that improves combustion and reduces soot production,
- common rail fuel injection, and
- turbo compounding for the Volvo D13 engine to capture wasted energy from the exhaust stream and convert it to mechanical energy
And of course it’s hard to ignore the overall aerodynamic look of the truck.
The smooth sweeping shape produced a 40% reduction in aero drag, not missing a corner. Since this is a concept truck and not a practical model, even the cab entry steps were covered up and the mirrors replaced with cameras.
Some of the technologies on the SuperTruck aren’t likely to become used daily in CDL trucking jobs for a long time to come. But it sure is fun to dream.
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