Several changes to powertrain components and aerodynamics have boosted fuel efficiency of new VN highway series tractors 8% over those with EPA 2007 engines, Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA) said at the Mid-America Trucking Show. The company has recently introduced a new 455 hp. Volvo D13 engine with available torque ratings of 1,550/1,750 lbs.-ft. The new rating complements the company’s existing eco-torque and dual-torque ratings of 405, 425, 475, and 500 hp. to maximize fuel economy by offering a driver-intuitive, easy-to-use algorithm that rewards fuel-efficient driving and encourages low-rpm engine operation, VTNA said. Volvo Trucks also offers the eco-torque ratings on both its D11 and D16 engines.
To complement the engines, Volvo has created the mass-based variable torque software program. The software senses the gross combination weight of the truck and adjusts the engine’s torque when the truck is hauling less weight. This improves fuel efficiency, the company said. Aerodynamically, 2011 Volvo VN model trucks will 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 reduces fuel efficiency degradation compared to aftermarket devices. Volvo Trucks’ VN day cab models also now offer a more aerodynamic roof fairing and sun visor.