The Iron Knight – Volvo’s Record-Breaking Truck

The Iron Knight – Volvo’s Record-Breaking Truck

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Volvo Trucks’ super truck, christened The Iron Knight, is now the speed record holder for 500 meter and 1,000 meter distances. The record attempts were performed in a test track in northern Sweden. During the record runs, The Iron Knight ran the 500-meter distance in 13.71 seconds with an average speed of 131.29 km/h, and the 1,000-meter distance in 21.29 seconds and average of 169 km/h. The Iron Knight reached a top speed of 276 km/h.

These figures are even more impressive when you take into account that the truck weighs 4.5 tonnes. Naturally, a significantly modified D13 mid-mounted engine with water-cooled intercooler and four turbochargers with power output of 2,400 hp and 6,000 Nm of torque and giving it a power-to-weight ratio above 0.5 hp/kg helped a lot.

I-Shift Dual Clutch Volvo Trucks T2016_0319The Iron Knight is also fitted with the I-Shift Dual Clutch transmission which maintains torque delivery during gear changes. Apart from a reinforced clutch (the discs and pressure plates are made of a sintered material), The Iron Knight uses the same gearbox that is fitted to series-manufactured Volvo FH trucks.

“This shows that our I-Shift Dual Clutch transmission has enormous potential and that it does not let you down under extreme conditions. The fact that the world record-breaker uses the very same gearbox that is found in our series-built FH trucks is something that we’re really proud of,” says Claes Nilsson, President and CEO of Volvo Trucks.

Boije Ovebrink The Iron Knight Volvo Trucks T2016_0328Driving The Iron Knight to record times was Boije Ovebrink, who has more than 30 years’ experience in car and truck racing. He has previously beaten five speed records and in 1994 was European Truck Racing Champion. “Volvo Trucks’ The Iron Knight can be summarised in one single word: perfection. It’s beautiful to look at and is an unparalleled powerhouse when you floor the accelerator. This is the third record-breaking truck I’ve driven, and I can’t think of a better follow-up to Wild Viking and Mean Green,” said Ovebrink.

For the record-breaking attempts, The Iron Knight had its weight reduced by using a fiberglass cab and keeping only the crucial electronic components. Its software was also reprogrammed for high performance and its cab was aerodynamically optimized with side skirts and large air intakes.

“Specialists from several different Volvo Trucks departments worked closely together to develop a truck with unsurpassed performance. Apart from Volvo Trucks’ powertrain, which is the heart and soul of The Iron Knight, we’ve hand-built the truck from the ground up. The fact that we succeeded in securing not just one record but two is absolutely amazing,” says Olof Johansson, a technician at Volvo Trucks.

The runs were carried out at Skellefteå Drive Center, a former airfield outside Skellefteå in northern Sweden. The speed record was monitored and approved by the international motor sport association, the FIA. The truck covered the distance in both directions and based on these two runs, the average time and speed were calculated. The record result that the FIA presents is the average speed of the two runs.

Volvo Trucks’ previous record-breaking trucks were:

2007 – ‘The Wild Viking’ (1,600 hp) beat the world record for the standing-start 0-1,000 m distance, with an average speed of 158.8 km/h.

2010 – The record for the same distance was beaten by ‘NH D16’ (1,800 hp) which reached an average speed of 166.7 km/h.

2011 – The hybrid truck ‘Mean Green’ (1,800 hp diesel engine plus a 300 hp electric motor) set new records for 0-500 and 0-1,000 m from a standing start, at an average speed of 115.3 km/h and 152.2 km/h respectively.

2012 – ‘Mean Green’ took on the 1,000 m flying-start category and set a new record with an average speed of 236.6 km/h.

Watch The Iron Knight’s record runs here:

And the I-Shift dual clutch:


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