Trucks don’t really need to be fast. They just need to be able to tow stuff. Lots of stuff. Literally tonnes of stuff. Still, that doesn’t mean trucks can’t be fast should the occasion demand it. A case in point being this big bugger, Volvo Trucks’ ‘Iron Knight’. Strong name, chaps.
What is it? It’s a 4.5 tonne tractor unit (that’s what you call an articulated truck with a trailer) with a mid-mounted, 2,400hp, 6,000Nm D13 engine. Oh, and it has four turbochargers. Four. It’s the trucking equivalent of a Bugatti EB110!
It also has Volvo’s I-Shift deal clutch transmission, which is important when trying to get what’s basically a bungalow up to speed. One clutch would probably melt into nothingness mere seconds after 1st gear was engaged. Oh, and this is obviously a marketing exercise for Volvo. WE’RE NOT DAFT! Thankfully, we like seeing big things go quickly.
“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. Thanks for that Claes.
So what did this big sucker do? Well, we’ll tell you. First of all, it clocked 81mph. not a dizzying speed, right? It is when you do it in just 500m from a standing start. In a truck. It also took on 1,000m dash, this time hitting 105mph. Imagine if Eddie Stobart could do that on the M62?
Or favourite, however, is the top speed run. You can see deep into the lunacy and apparent complete lack of self-preservation held by racing driver (including truck racing – he was a champion), Boije Ovebrink, when you learn he pushed this big boy up to 171mph. Again, IN A TRUCK.
Furthermore, he did it all without crashing. Or soiling his race suit. Or crying like child. Which is exactly what we would have done.
Impressive, especially as the powertrain is apparently stock. The rest of the truck is completely bespoke though, obviously. Furthermore, we just like the fact they did it. Nobody asked them to. Nor did they need to, but they did all the same. We’d rather they did stuff like this than not. Life’s too short, right?
Some ‘behind the scenes’ goodness can be found here.