The record breakers no one can touch, who you ask? Volvo!!
taking jet engines out of the equation I'm looking at diesel internal combustion. We'll get round to rocket power another time.
Okay so you might get the feeling I'm a bit infatuated with Volvo trucks and you would be correct, why wouldn't I be? they are innovators and leaders in a very tough market but how do they manage stay one step ahead?.. by pushing there technology to the maximum proving that they are virtually indestructible powerhouses of transportation not to be messed with. I'm going to take a look at the 3 record breakers created by Volvo and driven by world record setter and 1994 European trucking champ Boije Ovebrink.
I'm in no doubt we all aren't new to the Volvo Iron Knight, but the fact it is still undefeated 4 years on doesn't actually surprise me at all really, even considering it contains the same engine and gearbox found in the everyday Volvo FH tractor units, just modified.
The iron Knight consists of an ordinary 13L D13 inline 6 engine modified with 4 turbos and a water cooled intercooler, turn the ECU up to 11 and you have 2400hp and 6000Nm of twisty force, holy Moley I'm surprised it doesn't just twist the chassis on the spot. That's where Volvo were keen to show off the strength and might of the dual I shift clutch it comes into its own with a 12 speed auto providing seamless power through gearchanges, more gears than my old push clink bicycle used to have. All that was uprated out of this was the clutch plate itself.
source Volvo trucks. i like the added touch of the 2400 badge.
Clearly this much power wasn't going to go to waste pushing a heavy standard body along the strip, no it was a full fibre glass body all together weighing in at around 4.5 tonne compared to the usual 4x2 weight of around 7-8 tonnes, that's a huge diet! Purposely built for aerodynamics and lightness the huge side arches not only helped with that, they assisted with the cooling of the engine. A lot of the wiring was also stripped out to help keep weight down as a big old loom can actually weigh a surprising amount. What so no fridge to keep my lunch in?!
This impressive piece of engineering set the record of the 500m in 13.71 seconds at a speed of 81.580mph and smashed 1000m in 21.29 seconds at a very respectable 105.069mph. not only that it reached a massive top speed of 171.498mph and pulls 0-60 in 4.6 seconds quicker than a 66 cobra427. No doubt Boije and Volvo are extremely proud of this and rightly so and after 5 years I can only hope your working on the next record breaker.
Previous holder was the purpose built freightliner, Mean Green a hybrid driven again by Boije Ovebrink. Rocking an awesome Volvo D16 engine along with an electric motor together packing a 2100hp punch and 7000nm that's right SEVEN THOUSAND newton meters of torque. The motor generated 200hp and nearly 1200nm of this total power (not bad).
being a normal looking freightliner doesn't mean it was road ready by any means this was also a custom built body for aerodynamics and lightness instead of pulling capability. Mean Green set a sterling record on the flying Km of 147.002mph and an applause worthy 95.245mph on the standing km in 2012. With the record attempt happening at 1280meters above sea level there had to be some compensations made to allow for the thinner air at altitude according to Boije Ovebrink, meaning it may have gone faster at lower altitude. Check out the video from YouTube below.
Mean Green, the world's fastest hybrid truck, just got a little faster. The Volvo hybrid established new world speed records April 27 at Utah's historic Wend...
The final truck in this article is the Volvo NH Wild Viking once again running a trustworthy D16 tuned engine producing 2100hp and 5500nm this beast set the record in 2009 with 78.904mph on the 500m and a cool 98.695 on the 1000m this truck was a lot harder to find any information about the engine and truck setup so I'm going to provide the video for you to watch from YouTube.
Its unbelievable how far the technology, design and speeds have progressed in those 7 years, so I expect nothing short of a 200mph top speed from the next one. Maybe it will be from Volvo or perhaps someone else fancies the challenge but either way The Iron Knight looks set to hold the record for the foreseeable, I understand there are faster out there with the like of jet power like Shockwave, but I wanted to compile diesel internal combustion in one and the fact they all happen to be creations of Volvo is even better, as Volvo have managed to achieve these records while running the powertrains from everyday vehicles.
Anyway here's that final video of the Wild Viking.