Volvo opened with a world premiere

The Iron Knight. That’s what Volvo Trucks has chosen to call the world’s fastest truck. The powerful beast had its world premiere at Elmia Lastbil. “We’re very proud to unveil it here at Elmia,” says Hans Börjesson, head of Volvo Trucks in Sweden.

The power train in the Iron Knight is basically the same as in a normal Volvo FH. But the power in the mid-mounted and modified D13 engine has been increased to the max. Thanks to a liquid-filled intercooler and four turbochargers, the Iron Knight achieves 2,400 horsepower and a torque of 6,000 Nm.
“The main intention is to show what our components can handle,” Börjesson says. “Basically it has a standard I-Shift Dual Clutch, which makes the performance possible. Then we can add the technology to suit our customers. The truck also creates an interest in our industry and in customers.”

The cab is made of fibreglass and designed to minimise air resistance. The side skirts have a powerful look, with large air intakes to send cooling air to the engine. Nigel Atterbury, Senior Designer at Volvo Trucks, describes the Iron Knight as a dream project.
“It’s a direct tribute to the FH series,” he says. “It’s an FH that we’ve sent to the gym and it’s come back as both a bodybuilder and a sprinter. We’re incredibly proud to present it.”

During Elmia Lastbil, Volvo Trucks showed how the Iron Knight performed when the world record was challenged. Behind the wheel sat Boije Ovebrink, who was also in attendance at the Volvo stand. Without revealing too much we can say that the speed was 276 km/h when the Iron Knight and Boije reached 1,000 metres.

But the top speed is 300 km/h, isn’t it?
“He can do more than 300 km/h,” Boije replies. “At 2,900 revs he’s up at 300 and he can handle 3,000 revs.”

The Iron Knight was not the only concept vehicle to be presented by Volvo Trucks at its Elmia stand. The Volvo Concept Truck is the truck that will meet tomorrow’s challenges in terms of more fuel-efficient transports. The truck is basically a Volvo FH 6x2 tractor unit with trailer, with totally new aerodynamic features. Compared with a truck from 2009, Volvo’s team has succeeded in reducing the aerodynamic drag by no less than 40 percent.
“We feel very positive about being here at Elmia,” Börjesson says. “Our entire range is more or less updated so there’s a lot to talk about. And then we have our two concept trucks, which are the cream on top of the jam.”

Facts: The Iron Knight

- 2,400 hp, 6,000 Nm of torque and a weight of 4.5 tonnes give the Iron Knight a power-to-weight ratio above 0.5 hp/kg.
- The mid-mounted engine is a significantly modified D13 unit with water-cooled intercooler and four turbochargers.
- The I-Shift Dual Clutch transmission 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 as that fitted to series-manufactured Volvo FH trucks.
- Electronics are kept to a minimum to lower the vehicle's weight.
- The software has been reprogrammed to permit the high performance.
- The cab is aerodynamically optimised and made of fibreglass. The side-skirts have large air intakes to supply the engine with cooling air.