Volvo Trucks develops Iron Knight record breaker

Volvo Trucks develops Iron Knight record breaker

Volvo Trucks is developing a custom-built 2400 horsepower (1789kW) semi unit called the Iron Knight as a world speed record breaking tribute to its FH series.

The truck manufacturer says that newly generated design and technical solutions from the Iron Knight will be transferred into its future series-production trucks. It was the result of a co-operative effort between the technicians, engineers and designers at Volvo Trucks.

On August 24 the Iron Knight will have a crack at the 500 and 1000 metre speed record, from a standstill with racing driver Boije Ovebrink behind the steering wheel .

The record-breaking attempt will also be broadcast live on Volvo Trucks’ social media channels.

The Iron Knight is entirely custom built with the exception of the engine and its series-built I-Shift Dual Clutch transmission.

“The cab is made of fibreglass and designed to cut air resistance to an absolute minimum. The side skirts give the truck an impressive stance with their large air ducts that supply the engine with cooling-air,” says Volvo Trucks senior designer Nigel Atterbury.

According to Volvo Trucks, the engine in the Iron Knight is a mid-mounted and significantly modified D13 unit with water-cooled intercooler and four turbochargers, producing 1789kW of power and 6000Nm of torque.

Volvo Trucks have scaled down the electric and electronic systems have been scaled down and re-programmed the software so its highly tuned engine can communicate optimally with the I-Shift Dual Clutch transmission, which is the same unit fitted to standard production Volvo FH models.

The sole modification to the gearbox is a reinforced clutch, which Volvo Trucks says is necessary to handle the high torque of the engine.

“The I-Shift Dual Clutch is the best possible transmission for the record attempt since it maintains torque on the drive wheel during gear changes, just as racing car does. This means the Iron Knight can accelerate without losing vital time during gear changes,” says Volvo Trucks test engineer Niklas Öberg.

However, the Iron Knight is not Volvo Trucks’ first record-breaker.

In 2007 the 1600hp (1193kW) Volvo Wild Viking broke the official FIA record for the 1000 metre distance from a standstill with an average speed of 158.8 km/h.

The next record-breaker was the Volvo Mean Green hybrid truck powered by 1800hp (1342kw) diesel engine and 300hp (223kW) electric motor.

In 2011 Mean Green set two new world records in the hybrid category: 1000 metres at an average speed of 152.2 km/h and 500 metres at an average of 115.4 km/h.

See the build-up ahead of the record runs (Click here)

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