After overcoming a previous world speed record for the standing kilometer in June 2010 with a diesel model, Volvo Trucks is now producing a new version of the diesel-electric hybrid version “Mean Green” and is going after the title of World’s Fastest Hybrid Truck in spring 2011.
Boije Ovebrink, a widely known Swedish truck racing ace, is going to be the one who takes the wheel of the new hybrid, already having an optimistic attitude about the outcome. He said: “I’d go so far as to say that ‘Mean Green’ is the world’s fastest hybrid truck”.
“I started building the truck from two half frames that had been earmarked for the scrap yard and the American VN cab came from a crash-tested chassis whose cab was totally intact”, explained Volvo engineer Olof Johansson the simple structure of the car bodywork.
The traditional dynamism comes from a 16-liter Volvo engine, fitted with Volvo Penta twin turbos that increase peak output to a thumping 1,900 hp (1,417 kW). The electric motor supplements another 200 hp (149 kW) and 1,000 Nm (738 lb-ft) of torque to this exotic mixture and can interact with the driven wheels by way of a modified I-Shift automated gearbox.
Minimizing weight is critical when this sort of record is about to be broken. Hence, Volvo engineers milled a new, 43 kg (95 lbs) lighter front axle and also removed the gearset for the first gear, which was useless due to the huge amount of torque. In this way, another 7 kg were cut off.
Mr. Ovebrink is also participating in the weight-saving efforts and stated: “They made me promise to lose 20 kilos and, so far, I’m half-way to my target”. The first test run is to take place this month.