Equipment

Volvo Details 'Versatile' New VNR Regional Tractor

April 20, 2017

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Photos: Volvo Trucks
Photos: Volvo Trucks

MONTREAL --  After unveiling its new VNR regional tractor, Volvo Trucks provided more details at the Expo Cam trucking trade show on April 20.

Designed to be a versatile regional-haul tractor, the new model features refinements and innovations in aerodynamic design, working environment, engine and transmission options, gearing and loading efficiencies, passive and active safety systems, and integrated connectivity. T

Volco describd the VNR as made to be driven in urban areas for P&D, liquid tanker, dry bulk, flatbed, and other regional-haul applications.

“Our goal with the new VNR was to give our customers a versatile tool to meet their individual needs and challenges in the critical regional-haul market,” said Göran Nyberg, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “Our investment in this new truck is a clear signal of Volvo’s commitment to meeting the needs of regional-haul customers in North America today and in the future.”

As detailed at the unveiling, maneuverability and versatility in tight spaces was a focus in designing the new truck. With a 113-inch bumper to back of cab length, improved sightlines over the hood, and a 50-degree wheel cut, the truck can more easily navigate urban streets. Aerodynamics were also a point of emphasis, aimd at improving fuel economy when on the open road.

“The VNR model is a work truck, but it’s a dynamic, premium work truck, and aerodynamics are greatly important within the regional haul segment,” said Wade Long, director of product marketing for Volvo Trucks North America. “Regional routes often mean traveling at highway speeds, where aerodynamics becomes increasingly important. With the new VNR model, customers will see an overall fuel efficiency gain of up to 3.5% compared with our previous regional haul model.”

The driver’s experience in the cab was also of high importance, and the company’s chief designer said Volvo filtered every innovation “through the driver’s eyes.” This design philosophy found its way into the truck through features like a three-motion steering wheel, new seats with more adjustments to fit driver preferences, and various amenities.

Other driver-facing options include an infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, offering high-end audio with WiFi, Bluetooth, navigation, apps, and an exterior camera. A new gauge cluster is larger with a color driver information display in the dash operated by wheel-mounted controls with access to trip information, performance data, and vehicle diagnostics.

Noting its power and efficiency, Volvo said it is offering the D11 as the VNR’s standard engine, rated for up to 425 horsepower. Available optionally is the Volvo D13 with up to 500 horsepower. Both engines feature wave pistons, a proprietary Volvo design that burns fuel more efficiently and a common rail fuel delivery system designed to be lighter, quieter and more precise. The engines were also designed to be easier to service with shimless rockers and quicker access to the exhaust aftertreatment system.

Each engine can be combined with an XE eXceptional Efficiency transmission package to make the VNR more efficient through downspeeding. Paired with a Volvo I-Shift automated manual transmission as standard equipment allows the spec’ing of automated functions like Adaptive Loading to lift an axle when empty for more efficiency and Adaptive Gearing, which locks out overdrive when fully loaded.

The new Volvo VNR also offers passive and active safety technologies. Volvo Active Driver Assist warns drivers through sound and a critical warning signal projected onto the windshield when they approach too close to an object in front of them, and the system can automatically apply brakes to help mitigate a collision. LED headlights increase visibility and decrease light spillover onto oncoming traffic, making the road safer for everyone. Automotive features, like automatic lighting and rain-sensing wipers, provide convenience and help driver safety, while the lane change support system provides visibility to blind spots.

The VNR features Volvo’s high-strength steel cab and exceeds both the Volvo Swedish Cab Safety Test and ECE R-29 rollover requirements. In the event of a crash, available side airbags for the driver’s seat also help protect the driver in a rollover. The driver’s seat airbag complements the steering wheel-mounted driver's side airbag, which is standard on the VNR.

Lastly, the VNR comes standard with Volvo Uptime Services along with the OEM's telematics hardware, providing connectivity for predictive diagnostics and monitoring of critical engine, transmission and aftertreatment trouble codes through Volvo’s Remote Diagnostics. Customers can also perform powertrain software and parameter updates through Remote Programming, which was announced earlier this year.

Volvo said its around-the-clock support through Volvo Action Service can monitor critical vehicle codes and assess the severity of a fault code. VAS agents can take this information and contact a vehicle owner to decide whether to keep operating a truck or take it in for service. The entire process is documented and tracked through Volvo’s ASIST online service management and communication platform to give better visibility into case status, repair scheduling, and parts and service bay availability. VAS agents also facilitate Remote Programming updates.

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