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Volvo Brings XE16 Package to LCV, High GVW markets

April 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

by Jim Park, Equipment Editor, Equipment Editor - Also by this author

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TORONTO -- Volvo Trucks is adding two XE powertrain packages to its 16-liter D16 engine: a 140,000-pound-GVW option for the North American LCV market, and an 80,000-pound-GVW configuration for fleets demanding superior performance and exceptional fuel economy.
A common configuration in Canada, the 137,800-pound B-train is will be a popular application for XE16.
A common configuration in Canada, the 137,800-pound B-train is will be a popular application for XE16.


Volvo announced the additions at Truck World, Canada's major trucking trade show, in Toronto.

Each package features a new D16 engine rating of 500 horsepower and 2,050 pounds-feet of torque. XE16 improves low-rpm drivability by delivering the full 2,050 lb-ft. of torque while running as low as 1,000 rpm. The XE16 packages "downspeed" the engine at cruising speeds by 200 rpm or more than traditional specs, for exceptional efficiency.

Key enablers of XE16's low engine speed technology include the Volvo I-Shift automated manual transmission, specialized axle ratios, specific tire sizes and proprietary software -- along with the engine's massive connecting rods with large bearing surface areas that help alleviate stress.

"XE16 directly addresses the needs of two important market segments that historically have had very few fuel-efficient powertrain options," said Ed Saxman, Volvo Trucks drivetrain product manager. "The beauty of Volvo's XE powertrain is that it delivers the full power and low-end torque needed for higher weight applications while saving fuel by running at a lower rpm."

Volvo first introduced its downspeeding concept in September 2011 with the XE13 powertrain package, which uses Volvo's 13-liter D13 engine. Available on all VN highway tractors, the XE13 powertrain package offers up to 455 horsepower and 1,750 pounds-feet of torque at 1,050 rpm -- 200 rpm or so lower than traditional specs.

Two Packages, Two Applications

"Both XE16 packages provide unheralded fuel efficiency for customers requiring high horsepower and torque and the heavy-spec XE16 package is the first integrated fuel efficiency powertrain designed exclusively for the over-the-highway North American LCV market," Saxman said.

Developed for gross combination weights up to 143,000 pounds, the heavier-spec XE16 package utilizes heavy-duty, 44,000 suspensions and rear axles with a 3.21 ratio instead of the 3.73 rear axle often specified on North American LCVs. The XE16 package reduces cruising rpm from 1,425 to 1,225 at 62 mph (100 km/h), yielding about a 3 percent fuel efficiency improvement.

"We have been testing the XE16 with in-service LCVs in western Canada for some months," Saxman told Heavy Duty Trucking. "The Canadian Prairie Provinces with their predominantly flat and straight highways are ideally suited to LCVs, and the XE16 is ideally suited to that kind of weight in that kind of environment."

The second XE16 rating addresses 80,000-pound tractor and semi-trailer combinations that are spec'd with a focus on both fuel efficiency and high performance. The engine, in combination with a 2.64 rear axle ratio and overdrive I-Shift transmission, will operate within its sweet spot throughout the vehicle speed range to improve fuel efficiency for this class of vehicle.

The Truck Writers of North America awarded Volvo's XE13 powertrain package the 21st annual TWNA Technical Achievement Award. XE13 also received a 2012 Top 20 product award from Heavy Duty Trucking magazine.

Related stories:

Volvo Trucks Expands XE13 Horsepower Offering, 1/26/2012

Test Drive: Volvo's Torque Magic, 11/16/2011

New Volvo Powertrain Package Promises 3% Better Fuel Economy, 9/22/2011


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