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Volvo Expands XE Powertrain Lineup

March 26, 2015

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XE super direct drive improves fuel efficiency by lowering engine rpms at a given vehicle speed. Photo courtesy of Volvo Trucks
XE super direct drive improves fuel efficiency by lowering engine rpms at a given vehicle speed. Photo courtesy of Volvo Trucks

Volvo Trucks added the XE super direct drive to the company’s line of fuel efficient powertrain packages. The package uses a downspeed engine and direct drive Volvo I-Shift automated manual transmission to improve efficiency compared with conventional direct drive transmissions.

The XE super direct drive is designed for linehaul applications that operate in top gear at a gross combination weight rating of 80,000 pounds or less with maximum engine torque of 1,850 lb.-ft. The package uses Meritor’s 2.28 ratio for its 14X tandem drive axle and RPL35 driveline, designed to handle higher torque.

Meritor fortified the design by enlarging the pinion system to accommodate extreme torque levels associated with downspeeding. The fast 2.28 axle ratio and driveline were made for downspeeding by ensuring that torque is transmitted evenly throughout the drivetrain.

A 2.47 rear axle ratio with a direct drive transmission can achieve 65 miles per hour at 1,370 rpm while a 2.28 axle ratio only needs 1,265 rpm to equal the same speed. The lower engine speed can equate to about a 1.5% improvement in fuel efficiency, says Volvo.

Volvo also announced a new improvement to the Remote Diagnostics service expanding its ability to monitor critical fault codes on the Volvo I-Shift transmission.

Beginning in April, the Remote Diagnostics service which currently monitors fault codes in engines and aftertreatment systems will monitor internal I-Shift components on model year 2016 trucks. The service will work with both the standard and severe-duty I-Shift transmissions.

For more information, click here.

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