Mean Green, said to be the world's fastest hybrid truck, will attempt to reach speeds in excess of 165 mph (260 km/h) April 27 at Wendover Airfield in Utah to best its own world speed records.
Mean Green high-speed hybrid makes its debut at MATS. (Photo by Jim Park)
Mean Green high-speed hybrid makes its debut at MATS. (Photo by Jim Park)

The Volvo-built hybrid currently holds speed records in the standing 500 meter (one-third mile), standing kilometer (two-thirds mile) and flying kilometer - international speed standards. (In standing kilometer, the truck starts off from a standstill, spanning the 1,000-meter course in one direction and then the other. The average speed from the two runs is noted as the official figure. For flying kilometer, the truck is in motion prior to spanning the defined 1,000-meter course in each direction.)

"Mean Green is a prime example of Volvo's technical capabilities and our continued focus on emerging technologies," says Ron Huibers, president, Volvo Trucks North American Sales & Marketing. "Our engineers developed the world's fastest hybrid truck utilizing the same Volvo hybrid drive system powering hundreds of Volvo buses throughout the world, including London's double-decker buses."

In building the Mean Green, which was revealed by Volvo Trucks last week at the Mid-America Trucking Show, Volvo's team of hybrid technology experts adapted Volvo's hybrid driveline to the chassis requirements of a truck built for speed. Engineers then outfitted Mean Green with a highly tuned Volvo D16 engine and a modified version of Volvo's automated I-Shift gearbox, which interacts with the hybrid's electric motor.

"The result is a lightning-speed boost from start-off without any of the customary diesel-engine delay," said Boije Ovebrink, Mean Green's owner and driver. "It's like a champagne cork, but without the sound effects. For the first couple of seconds the truck just makes a slight whistle until the diesel engine, which runs on renewable liquid rosin diesel, starts delivering with explosive force."

In total, Mean Green pumps out a massive 2,100 horsepower and nearly 5,000 pounds-feet of torque - of which 200 horsepower and 885 pounds-feet of torque come from the electric motor. Volvo designers selected a North American VN cab and sculpted the optimal aerodynamic shape for the truck.

Mean Green features modified versions of the following Volvo production components:

* Volvo hybrid motor
* Volvo hybrid battery
* Volvo D16 diesel engine
* Volvo I-Shift automated manual transmission
* Volvo VN cab and frame
* Rear axle with 1.85:1 ratio

During its North American tour, Mean Green will also visit Truck World, April 19 to 21, in Toronto, and the Volvo Ocean Race, May 17 to 20, in Miami.