Volvo is again using high-profile stunts and viral video to highlight its engineering skills, and the latest is The Iron Knight, the world’s fastest truck, breaking the record set by a previous special Volvo truck.

The record-breaker, which has the DNA of Volvo’s FH on steroids, is custom-built in every respect – except for a modified Volvo D13 engine and the series-manufactured I-Shift Dual Clutch transmission. The engine has 2,400 hp and the truck can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds.

Nigel Atterbury, Volvo Trucks Senior Designer, explains in the video, “We’ve pretty much taken a standard gearbox and packaged it into this fantastic beast behind us.”

On a closed-off airfield in Falifors, Sweden, the Iron Knight set two FIA world land speed records. Its two one-kilometer runs averaged 21.290 seconds or 169.083 km/hour (or about 105 mph), and the half-kilometer average was 13.710 seconds and 131.291 km/hour (about 82 mph).

The truck was piloted by Boije Ovebrink, who has more than 30 years’ experience of both car and truck racing. He has previously beaten five speed records and in 1994 was European Truck Racing Champion.

“Volvo Trucks’ The Iron Knight can be summarized in one single word: perfection,” said Ovebrink. “It’s beautiful to look at and is an unparalleled powerhouse when you floor the accelerator. This is the third record-breaking truck I’ve driven, and I can’t think of a better follow-up to Wild Viking and Mean Green,” says Ovebrink.

The last time we reported on Ovebrink, back in 2012, he was driving Mean Green, said to be the world's fastest hybrid truck. Nigel Atterbury, Volvo Trucks Senior Designer, explains that compared to Mean Green, the Iron Knight is 1,000 kilos lighter and puts out 600 horsepower more.

Of course, the point was to demonstrate the I-Shift Dual Clutch, which allowed the truck to shift without power losses, so there’s a second video looking at the technology behind the truck.

“This shows that our I-Shift Dual Clutch transmission has enormous potential and that it does not let you down under extreme conditions," says Claes Nilsson, President and CEO of Volvo Trucks. "The fact that the world record-breaker uses the very same gearbox that is found in our series-built FH trucks is something that we’re really proud of."

HDT’s European Editor Sven-Erik Lindstrand drove the I-Shift Dual Clutch in a regular FH; learn more in the HDT archives: Volvo I-Shift Dual Clutch: Smooth Operator

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Deborah Lockridge

Deborah Lockridge

Editor and Associate Publisher

Reporting on trucking since 1990, Deborah is known for her award-winning magazine editorials and in-depth features on diverse issues, from the driver shortage to maintenance to rapidly changing technology.

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