Volvo's 2016 Enhancements
Volvo Trucks says model-year 2016 VN series highway tractors will deliver even greater fuel savings compared with earlier models through an assortment of aerodynamic and powertrain enhancements. Further sculpting of airflow around the exterior and underneath the hood is said to improve fuel efficiency by up to 3.5%, the company says. Volvo’s new XE-Adaptive Gearing and torque management options can provide claimed fuel-efficiency improvements of more than 2.5%.
Enhancements to the bumper, chassis and roof fairings of 2016 VN series highway tractors reduce air turbulence around the vehicle exterior and improve air flow under the truck, around tires, and in the trailer gap. Reducing turbulence and disruptions in air flow from the tractor to the trailer helps improve fuel efficiency.
An aerodynamic tractor doesn’t guarantee optimal aerodynamics for the tractor-trailer combination, Volvo points out. The company says it's made further enhancements at key exterior and interior locations of model-year 2016 vehicles to greatly improve the transfer of air from the tractor to the trailer, ultimately improving the total aerodynamic performance of the complete vehicle.
Building on its XE – eXceptional Efficiency – powertrain packages, Volvo will offer an XE-Adaptive Gearing package to further boost fuel efficiency for operations that go out loaded and return empty or lightly loaded, like bulk haulers, liquid tankers, and flatbed carriers.
The system is both a direct and overdrive driveline depending on rear-axle load, which the system senses in real time. When loaded, the transmission locks out the 12th gear and provides the performance and fuel-efficiency benefits of direct drive. During unloaded or lightly loaded trips, the driveline operates in overdrive, providing enhanced fuel efficiency. Operators can select road-speed limits for loaded and unloaded portions of the trip, customizing vehicle speeds to fit operating needs. XE-Adaptive Gearing engine ratings will initially be available for Volvo’s D11 and D13 engines paired with an I-Shift automated manual transmission.
Volvo is also offering three new torque-control features designed to increase fuel efficiency and tire life while decreasing driveline stress. The expanded offerings use Volvo’s numerous multi-torque engine profiles to provide ideal torque management in multiple operating environments.