With a reputation steeped heavily in safety, it’s interesting to note that Sweden-based Volvo, the second largest heavy truck maker in the world, also knows a thing or two about speed.
After previously setting Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) land speed records with their Wild Viking in 2009 and Mean Green in 2013, Volvo was recently inspired to build on this legacy with their latest custom-built truck.
Although just announced, the 2,400-horsepower Iron Knight, which loosely resembles a semi cab resting on top of an F1 race car, set new FIA land speed records in June.
The Iron Knight’s twin 1,000 meter runs from a standstill averaged times of 13.71 seconds over 500 meters at an average speed of 81.58 mph and 21.29 seconds over 1,000 meters at an average speed of 105 mph. The Iron Knight reached a top speed of 171.5 mph.
This latest record breaker came in more than one ton lighter than 2013’s Mean Green, and packed with 600 more horsepower. The 4.5-ton Iron Knight used custom-designed fiberglass body to keep weight down, and added four turbochargers and a water-cooled intercooler to their 13-liter, mid-mounted diesel engine.
However, the I-Shift Dual Clutch transmission is the same as the one used in Volvo’s FH production trucks.
It’s 0-60 mph time of 4.6 seconds might not initially sound all that impressive. It is about double that of the fastest such time held by the Porsche 918, but then consider that the Iron Knight is hauling about three extra tons.
In addition to something that big being that fast, and therefore unquestionably awesome, Volvo also feels the R&D resulting from the Iron Knight will bleed into improved vehicle design, engine efficiency and tire performance for their over-the-road cars and heavy trucks.