Volvo Trucks’ The Iron Knight to Break World Speed Records
Commercial Vehicles Truck Racing

Volvo Trucks’ The Iron Knight to Break World Speed Records


A tough challenge and a dream project for the technically-minded. That’s how the team behind Volvo Trucks’ The Iron Knight describe the task of designing the specially built truck. The powertrain is based on the same unit that sits in a road-going Volvo FH, but the engine has been pushed to its limits to produce maximum power. 

“The Iron Knight is the perfect way to showcase the competence and innovative power of Volvo Trucks. At the same time, our aim was to generate new insights into technical and design solutions. The intention is to transfer some of these to our series-produced trucks,” says Claes Nilsson, President and CEO of Volvo Trucks.

The engine in the record-breaker is a mid-mounted and significantly modified D13 unit with water-cooled intercooler and four turbochargers, producing 2400 hp and 6000 Nm of torque. The electric and electronic systems have been scaled down and the software has been re-programmed. All so that the highly tuned engine can communicate optimally with the transmission – an I-Shift Dual Clutch of the same model that is fitted to series-manufactured Volvo FH models. The only adjustment to the gearbox is its reinforced clutch, which is necessary to handle the remarkably high torque. 


“In order to beat a world speed record, you have to have exceptional performance. The I-Shift Dual Clutch is the best possible transmission for the job since it maintains torque on the drive wheel during gear changes, just like a racing car does. Thanks to this The Iron Knight can accelerate without losing vital time during gear changes,” explains Niklas Öberg, Test Engineer at Volvo Trucks.

The Iron Knight is a tribute to the Volvo FH. Its technology and design complement one another and every single detail – from the grille at the front to the side-skirts – fulfils a precise function. 

“The cab is made of fibreglass and designed to cut air resistance to an absolute minimum. The side-skirts give the truck an impressive stance with their large air ducts that supply the engine with cooling-air. The Iron Knight has an attractive and powerful design inspired by today’s Volvo FH. You just have to look at the vehicle to realise that this is a truly fast truck. Even when it’s at a standstill it looks like it’s on the move,” says Nigel Atterbury, Senior Designer at Volvo Trucks. 

With racing driver Boije Ovebrink behind the wheel, The Iron Knight will take a tilt at the world record in two categories: 500 and 1000 metres from standstill. On August 24 it will be possible to watch the record-breaking run on Volvo Trucks’ social media channels.

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