Taking the next step: Volvo emphasizes safety, fuel efficiency in its newly announced VNL

Taking the next step: Volvo emphasizes safety, fuel efficiency in its newly announced VNL


It’s a big year for Volvo Trucks. This spring, the company introduced a brand-new regional-haul truck, the VNR, and already, Volvo reports that it has sold more VNRs since its introduction in April than it sold of the truck’s predecessor in all of 2016.

A new regional-haul truck would be more than enough to make it an exciting year, and yet that was only the beginning. Hot on the VNR’s heels, Volvo announced its first fully redesigned Class 8 long-haul truck since 1996, the Volvo VNL, which will begin production in the fall.

The VNL comes in seven different configurations, highlighted by the newly offered 70-in. sleeper. The trucks come standard with the 13-liter Volvo D13 engine, with the Cummins X15 as an additional option. Daycab and VNL 400 models can also spec the 11-liter Volvo D11 as an option. With Volvo’s fully integrated powertrain, the OEM touts fuel efficiency improvements of 7.5% compared to a 2016 VNL model equipped with a GHG 2014 D13 engine.

“Fuel efficiency is key, and now with the turbo-compounding engine in this new lineup, that’s a massive improvement,” says Magnus Koeck, Volvo’s vice president of marketing and brand management. “The turbo-compound engine with a real acceleration zone gives you up to 6.5% improvement, compared to Greenhouse Gas 2014 engines, our legacy product. Adding the I-See predictive cruise gives you an additional 0.5% to 3% in efficiency improvements, depending on driving conditions and so on. And then you add the new aerodynamic designs, which is another one percent. If you add all of this up, we are actually at about 10% improvement.”

Safety is another major focus, which is why the OEM will be offering its safety system, Volvo Active Driver Assist, as standard equipment on the VNL.

“I’m proud that we are taking that next step to drive the safety agenda,” says Goran Nyberg, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “This is a feature that definitely saves lives and provides a financial upside for the operator as well.”

The addition of two new trucks makes this a pivotal year for Volvo, and the company believes that the new trucks will enable it to take the next step.

“The industry predicts regional haul to be a growing segment over time, so that’s of utmost importance for us,” says Nyberg. “And of course, we want to optimize our position on long haul, where we are already strong. Also, keep in mind the new I-Shift with the crawler gears, which takes us into both heavy-duty transport as well as vocational transport with our integrated powertrain.”

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