Semi trucks and speed records are generally considered mutually exclusive, but Volvo Trucks has developed and built a one-off big rig specifically to earn a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Volvo’s experimental truck is dubbed the Iron Knight, a name that’s slightly misleading because its cab is made entirely out of fiberglass in order to shed as much weight as possible. The truck features a unique, futuristic design, though Volvo is keeping it under wraps for the time being.
What we do know is that the Iron Knight is based on a regular-production FH truck. Engineers have made significant modifications to the D13 turbodiesel engine in order to bump its output up to 2,400 horsepower and a jaw-dropping 4,425 pound-feet of torque. The list of modifications includes installing four turbochargers, and adding a water-cooled intercooler. Surprisingly, the oil-burner’s astonishing amount of power is channeled to the drive wheels via a stock dual-clutch automatic transmission.
While setting land speed records in a big, heavy semi truck sounds like little more than a PR stunt, Volvo explains it’s going through the trouble for the sake of research and development. The technology features designed to make the Iron Knight as fast as a sports car will trickle down to series-produced trucks in the coming years.
“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,” Claes Nilsson, the CEO of Volvo Trucks, explained in a statement.
Volvo Trucks will put the Iron Knight through its paces in the next few days, and it will upload footage of the record attempts to its official YouTube channel on August 24. Stay tuned to Digital Trends to find out if Volvo’s fastest semi yet manages to leave its mark in history.