Currently reading: Volvo Truck breaks two land speed records
Volvo Trucks’ Iron Knight has beaten two land-speed records from standing starts of 500 and 1000-metres

A Volvo truck producing more than 2300bhp has broken two separate world speed records: one over 500 metres and the other over 1000 metres.

The challenge was done at the Skellefteå Drive Center (a former airfield outside Skellefteå in Sweden) with Boije Ovebrink at the helm. A record average speed of 105mph and a time of 21.29sec was recorded across a distance of 1000 metres; this also beat the corresponding record for the 500-metre distance, at 82mph and 13.71sec.

The truck, called the Iron Knight, is powered by a mid-mounted, significantly modified, 2367bhp D13 engine with water-cooled intercooler and four turbochargers, producing 4425lb ft of torque.

Mated to an I-Shift Dual Clutch transmission, it maintains torque delivery during gear changes. Electronic devices were kept to a minimum to lower overall weight, while aerodynamics were a key focus adding large air intakes to the side skirts. Volvo Trucks’ technicians also tweaked the software ‘to permit the high performance’.

During the challenge, the 4.5-tonne truck reached a top speed of 171mph - the same as a Jaguar F-Type V6 S.

President and CEO of Volvo Trucks Claes Nilsson said: "This shows that our I-Shift Dual Clutch transmission has enormous potential and that it does not let you down under extreme conditions. The fact that the world record-breaker uses the very same gearbox that is found in our series-built FH trucks is something we're really proud of.”

Volvo Trucks technician Olof Johansson said: "Specialists from several different Volvo Trucks departments worked closely together to develop a truck with unsurpassed performance. Apart from Volvo Trucks' powertrain, which is the heart and soul of the Iron Knight, we've hand-built the truck from the ground up. The fact that we succeeded in securing not just one record but two is absolutely amazing.”

Driver Boije Ovebrink has more than 30 years' experience of both car and truck racing, with five previous speed records under his belt, and the title of European Truck Racing Champion of 1994. He said: "Volvo Trucks' Iron Knight can be summarised in one single word: perfection. It's beautiful to look at and is an unparalleled powerhouse when you floor the accelerator.”

Volvo Trucks and Ovebrink are no strangers to breaking records. Back in 2007, the 1600bhp Wild Viking beat the world record for the standing-start 1000-metre distance, with an average speed of 98.7mph. More recently, Mean Green took on the 1000-metre flying-start category and set a new record with an average speed of 147mph, in 2012.

“This is the third record-breaking truck I've driven, and I can't think of a better follow-up to Wild Viking and Mean Green,” Ovebrink added.


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The speed record was monitored and approved by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA).

Danni Bagnall

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Bob Cholmondeley 28 August 2016

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