Volvo hybrid race truck to attempt new speed records

By Land Line staff | 4/9/2012

The world’s fastest hybrid Class 8 truck will try to beat its own speed record (it owns three) April 27 at Wendover Airfield in Utah. From a standing start, the Volvo hybrid “Mean Green” will attempt to do more than 165-miles-per-hour in a little over half-a-mile.

In building the Mean Green, which was revealed by Volvo Trucks at the Mid-America Trucking Show, Volvo’s team of hybrid technology experts adapted Volvo’s hybrid driveline to the chassis requirements of a truck built for speed. Engineers then outfitted Mean Green with a highly tuned Volvo D16 engine and a modified version of Volvo’s automated I-Shift gearbox, which interacts with the hybrid’s electric motor.

“The result is a lightning-speed boost from start-off without any of the customary diesel-engine delay,” said Boije Ovebrink, Mean Green’s owner and driver. “It’s like a champagne cork, but without the sound effects. For the first couple of seconds the truck just makes a slight whistle until the diesel engine, which runs on renewable liquid rosin diesel, starts delivering with explosive force.”

In total, Mean Green pumps out a massive 2,100 horsepower and nearly 5,000 lb-ft. torque – of which, 200 horsepower and 885 lb-ft. of torque come from the electric motor. Volvo designers selected a North American VN cab and sculpted the optimal aerodynamic shape for the truck.