Volvo’s Iron Knight is a 2,400 HP Monster
Kyle Maxey posted on August 20, 2016 |
Volvo aims for two world land speed record with its Iron Knight semi-truck.
Semi-trucks rarely strike people as ferocious speed machines. Sure, they’re definitely monster machines, but they’re more Clydesdale than cheetah.

Well, Volvo Trucks is looking to change that impression. Later this month, the company will attempt to break two world speed records (500m & 1000m) with its uber-designed Iron Knight truck.

According to Volvo, almost the entirety of the Iron Knight has been custom built through a collaboration with the company’s engineers, technicians and designers.

Save the Iron Knight’s engine and I-Shift Dual Clutch transmission all other aspects of the behemoth have been redesigned to reach maximum performance. Take, for example, the Iron Knight’s body. From the machine’s grill to it tail and even to its air ducts, no curve or panel was left unchecked.

"The cab is made of fiberglass 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.” Said Nigel Atterbury a senior designer at Volvo. “‘The Iron Knight' has an attractive and powerful design inspired by today's Volvo FH. You just have to look at the vehicle to realize that this is a truly fast truck. Even when it's at a standstill it looks like it's on the move,"

And while aerodynamic modification to the Iron Knight should make it a contender for world speed records it’s the truck’s engine that will bring it all of the glory.

(Image courtesy of Volvo Trucks.)

(Image courtesy of Volvo Trucks.)

The Iron Knight will sport a mid-mounted and modified D13 engine equipped with a water-cooled intercooler and four turbo chargers. With this prodigious package the Iron Knight will be able to output 2,4000hp and 6000Nm of torque. Add to that power electrical and electronic systems that have been scaled down to reduce weight and reprogrammed to link the Knight’s engine and transmission with smooth efficiency.

Oh, and it should also be mentioned that the I-Shift Dual Clutch, that will turn the Knight’s raw power into record breaking speed, has been reinforced to handle the force loads that it will experience when the Iron Knight kicks into gear.

"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," said Claes Nilsson, president and CEO of Volvo Trucks

Though I’m positive Volvo’s production trucks won’t be outfitted with 2,400hp engines anytime soon, it’s test models like these that both inspire new designs, lead to breakthrough insights and more importantly, convince young gear heads that it’s worth becoming an engineer.

Volvo will live stream its two record breaking attempts on August 24th via its social media channels, including YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. 

For more news from the world of semi-trucks, meet Nikola: the Tesla of semi-trucks.

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