Volvo Mean Green hybrid truck attempting world speed record

| Published on March 22, 2012

Mean Green, the world’s fastest hybrid truck, will attempt to reach speeds in excess of 260 km/h (165 mph) April 27 at Wendover Airfield in Utah to best its own world speed records. The Volvo-built hybrid currently holds speed records in the standing 500 meter (one-third mile), standing kilometer (two-thirds mile) and flying kilometer – international speed standards.

“Technology and innovation are at the core of our business,” said Ron Huibers, president, Volvo Trucks North American Sales & Marketing, in a press release. “Mean Green is a prime example of Volvo’s technical capabilities and our continued focus on emerging technologies. Our engineers developed the world’s fastest hybrid truck utilizing the same Volvo hybrid drive system powering hundreds of Volvo buses throughout the world, including London’s double-decker buses.”

In building the Mean Green, which was revealed by Volvo Trucks on March 22 at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS), Volvo’s team of hybrid technology experts adapted Volvo’s hybrid driveline to the chassis requirements of a world-class 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. Aerodynamics also plays a vital role in achieving top speed, so Volvo designers selected a North American VN cab and sculpted the optimal aerodynamic shape for the truck.

Mean Green features modified versions of the following Volvo production components:

  • Volvo hybrid motor
  • Volvo hybrid battery
  • Volvo D16 diesel engine
  • Volvo I-Shift automated manual transmission
  • Volvo VN cab and frame
  • Rear axle with 1.85:1 ratio

During its North American tour, Mean Green will also visit Truck World, April 19-21, in Toronto, and the Volvo Ocean Race, May 17-20, in Miami.

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