Volvo Sets World Speed Record With "Iron Knight" Truck, It Topped Out At 171 MPH

Volvo’s Iron Knight has set two world speed records, exactly as its makers intended.
Volvo Iron Knight 6 photos
Photo: Volvo
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The Swedish manufacturer’s 2,400 HP custom truck managed to set a new world record for accelerating on a 500 meter-long (0,31 mile) track, and a record for a 1,000 meter-long (0,62 mile) track. Volvo Trucks also held the previous records, but the Swedes figured out they could surpass their previous accomplishments.

The first record was set in a time of just 13.71 seconds, enough for the Volvo Iron Knight to achieve 131.29 km/h (81.6 mph) from a standing start. The second record also involved starting from a standstill, and it involved an average over two runs that had to be performed within an hour. The 4.5-ton truck reached an average Top speed of 169.09 km/h (105 mph) over the 0.62-mile distance, which was driven in just 21.29 seconds (average time over two runs).

If you are still not impressed, Volvo says that its truck topped out at 276 km/h (171.5 mph). That is impressive for a production automobile, not to mention a 4.5-ton truck.

However, the truck was not standard issue, but had a transmission derived from the standard unit, while its engine only retained the block in its stock form. Even with modifications, the results obtained by Volvo are impressive.

As previously announced, Volvo’s world speed record was done with driver Boije Ovebrink at the wheel. He was also responsible for driving the world’s fastest hybrid truck, the Volvo Mean Green.

At the time of publication, the two records set by Volvo are currently reviewed by FIA, the international motorsport federation. Volvo and Goodyear are confident that they will be certified.

Volvo Trucks used Goodyear tires derived from the ones used in the European Truck Racing Championship sanctioned by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).

Goodyear is the supplier for the said Championship, and the units used to break this record were built on standard truck tire carcasses, but with unique tread compounds and patterns. The record-breaking run was done on a closed test track in northern Sweden, Volvo’s home country.

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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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