The fact that truck speed records are even a thing is glorious in itself, but this latest run from Volvo Trucks is straight-up epic.
The Swedish manufacturer’s load-hauling arm is no stranger to setting records in this field, either, having done so in 2007 with the Wild Viking, 2010 with NH D16, and both 2011 and 2012 with Mean Green.
Now, with another custom-built monster, the Iron Knight, Volvo Trucks has smashed it again.
While those earlier beasts delivered outputs between 1200 and 1350kW (the latter adding a further 225kW later with an electric motor), the 4.5-tonne Iron Knight punches out a massive 1790kW of power and 6000Nm of torque.
The big diesel engine, mid-mounted in this custom build, is matched to a water-cooled intercooler and four turbochargers, along with Volvo’s I-Shift dual-clutch transmission and – as you’d expect – a reinforced clutch. Volvo reckons the shifter is otherwise no different, though, to that fitted to its daily haulers.
Combined with an aerodynamically optimised fibreglass cab and some huge side intakes to cool the engine, the Iron Knight recorded a top speed of 276km/h during its record runs, and an average speed of 169km/h.
The records themselves? From a standing start, the big truck passed the 500 metre mark in an FIA-confirmed 13.71 seconds – matching more than a few factory-standard sports cars – while tearing to 1000 metres in 21.29 seconds. That beats the previous record, set by Mean Green, of 21.55 seconds.
Volvo Trucks’ previous record-breaking trucks
2007: ‘The Wild Viking’ (1193kW) beat the world record for the standing-start 0-1000 m distance, with an average speed of 158.8 km/h.
2010: The record for the same distance was beaten by ‘NH D16′ (1342kW) which reached an average speed of 166.7 km/h.
2011: The hybrid truck ‘Mean Green’ (1342kW diesel engine plus a 223kW electric motor), set new records for 0-500 and 0-1000 metres from a standing start, at an average speed of 115.3 km/h and 152.2 km/h respectively.
2012: ‘Mean Green’ took on the 1000 metre flying-start category and set a new record with an average speed of 236.6 km/h.