In building the ideal record breaking vehicle we probably wouldn’t start with a truck. Neither would we choose a Volvo. Or fit it with a hybrid powerplant. But when we hear it’s called ‘Mean Green’, perhaps we need to take a closer look at its performance credentials and find out what it can do.
How does 2,100 hp grab you? Or nearly 5,000 lb-ft (6,780 Nm) of torque?
The bulk of that power comes from a highly tuned Volvo D16 diesel engine, combined with a 200 hp/885 lb-ft electric motor and when pointed down the straightaway at Wendover Airfield in Utah last week, it covered the flying kilometre in 147 mph (236.6 km/h) and the standing kilometre in 95.3 mph (153.3 km/h). A new World Speed Record for trucks.
The speed record attempts were sanctioned by the United States Auto Club, an extension of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), motoring’s international governing body, but are subject to FIA recognition, which should occur in the next 30 to 60 days.
Though Mean Green’s modified aerodynamic body design bears little resemblance to a truck you might see on the road, it is comprised almost entirely of production components from the Volvo commercial vehicle family, including a Volvo VN cab and frame. It also uses a modified version of Volvo’s automated IShift gearbox, which interacts with the hybrid’s electric motor.
Whether the modifications will be available as an upgrade for existing customer vehicles is doubtful, but we wouldn’t be surprised if Volvo received a few enquiries.