ATLANTA — Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA) is rolling out a new truck model aimed at regional-haul and driver comfort.
The new Volvo VNR 660 truck will be available for order in the first quarter of 2020, the OEM announced at the North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) Show on Oct. 28.
As fleets adjust their operations to accommodate regulations such as federal or state bridge laws, length laws or weight limitations, VTNA says the VNR 660 will offer customers a way to increase payload capacity while still satisfying certain length and weight requirements. It also features a sleeper cab, a rare feature for truck models designed for regional haul.
“The new VNR 660 truck model addresses the needs of regional-haul customers looking for ways to increase payloads by decreasing the weight of the vehicle and enabling the use of longer trailer sizes without sacrificing efficiency,” said Chris Stadler, product marketing manager at Volvo Trucks North America. “This new model also offers the comfort and extra space of a high-roof sleeper, increasing driver comfort.”
The new model features a shorter, 164-in. bumper to back-of-cab length that offers both weight savings from decreasing the overall size of the truck and the option to use more versatile tractor-trailer combinations for increased cargo capacity.
As an extension of the Volvo VNR product line, the new Volvo VNR 660 combines a high-roof configuration with a 61-in. sleeper that will comfortably accommodate an extra person for an overnight stop, making it ideal for local and regional routes that utilize team drivers. There is room for a refrigerator, microwave, and television with storage above the driver and passenger seats. The new VNR 660 is available with the Volvo Premier Trim package, which includes wood-grain trim for the dash and cabinetry.
Other advantages of the new Volvo VNR 660 include the shorter hood design of the VNR product line, providing optimized visibility for the driver and excellent maneuverability in urban areas and easy docking in tight spaces. The new truck model comes standard with the Volvo D11 engine, the Volvo I-Shift transmission, and Volvo Active Driver Assist (VADA) 2.0, the recently updated comprehensive collision mitigation system.
Volvo Trucks also announced at NACV that it will offer the FlowBelow Tractor AeroKit, which includes a system of wheel covers and fairings designed for improved aerodynamics and fuel efficiency, as a factory-installed option in Q2 2020.
“The aerodynamics of our trucks have a significant impact on fuel efficiency and our customers’ bottom line,” said Allison Athey, product marketing manager, Volvo Trucks North America. “The new FlowBelow package offers our customers an enhanced aerodynamic option, providing up to an additional 1% increase in fuel efficiency when combined with our most aerodynamic truck spec, including the Xceed fuel efficiency package, and a dry van with trailer skirts, further reducing environmental footprints.”
The FlowBelow Tractor AeroKit is a complete system designed to minimize turbulence and improve aerodynamics by surrounding the drive wheels to better manage the air that moves around the tractor while in motion.
The system consists of wheel covers, a center fairing between the wheels, and a rear fairing behind the wheels. These pieces work together to maintain control of the airflow from end to end, keeping the air running along the side of the truck and around the wheels. The air is then funneled out when it reaches the back of the truck, jumping the gap between truck and trailer.
Volvo Trucks will begin offering factory-installed FlowBelow wheel covers and fairings separately, as well as the full FlowBelow Tractor AeroKit included with its Xceed fuel efficiency package as a customer option for truck orders in 4x2, 6x2, and 6x4 axle configurations by the end of 2019. Volvo Trucks will offer factory installation of the FlowBelow system for all VNL and VNR models in Q2 2020.
VTNA President Peter Voorhoeve said that the truckmaker’s first five Class 8 battery-electric trucks, the VNR Electric, are on the way to California. The trucks are going to select California customers this year as part of Volvo’s LIGHTS (Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions) program.
After extensive testing in California, offerings will expand to other regions with customers that have expressed heavy interest in the regional electric tractor, such as New York and New Jersey.
At the end of 2020, VTNA will start limited production of the VNR Electric with a straight truck and a tractor. Three axle configurations will be available: 4x2, 6x2 liftable and 6x4. The GVW limit will be 66,000 lbs.
By the end of 2021, the OEM plans to introduce an enhanced electric driveline version of the vehicle and next-generation batteries “with more density, more power, more range,” Pope said, adding that the VNR Electric will be available as an 80,000 lb. GCW (gross combined weight) tractor.