Volvo Trucks adds 16-liter engine ‘XE’ Fuel Efficiency Package

Volvo Trucks is furthering its North American fuel efficiency leadership with the addition of two XE--exceptional efficiency--drivetrain packages featuring the 16-liter Volvo D16 engine.

The first, a heavy-spec XE16 package rated for combination weights up to 143,000 pounds, was designed specifically for the North American heavy long combination vehicle (LCV) market. The second XE16 package combines exceptional fuel efficiency with outstanding performance for five-axle tractor-semitrailer combinations up to 80,000 pounds.

“XE16 directly addresses the needs of two important market segments that historically have had very few fuel-efficient powertrain options,” says Ed Saxman, Volvo Trucks drivetrain product manager. “The beauty of Volvo’s XE powertrain is that it delivers the full power and low-end torque needed for higher weight applications while saving fuel by running at a lower rpm.”

The XE16 packages “downspeed” the engine at cruising speeds by 200 rpm or more than traditional specs. Each package utilizes a new D16 engine rating of 500 horsepower and 2,050 lb-ft of torque, Volvo I-Shift automated mechanical transmission, specialized axle ratios, specific tire sizes, and proprietary software that facilitates seamless communication among Volvo’s integrated powertrain components.

The XE16 provides the full 2,050 lb-ft of torque while running as low as 1,000 rpm to improve low-rpm drivability. Key enablers of XE16’s low engine speed technology include the exceptionally powerful Volvo Engine Brake, as well as massive connecting rods with large bearing surface areas that help alleviate bearing stress.

Developed for gross combination weights up to 143,000 pounds, the heavier-spec XE16 package utilizes heavy-duty suspensions and rear axles with a 3.21 ratio instead of the 3.73 rear axle often specified on North American LCVs. The XE16 package reduces cruising rpm from 1,425 to 1,225 at 62 mph (100 kph), yielding about a 3% fuel efficiency improvement.

The second XE16 rating addresses 80,000 pound tractor and semi-trailer combinations that are specified with a focus on both fuel efficiency and high performance. The engine, in combination with a 2.64 rear axle ratio and overdrive I-Shift transmission, will operate within its sweet spot throughout the vehicle speed range to improve fuel efficiency for this class of vehicle.

Volvo first introduced its “downspeeding” concept in September 2011 with the XE13 powertrain package, which utilizes Volvo’s 13-liter D13 engine. Available on all VN highway tractors, the XE13 powertrain package offers up to 455 horsepower and 1,750 lb-ft torque at 1,050 rpm--200 rpm or lower than traditional specs.

The Truck Writers of North America (TWNA) awarded Volvo’s XE13 powertrain package the 2012 TWNA Technical Achievement Award.

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