Mean Green, the world's fastest hybrid truck, just got a little faster. The Volvo hybrid established new world speed records April 27 at Utah's historic Wendover Airfield, eclipsing its previous marks in the standing kilometer (two-thirds mile) and flying kilometer.*
"We are very pleased with Mean Green's performance, especially at such a high altitude," said Boije Ovebrink, Mean Green driver and owner. "We knew Wendover would present challenges because it's more than 4,200' (1,280m) above sea level. To compensate for the thinner air and help prevent overheating, we reduced the truck's power by nearly 20 percent. Even with the reduction in total output potential, Mean Green had ample power to surpass the previous records."
Mean Green achieved the following world record speeds:
Flying Kilometer –236.577 km/h (147.002 mph)
Standing Kilometer – 153.252 km/h (95.245 mph)
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. The new world records are subject to FIA recognition, which will occur in about 30 to 60 days.
Mean Green eclipsed its previous records – 218.780 km/h (135.943 mph) in the flying kilometer and 152.253 km/h (94.605 mph) in the standing kilometer – established June 2011 at the Hultsfred Airport in Sweden.
Though Mean Green's modified aerodynamic body design bears little resemblance to a freight-hauling tractor, the finely tuned speed machine is comprised almost entirely of production components from Volvo family vehicles, including a North American Volvo VN cab and frame. Mean Green features a highly tuned Volvo D16 engine and a modified version of Volvo's automated I-Shift gearbox, which interacts with the hybrid's electric motor. The combination of an electric motor and Volvo D16 diesel engine delivers 2,100 horsepower and nearly 5,000 ft/lbs torque – of which, 200 horsepower and 885 ft/lbs of torque come from the electric motor.
"Mean Green's incredible performance underscores the strong potential of hybrid drivelines when applied to the right operation," said Ron Huibers, Volvo Trucks president, North American Sales & Marketing. "Neither hybrid or any other alternative fuel technology, like natural gas, is a one-size-fits-all solution, but the technology is available for appropriate applications. While diesel remains the most efficient transportation fuel currently available, we know the future of petroleum is limited. The Volvo Group continues to test and evaluate the merits of a number of alternatives."
To view video footage from the world record runs, please visit www.volvotrucks.us.com.
*Standing kilometer – The truck starts off from a standstill, spanning the 1,000-meter course in one direction and then the other. The average speed from the two runs is noted as the official figure. Flying kilometer – The truck is in motion prior to spanning the defined 1,000-meter course in each direction.