The UK’s first journalist behind the wheel of the Scania 770S, PowerTorque’s European Correspondent, Will Shiers, drives the world’s most powerful production truck and lives to tell the tale.
I’m shocked at just how effortlessly this 44-tonner gets up to speed, block-changing on the slip road, and in top gear by the time I join the carriageway. Yes, you did read that correctly, 44 tonnes! That’s the top weight general haulage can operate at in the UK, which makes this truck’s 759hp rather excessive.
These big horsepower Scanias aren’t as thirsty as you might expect, simply because the V8 is under so little strain. I’ve spoken to operators who run them in continental Europe and get well over 10mpg (3.54km/L) at 40 tonnes. It’s a reminder that a driver’s desires and an operator’s needs aren’t always at odds.
As I return to the truck stop, a Turkish-registered Ford F-Max is exiting. These aren’t available in right-hand-drive yet, so are still a novelty on British roads. It’s ironic that one of Europe’s cheapest prime movers has probably just turned considerably more heads than I’m about to.
I’m getting bored with being incognito now. I’ve changed my mind. This truck desperately needs all of those accessories I was critical of at the start of the journey.
Anyone buying a 770S is unlikely to get much change out of £175,000 (AUS$314,000), certainly not enough to buy a light-bar anyway. It’s crazy to think that you could probably buy three F-Max tractors for that sum.
In the space of a few hours, I’ve gone from feeling indifferent about Scania’s V8 to desperately wanting to drive one across Europe. In fact, I have an uncontrollable urge to put on a V8-branded jacket and head straight of the ferry.
But it’s not to be, so instead I hand back the keys and head home to have an important conversation with the wife. I’m going to try to convince her to put some tassel curtains up in the bedroom!
The Race Is On
When Scania launched the 770S last summer, it raised a few eyebrows. The surprise wasn’t that it had finally overtaken the Volvo FH16 750 in the battle for horsepower supremacy, but the number of horses it had squeezed out of its 16.4-litre engine.
Traditionally its power increases have come in 50hp increments, but this time the jump had been 40hp. So when and how will Volvo retaliate? Well, the smart money is on this being a short reign for Scania, as rumour has it that there’s an 800hp or possibly even an 810hp FH16 waiting in the wings.
But seeing as the FH16 750 never made it to Australia, I fear you’ll be waiting quite some time for this.
Model: Scania 770S 6×2/2
Engine: 16.4-litre V8
Power: 759hp (566kW) at 1,800rpm
Torque: 3,700Nm at 1,000rpm to 1,450rpm
Gearbox: Opticruise GRS0926R 12+2-speed