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THUNDER STRUCK | Feature – Volvo FM and VOLVO FMX

Volvo Group chooses social media for the global launch of its new models. 

 

In what Volvo Group calls its largest ever product launch, the company chose to release a series of video presentations rather than the more traditional way of inviting customers to see, touch and experience for themselves all the new models in sheet metal. The use of video also meant that company executives were not available to answer questions from existing and potential customers keen to identify particular interests of their own.

Cabs range from ultra-low rooflines suitable for underground mining or car carriers, to the extended height of the Globetrotter and the 250 mm additional depth of the XXL cab for the FH16, with engine outputs extending to 750 hp.

Dashboards for all models have been significantly revised and now feature two digital display screens, one of 12-inches to handle digital gauges and vehicle information, the other of 9-inches handling infotainment and navigation. These can be controlled by voice command, touchscreen or steering wheel switchgear.

 

Volvo FM and Volvo FMX

The new Volvo FM and Volvo FMX models have a brand-new cab, as well as many of the same instrument display functions as their larger Volvo counterparts.

The interior volume has been increased by up to one cubic metre by raising the A-pillars, providing better comfort and more working room. Visibility has also been improved, due to larger windows, a lowered door line and new mirrors.

The steering wheel is equipped with a neck tilt function allowing the driving position to be individually adjusted to a greater extent. The lower bed in the sleeper cab is positioned higher up than previously, affording higher comfort and creating additional storage space underneath.

The day cab has a new 40-litre storage compartment with interior lighting on the back wall. Cab comfort is further enhanced through reinforced insulation that helps shut out cold, heat and noise disturbance, while a sensor-controlled climate unit with a carbon filter promotes good air quality in all conditions.

The new Volvo FMX features the heaviest addition to Volvo’s chassis range – a 38-tonne bogie that allows for a Gross Combination Weight (GCW) of up to 150 tonnes. In addition, the front air suspension has been updated, allowing for front axle loads of up to 10 tonne, or 20 tonne for double front axles. For trucks with a steered tag or pusher axle, the steering angles have been increased, resulting in better manoeuvrability and reduced tyre wear.

 

Enhanced safety systems to help avoid accidents


Safety has been further improved with functions such as adaptive high-beam headlights in the Volvo FH and Volvo FH16, claimed by the company to be the first truck manufacturer to introduce this feature that is now becoming commonplace in the prestige car segment.

The system automatically disables selected segments of the LED high beam when the truck approaches oncoming traffic or another vehicle from behind. Sensors identify where the headlamp beam can cause glare to another driver and cuts the light emission from that segment of the lighting output. This means the truck continues on its way with the benefit of almost full-beam lighting performance, without discomforting an approaching driver or providing glare to the rear-vision mirrors of a vehicle travelling ahead.

Driving is also facilitated by an improved adaptive cruise control (ACC) for speeds down to 0 km/h and downhill cruise control that automatically activates the wheel brakes when extra brake force is needed to maintain constant downhill speed.

The electronically-controlled brake system (EBS), which is a prerequisite for safety features such as collision warning with emergency brake and electronic stability control (ESC), now comes as standard on the new truck.

Volvo Dynamic Steering, with the safety systems lane-keeping assist and stability assist, is also available as an option. A road-sign recognition system detects road traffic signs, such as overtaking restrictions, road type and speed limits, and displays them in the instrument display.

The visibility can be improved further by adding a passenger corner camera which provides a complementary view of the side of the truck on the side display.

 

Efficient engines and alternative drivelines

 

In many markets, the Volvo FH and Volvo FM are available with the Euro6 compliant gas-powered LNG engine that offers fuel efficiency and performance on par with that of Volvo’s equivalent diesel trucks, but with a far lower climate impact.

The gas engine can run on either biogas, which cuts CO2 by up to 100 percent, or natural gas which reduces CO2 emissions by up to 20 percent when compared with Volvo’s equivalent diesel trucks. This relates to emissions from the vehicle during usage, known as tank to wheel.

The new Volvo FH can also be tailored with a new efficient Euro6 diesel engine, which is included in the I-Save package that enables significant fuel and CO2 savings.

In long-haul operations the new Volvo FH with I-Save combines the new D13TC engine with a package of features and can deliver fuel savings up to 7 percent. The fuel improvement claim is calculated by comparing costs of diesel and AdBlue for D13TC Euro6 step D with the Long Haul Fuel Package (I-Save) to D13 eSCR Euro6 Step D without the Long Haul Fuel Package. Actual fuel economy may vary depending on many factors such as the driver’s experience, use of cruise control, vehicle specification, vehicle load, actual topography, vehicle maintenance, and weather conditions.

There have also been improvements for the Euro3 and Euro5 versions with features like Volvo Torque Assist.

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