Officials for Volvo Trucks in North America announced several drivetrain developments during the 2013 Mid-America Trucking Show March 21-23 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Most importantly, the company took the wraps off its prototype D13- LNG engine, claiming that it is the first integrated natural gas solution for the North American market. The Volvo D13-LNG compression-ignition engine utilizes liquefied natural gas (LNG) to deliver increased range and significant fuel efficiency improvements compared with other natural gas-powered offerings.

Volvo’s D13-LNG engine is a continuation of its comprehensive Blue Power natural gas strategy for North America, joining previously announced spark-ignited natural gas engine options for the Volvo VNM and VNL model daycabs. Volvo VNL daycabs powered by the Volvo D13-LNG engine will be available for order during the second half of 2014.

“Volvo remains focused on developing new technologies to meet our customers’ needs,” said Göran Nyberg, president, Volvo Trucks North American Sales & Marketing.

“The Volvo D13-LNG offers outstanding power and performance for the long haul while improving fuel efficiency. The D13-LNG will enable our customers to increase their driving range through an integrated Volvo powertrain system that offers seamless communication among components.”

The Volvo 13-liter compression-ignition engine, utilizing a small amount of diesel fuel to ignite the LNG, delivers diesel-like durability and performance in terms of horsepower and torque. The D13-LNG also provides about a 20% fuel efficiency improvement compared with spark-ignition natural gas engines and an even greater fuel cost reduction when compared with dieselpowered engines.

Volvo also announced that it is boosting peak torque in its diesel-fueled 13-liter D13 engine with the introduction of a 500 horsepower, 1,850 lb-ft torque engine rating. The powerful, yet fuel-efficient engine, is well-suited for linehaul, heavyhaul, and on- and off-highway vocational applications. The new rating will be available for order on all Volvo VNM, VNL, VAH and VHD models beginning in the third quarter of 2013.

Previous peak torque across Volvo’s product lineup was 1,750 lb.-ft.

Volvo’s 500 horsepower, 1,850 lb.-ft. torque engine is an Eco-Torque rating, which allows the truck to accelerate normally through all bottom gears. In the top two gears, where most of the fuel is traditionally consumed, the engine defaults to the lower torque curve, helping save fuel. The higher torque is available on demand.

Moving to transmissions, Volvo Trucks will now offer its I-Shift automated manual transmission as standard on all Volvo-powered trucks built for the North American market. Sales of the Volvo I-Shift reached record levels in 2012, with nearly one of every two Volvo trucks built in North America featuring the Volvo I-Shift.

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