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A truck’s considerable engine output has primarily been about load-lugging rather than sheer speed, however Volvo has proven yet again that the latter is more than just possible; it has broken its own record for a standing-start, 1,000-metre run.

Driven by 1994 European Truck Racing Champion, Boije Ovebrink, The Iron Knight is a 4.5 tonne truck producing 2,400 hp and 6,000 Nm from its modified D13 engine with four turbochargers, performed the standing kilometre run with a two-way average of 21.29 seconds and 169 km/h.

This surpasses Ovebrink’s own previous record of 152.2 km/h with another Volvo truck, the hybrid-engined Mean Green. This occasion also marked a new 500 m record at 131.29 km/h and 13.71 seconds, surpassing the previous 500 m record of 115.3 km/h. During its attempts, the truck reached a maximum speed of 276 km/h.

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Save for the engine and the transmission being retained, The Iron Knight was built from the ground up for the purpose of the record attempt. “The fact that the world record-­breaker uses the very same gearbox that is found in our series­built FH trucks is something that we’re really proud of,” said Claes Nilsson, president and CEO of Volvo Trucks.

According to Volvo Trucks, The Iron Knight used the same gearbox that is fitted to series-manufactured Volvo FH trucks, apart from the reinforced clutch, which uses sintered material for its discs and pressure plates.

Electronics were kept to a minimum for weight saving, while software was reprogrammed to permit higher performance than exhibited by road-going trucks, and the truck cab was made of fibreglass, aerodynamically-optimised and built with intakes to feed the engine with more cool air.