Volvo introduces new Class 8 VNL; promises 10% fuel efficiency gain

Volvo new VNL trucks

Volvo Trucks North America today introduced its new Class 8 VNL truck, which the company said has been aerodynamically designed to deliver a fuel efficiency improvement of up to 10% as well as improved safety features and driver comfort.

In a dramatic video, Volvo North America President Peter Voorhoeve, said, “The all-new Volvo VNL was designed to change everything. However, change doesn’t only come with a redesigned truck — this product introduction is the start of a new era for Volvo Trucks, our customers, and their drivers — a quantum leap forward."

Voorhoeve added the VNL is meant to be a driver's "safe home away from home."

New Volvo VNL on the highwayVolvoThe new VNL will be produced at a new $400 million facility next to the company's New River Valley Plant in Dublin, Virginia. The new plant will feature 164 new robots to help build the VNL.

To achieve its fuel efficiency improvements, the new VNL features a redefined aerodynamic design, including a wedge-shaped cab and reshaped windshield. Other aerodynamic improvements include tighter clearances around areas such as wheel openings, the bumper, and hood, paired with optimized chassis fairings and a reduced back of cab-to-trailer gap.

The VNL is powered by the latest-generation D13 engine, which is paired with the I-Shift automated manual transmission. 

In introducing the VNL Voorhoeve said it builds on the company's history of safety.  It includes Volvo's Active Driver Assist Plus with Pilot Assist, powered by the company's Dynamic Steering. The new pedestrian and cyclist detection feature adds an extra layer of safety, alerting drivers to potential hazards and activating automatic emergency braking when objects are directly in front of the truck, according to a statement from the company. The VNL's cab, constructed from high-strength steel, offers a side-curtain airbag, with options for driver-only or driver and passenger airbags.

The VNL is equipped with E-Call, a new safety feature that connects the driver to emergency services where cellular connectivity is available and provides precise location details. This occurs automatically in the event of a rollover crash or airbag deployment. 

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Interior of new Volvo VNLVolvoThe driver-focused design of the VNL prioritizes comfort, efficiency, and safety for drivers during work as well as rest and non-driving times. It includes an optional folding bunk for easy dinette access, a streamlined control panel, enhanced insulation, a larger refrigerator, and versatile power options. It also incorporates Volvo Trucks' idle management tool, the integrated Volvo Parking Cooler, reducing emissions and lowering fuel costs during stops.

The Global Rear Air Suspension (GRAS) system, in conjunction with Volvo Dynamic Steering and Smart Suspension software, offers superior ride quality, stability, and handling, reducing fatigue across diverse conditions.  

 With the new Volvo MyTruck app, drivers can see their estimated remaining fuel range, DEF levels, and coolant levels, as well as receive notifications about potential issues such as light malfunctions, low washer fluid levels, and other important items so they can address them at rest breaks or in their pre-trip inspection.