Volvo truck, NL10 and NL12 - 1980

NL10 and NL12

Very few European manufacturers included Conventional/N trucks in their product range in the 1970s and the 1980s. Instead they devoted all of their design resources to the F truck type of vehicles. Swedish manufacturers were unique in offering N trucks for a wide variety of tasks.

Extreme toughness
The N trucks were continuously updated with modern features such as roomier cabs (of all types, including day cabs, sleeper cabs and crew cabs), cleaner and even more economical engines, more efficient, easy-handling gearboxes, both manual and automatic, as well as continuously updated and more versatile chassis components.

The basic characteristics of the N truck type of vehicle have always been extreme toughness. For this reason the chassis models of the N7, N10 and N12 trucks (introduced in 1973) had always been able to stand up to even the toughest of transport tasks. For extreme cross-country mobility, options such as, all-wheel-drive were available, intended for both civilian and military service.

Down in Brazil
The N truck has always been a popular choice in 'overseas' Volvo markets, e.g. in areas such as Africa, South America and Australia. Brazil has become one of the major markets for Volvo trucks, with N trucks playing a major role. For this reason a new Volvo N truck, the 'NL' was introduced in Brazil in 1989.

This was in fact an improved version of the N10/N12, incorporating features of major interest in countries with characteristics similar to those in Brazil.

Streamlined design
The NL10 and NL12 (only 10- and 12-litre engine options were available, no longer a 7-litre model) were far more aerodynamic than their predecessors. The overall design of the front of the truck had been influenced by the design of the streamlined 'Aero' truck made by Volvo in North America since 1987.

The longer bonnet allowed an even larger interior area for the driver together with good access to the other side of the cab without leaving the truck interior. Better insulation of the cab interior from the engine compartment also contributed to the improved driver environment.

A major step forward
The introduction of the NL truck took place in Brazil, where it was immediately recognized as a major step forward compared with the now ageing N trucks (N10 and N12) which were no longer available in Brazil. The N trucks were, however, produced in limited numbers for another year, until the NL truck family took over the role as the sole rugged Conventional truck produced under the 'Volvo' nameplate.

(This was until the WHITEGMC name used for the American truck produced by the Volvo GM Heavy Truck Corporation in the United States was replaced by the 'Volvo' designation, which then covered the North American range of Volvo trucks, featuring mainly Conventional/N trucks, as well).