Under the hood it’s a sports car

Inspired by the racing world, the new I-Shift Dual Clutch sets a new standard in drivability. It’s the first time a heavy goods vehicle has used gearbox technology of its kind. “The feeling is just magic,’ says Björn Lyngsö project manager for I-Shift Dual Clutch. ‘The power is there the whole time.’

With a double clutch transmission you can change gears much faster. The clutches work in parallel, where one gear is always engaged. “It’s like having two I-Shift gearboxes to change between in a fraction of a second. When you start driving in first gear on one, second gear is already in place on the other,” explains Björn Lyngsö. “It simply flows, softly and quietly.”

Driving Innovation

Volvo’s Transmission team has built on the technology developed for the renowned I-Shift. “This time they’ve taken it a step further adding totally unique features to create a new transmission. Giving you added drivability, comfort and the means to power-shift. The design is very compact with only 120mm added, and the fuel economy hasn’t been compromised either. It’s on par with the I-Shift,” says Astrid Drewsen, Product Manager Driveline.

When you join this innovation with Volvo’s most powerful D13, Euro 6 engine, “then you get a really good combination,” explains Astrid Drewsen. “From low revs it produces 2600Nm of torque, and steadily transfers this down to the wheels. In every situation.”

Enjoy the Drive

This steady flow of power and torque give you a smoother ride downhill, up hill or whatever the terrain. “The I-Shift Dual Clutch chooses the smartest and most efficient way to change gears. It can jump gears to be economical. Then when you need it, it power-shifts. This is very quick and smooth, almost seamless. Giving you uninterrupted power,” says Astrid Drewsen.

“There’s no problem with gear changes in the middle of a bend – the pull is there the whole time. One of the test drivers likened it with the drive wheels locking on to the road with suction,” adds Björn Lyngsö.

Traction and acceleration have also improved, even with a heavy load at red lights and roundabouts. “You gain speed quickly, and then it’s easy to maintain a steady speed the whole way even if there are lots of hills. This means increased productivity,” says Björn Lyngsö.

Happy Driver. Happy Truck

In difficult situations, uphill and wet forest terrain you can relax. "The power is delivered right down to the wheels, at every moment, minimizing the risk of slipping or loosing traction. Something that otherwise could be a stressful safety concern to the driver. Instead, with I-Shift Dual Clutch the driver can relax, be in control and comfortable even in these situations," says Astrid Drewsen.

By choosing the smartest way to shift gears, it also helps to reduce overall stress on the truck. "It's gentle towards the driveline and vehicle. Giving you less wear and tear to the truck," adds Astrid Drewsen.

“The new I-Shift Dual Clutch is the smartest and most efficient way to change gears”

“It feels like driving a car”

Two pieces of world news lift road handling to an even higher level. With independent suspension and rack and pinion steering the Volvo FH has gained qualities that have previously only been available in passenger cars.

A truck on a narrow and uneven road can be hard to keep on track. “A car on the same road is often easier to handle. The driver sits much lower and has greater margins,” says Niklas Fröjd, vehicle dynamics specialist at Volvo. The car has another advantage – individual suspension. Each car wheel has an axle of its own, so it can roll independently of the others.
“On the truck each pair of wheels has to share an axle. So one wheel affects the other wheel’s movement to a great extent,” explains Niklas Fröjd. The new Volvo FH evens things out a bit. Opt for Volvo’s new Individual Front Suspension (IFS) and you get road handling qualities above and beyond any other heavy goods vehicle.
“The feeling of driving a car comes standard with all new Volvo FH trucks. But IFS takes it a step further. The truck sways even less in curves and it cuts through the straight stretches like an arrow, even if the road is bumpy,” says Niklas Fröjd.

Even sharper handling

IFS is a precondition for the other piece of world news in heavy trucks – rack and pinion steering. Dominant in the car industry, this technology improves the feeling of control over steering and road contact. When you turn the steering wheel on a vehicle with rack and pinion steering the wheels respond immediately. “The difference between driving a truck and driving a car has never been smaller,” says Stefan Axelsson, who leads the group at Volvo that fine-tuned the new handling qualities. Something that’s often forgotten when we talk about handling is how it affects the driver’s effectivity and, in turn, the company’s viability. “Good handling properties make driving less of a strain. This helps the driver to stay alert and drive safely,” says Stefan Axelsson. “Apart from this, a sharp driver is a better representative for the company when arriving with the customer’s delivery.

Every new Volvo FH has improved stability and handling precision

Enhanced roll stability of the cab and well-balanced damping for cab and chassis alike. These are the main factors behind the 50 percent improvement to roll stability that can be experienced in all new FH cabs.
“One example is the suspension springs at the rear of the cab. These have been moved apart by 25 cm, which increases the roll stability of the cab considerably,” says Stefan Axelsson. The increased stability of the cab combined with new geometry and improved design of front and rear suspension also result in better directional stability for the new truck.
All this gives the driver a greater feeling of precision and control, making progress on the road safer and less tiring. “Everyone who has been involved in developing the new road handling qualities is really proud of the result,” says Niklas Fröjd and Stefan Axelsson.

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