Volvo Iron Knight has 1765kW, weighs 4.5 tons, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 392kW/ton.

Skelleftea, Sweden - Volvo's Iron Knight is the world's fastest truck - twice over.

The custom-built record breaker, hand-made from the ground up with fibre-glass bodywork on a mid-engined racing chassis, has set world records for both the 500 metre and 1000 metre standing start runs.

Custom built, that is, in every respect except for its 13-litre D13 straight-six turbodiesel, upgraded with a liquid-cooled intercooler and four turbochargers to deliver a mind-blowing 1765kW and 6000Nm (no, that's not a typo - six thousand Newton-metres) and off-the-shelf twelve-speed I-Shift double-clutch transmission with clutch and pressure plates made of sintered material.

Volvo Trucks president Claes Nilsson emphasised that the transmission was otherwise absolutely standard.

"The fact that the world record-breaker uses the very same gearbox that is found in our road-going FH trucks is something that we're really proud of," he said.

Driven by 1994 European Truck Racing Champion Boije Overbrink, the Iron Knight roared down the main runway at the Skelleftea Drive Centre, a former airbase in northern Sweden.

Its two runs - one in either direction within an hour, as required for FIA land speed record accreditation - averaged out at 13.71 seconds for the first 500 metres, with a terminal speed of 131.29km/h, and 21.29 seconds for the standing kilometre, hitting the mark at 169km/h.

The Iron Knight weighs 4.5 tons, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 392kW/ton, and during the record runs it reached a top speed of 276km/h. Respect.

Motoring.co.za

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