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5/7/2012 6:00:00 AM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Volvo’s ‘Mean Green’ Sets World Speed Record With Fastest Heavy-Duty Hybrid Vehicle


Volvo Trucks
By Timothy Cama, Staff Reporter

This story appears in the May 7 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.

WENDOVER, Utah — Compared with the current land speed record of 763.035 miles per hour, 147.002 mph is not very fast.

But that speed is now the world record for heavy hybrid vehicles, a mark set here last month by a Volvo Group-built truck known as Mean Green, pending certification by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, which sanctions and endorses land speed records.

“We have done the first world land speed record of a flying kilometer with a hybrid diesel truck,” Boije Ovebrink, Mean Green’s owner and driver, said after completing the run that clocked in at 147.002 mph. For the “flying kilometer” run, Ovebrink started driving 700 meters before the measured kilometer, and the resulting speed was his average speed throughout the kilometer.

“I was very pleased,” Ovebrink added.

Mean Green slightly resembles a North American Class 8 freight tractor, and it features mostly production Volvo parts, such as its I-Shift automated transmission and disc brakes. It uses the VN cab and frame Volvo sells in North America.

But it’s also quite different from the trucks Volvo sells. It has a 1,900-horsepower, 16-liter engine, with special racing pistons and a ceramic clutch made for racing. The camshaft and turbochargers are from Volvo but are made for boat engines.

Plus, it is a hybrid diesel-electric truck, something that Volvo does not offer in Class 8 trucks.

“It’s a rolling laboratory,” Ovebrink said after showing off Mean Green’s features. Volvo built it in Sweden in 2009 for Ovebrink, and the company is now taking it on a North American tour that has included stops at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., Truck World in Mississauga, Ontario, and Volvo factories.

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