October 28, 2019 2:45 PM, EDT

Volvo Unveils New VNR Model, Touts Aerodynamic Option

Volvo's VNR 660 model, available in 2020Volvo's VNR 660 model, available in 2020. (Volvo Trucks North America)

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ATLANTA — A new vehicle model meant to enhance regional-haul assignments was unveiled by Volvo Trucks North America at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show.

The VNR 660 features a high-roof sleeper designed to enhance space and comfort, the company explained at the biennial show on Oct. 28.

“This is really for some very customized applications,” Allison Athey, a product marketing manager at Volvo Trucks North America, told reporters at the expansive exhibit floor. “It’s going to offer all of the amenities for the driver, whether they’re in and out of cities or need to stay in the cab for a couple of nights.”

The VNR 660 is scheduled for availability in the first quarter of 2020, according to the company. It aims to provide customers a way to increase payload capacity while seeking to maintain certain length and weight requirements. It features a high-roof configuration with a 61-inch sleeper, as well as a bumper-to-back-of-cab length of 164 inches. And, its shorter hood design is meant to optimize visibility and maneuverability.

“The new VNR 660 truck model addresses the needs of regional-haul customers looking for ways to increase payloads by decreasing the weight of the vehicle and enabling the use of longer trailer sizes without sacrificing efficiency,” said Chris Stadler, also a product marketing manager at Volvo Trucks North America, in a prepared statement.

Interior view of Volvo VNR 660 driver environment

An interior view of the Volvo VNR 660's driver environment. (Volvo Trucks North America)

Besides the VNR 660, executives also announced that beginning in the second quarter of next year, the truck maker will provide the FlowBelow Tractor AeroKit as a factory-installed option. That option would include the system of wheel covers and fairings for improved aerodynamics and fuel efficiency.

Specifically, the AeroKit surrounds the drive wheels to manage the air around the tractor while in motion. The firm indicated the design would minimize turbulence while enhancing aerodynamics.

By the end of this year, Volvo will offer factory-installed FlowBelow wheel covers and fairings separately, as well as the FlowBelow Tractor AeroKit included with its Xceed fuel efficiency package as an option for truck orders in 4x2, 6x2 and 6x4 axle configurations.

“Heavy-duty trucks experience a great deal of turbulence and drag due to their sheer size and speed at which they travel down the road,” Josh Butler, president and founder, of FlowBelow Aero Inc., said in a statement. “The FlowBelow Tractor AeroKit significantly decreases the impact of those factors, optimizing the surface along the side of the truck to make it more aerodynamic, leading to better fuel mileage and real savings for customers.”

Volvo Trucks North America President Peter Voorhoeve

VTNA President Peter Voorhoeve by John Sommers II for Transport Topics

At the press event, Volvo Trucks North America President Peter Voorhoeve emphasized the company’s directive to amplify connectivity, automation and electromobility. “Some companies are changing with the times,” Voorhoeve told reporters. “We are committed to changing the times.”

The company announced it had reached more than 200,000 connected vehicles in North America, which is part of some 560,000 connected trucks globally in the Volvo Trucks division.

Ash Makki, another product marketing manager for the company, explained, “Over the past few years, marked improvements in connectivity have driven change and formed real-world opportunities in the trucking industry for safer, smarter and more sustainable operations.”

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