According to Diesel’s European Correspondent, every little bit helps for Volvo to improve fuel consumption on its models.
Volvo recently tweaked its Euro 6 engines and FH cab aerodynamics in what it describes as, “…yet another step on the path to efficient transportation.” It goes on to say that changes to its Euro 6 ‘C’ D13 engine (fitted in FH and FM) represent “A perfect example of how several small advances together can result in a big improvement.”
Designers put the FH back into a wind tunnel to find new ways to improve its cab’s aerodynamics. As a result it’s fine-tuned the front bumper spoiler, top cab air deflector panels, mudguards and mud flaps as well as the wheel arches, a key source of aerodynamic loss according to Volvo. By reducing the gap between the wheel arch and steer axle tyre, the Swedes have reduced those aerodynamic ‘leakage’ losses and lowered the amount of turbulence around the wheel.
Likewise, by optimising the shape of the FH’s front bumper spoiler the air stream is now deflected away from the underside of the truck, a notorious area for creating turbulence and drag, to around the side of the truck where it can be better controlled. However, by making the lower part of the bumper of a softer material neither ground clearance or approach angles have been compromised. Similarly the air flow between the back of the FH cab and the front of the trailer has been improved through the use of flexible elements in the corners of the top cab deflector.
Read more about these developments, and more from around Europe in the September/October issue of Diesel. You can catch Brian Weatherley’s ‘Eurobureau’ regularly in every issue of Diesel.