Ten years ago, it seemed only Prius and Volkswagen TDI drivers cared about getting the highest fuel efficiency, but with gas prices hovering at just under $4 a gallon, and looking like they'll be going higher in the years to come, fuel efficiency is of interest and concern to everyone, especially commercial truckers. To that end, Volvo Trucks is introducing its XE11 package for its 11-liter diesel engine. The combination of engine and transmission optimization yields an efficiency improvement of up to 3 percent compared with the conventional equivalent.

This efficiency gain is achieved primarily through dropping engine rpm, allowing the truck to operate at a more efficient speed and load. The 11-liter D11 engine is the third Volvo Truck engine to offer the XE package, with the suite of efficiency-enhancing technologies offered on its 13- and 16-liter engines. The D11 is rated at 405 hp and 1550 lb-ft of torque. The engine is offered on the VNM and VNL models rated up to 80,000 pounds and designed for regional applications.

The other significant component in achieving the efficiency gain is Volvo's i-Shift automated manual transmission, which facilitates the lower-rpm operation. The Volvo VNM and VNL are built in Dublin, Virginia, and the D11 engine is assembled in Hagerstown, Maryland.

Source: Volvo Trucks