Swede 16

Volvo’s D16C, available in Europe, has ratings of 550 hp and 610 hp.

Volvo plans to introduce a more powerful engine in the United States that is already available in Europe.

The D16C provides two new horsepower ratings, 550 and 610. “Both ratings will be available in North America before 2007,” says Volvo Trucks North America spokesman Jim McNamara, though he could not be more specific.

During a test drive in Sweden, Volvo’s home, the engine performed exceptionally well in the High Coast region. Housed in Volvo’s FH 16, a new cabover designed for markets beyond the United States, the D16C provides high average speeds in mountainous terrain by supplying peak torque even at low rpm. The D16C, at 610 hp and a torque rating of 2065 pounds-feet, as well as the 550-hp version with 1805 pounds-feet, provides enormous climbing ability throughout a very flat, long rpm range. Peak torque becomes available at 950 rpm and remains constant until 1500 rpm in both engines.

“Ninety percent of the engine’s power is delivered within two seconds when the engine is operated within its maximum torque band and the fuel pedal is floored,” says Lennart Langervik, program manager for the D16C project. Both power plants are designed to accommodate even more horsepower.

The D16C is an inline six-cylinder. Its one-piece cylinder head houses an overhead camshaft and four valves per cylinder. It is boosted by a turbocharger and uses an intercooler. Because timing gears have been moved to the rear of the engine, it is extremely quiet, Langervik notes. Compared to Volvo’s proven D9 and D12 engines, the D16C is 2 percent to 3 percent more fuel efficient.

Engine makers are scrambling to find new technologies capable of meeting much tougher emissions standards due in 2006 in Europe and 2007 in the States. One leading technology is an after-treatment system, selective catalytic reduction, which requires the addition of urea to fuel.

McNamara says it’s not certain which technology Volvo will use to have the D16C comply with emissions standards when it enters North America.