On Tuesday, heavy-duty truck manufacturer Volvo Trucks North America (VTNA) revealed a makeover for its flagship truck design—the Class 8 VNL. VTNA, a manufacturing division of Sweden-based Volvo, announced the order book will open in April, while production will start in Q3 2024.
VTNA executives are christening the latest VNL installment as a quantum leap forward, adding that the redesign is the OEM manufacturer’s most significant launch since 1996. “About 90 percent of the truck is new,” VTNA Vice President of Strategy, Marketing, and Brand Management Magnus Koeck stated during a media question-and-answer session.
New VNL features many options for customers
From engine horsepower to safety features, the new series introduces packaging options for customers, designed to simplify the configuration and ordering process. These customers, ultimately asset-owning motor carriers, can select the optimal package for their business needs, like duty cycles and fuel efficiency goals.
The upgraded VNL will be available in six cab configurations: VNL 300 day cab; VNL 440 42-inch mid-roof sleeper; VNL 640 62-inch mid-roof sleeper; VNL 660 62-inch full-height sleeper; VNL 840 74-inch mid-roof sleeper; and, VNL 860 74-inch full-height sleeper.
Additionally, the series includes four exterior and interior trim levels—core, edge, edge black, and ultimate.
Altogether, the legion of options is designed to fit individual customer preferences, such as brand identity and operational requirements.
Prospective buyers can explore the new VNL features and trim levels on VTNA’s online configurator. The tool allows users to build out their own virtual truck. They can start off by selecting one of the six cab configurations. From there, they can sift through exterior, interior, powertrain (engine), axle, and safety options.
VTNA has also announced training will be available to dealer sales staff to properly inform them when consulting with motor carriers on the ideal Volvo VNL configuration for their individual transportation requirements. This includes both virtual and in-person courses from Volvo Academy.
A sleeker, more aerodynamic design
It appears that the upgraded Class 8 VNL design has drawn initial praise. VTNA’s reveal, which premiered live on the company’s YouTube channel Tuesday, saw a fair share of positive comments. Viewers within the live chat marveled at the new cabs’ modern exteriors.
While admittingly sleek, the exterior design is not purely cosmetic. VTNA also made these changes with aerodynamics in mind. Features, like a new wedge-shaped cab and reshaped windshield, are expected to improve the fuel efficiency of these trucks.
Other updates, including optimized chassis fairings and tighter clearance around wheel openings, the bumper, and hood, will also minimize wind resistance.
The virtual audience of Tuesday’s reveal also lauded the upgraded interiors of the new VNL design. The insides of these rigs appear spacious and comfortable. A few configurations include mid-roof or full-height sleeper cabs for long-haul drivers as well.
At this time, all new trucks under the series will be powered by diesel engines, but VTNA suggests the VNL could be offered in battery-electric, hydrogen fuel cell, and renewable fuel options in the future. However, an exact timeline was not given.
“The all-new Volvo VNL was designed to change everything,” VTNA President Peter Voorhoeve stated.
Watch Volvo Trucks North America’s VNL reveal. Image used in the cover photo of this blog is courtesy of Volvo Trucks North America.
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