Volvo Trucks introduces higher-efficiency D13TC engine in VNL models

August 20, 2019

Land Line Staff


Through its improved turbo compound technology, Volvo Trucks North America says it has improved fuel efficiency of its 13-liter turbo-compound diesel engine by 3%.

Turbo compound technology is a waste heat recovery system that uses a turbine to convert energy from the exhaust gases into additional torque on the crankshaft, according to Greensboro, N.C.-based Volvo.

Volvo introduced the first generation of its turbo-compound technology in 2017. Trucks with the turbo compound engine have logged 300 million miles and have validated the 8% fuel savings benefits claimed for it, the company says.

The new D13TC improves fuel efficiency by up to 3% over the first D13TC engine, the company claims. That translates to savings of about $1,200 per year per truck, based on the average fuel price and 125,000 miles per year, the company says.

Other improvements include enhanced efficiency over a wider range of applications, more engine ratings and a new extra efficiency drive mode.

The new D13TC engine will be available for order in the fourth quarter of 2019 and go into production at the end of the first quarter of 2020.

This new engine Features include:

  • Enhanced efficiency over a wider range of applications.
  • More engine ratings.
  • A new extra efficiency drive mode.

Volvo Trucks’ new D13TC produces better fuel efficiency over a wider range of loads, vehicle speeds and engine RPMs compared to the first generation of the D13TC engine. The first D13TC engine was designed for over-the-road, long-haul applications for trucks loaded at 80,000 pounds, according to a news release.

Three drive modes

There are three drive modes available with the new D13TC engine: extra efficiency, economy, and performance. The drive modes allow the driver to balance fuel efficiency with performance and driving conditions.

This offers a broader use of applications compared to the first generation of the D13TC engine, which was designed specifically for over-the-road, long-haul applications for trucks loaded at 80,000 pounds.

Dynamic torque system

Instead of operating in high-torque and low-torque modes, the new Volvo D13TC uses a dynamic torque system. The dynamic torque system automatically sets a torque level to accommodate the weight of the truck, the grade and the road conditions at any given time. This system provides more consistent improvement in fuel efficiency across applications, enabling customers to cut costs on a wider range of operations, according to a news release.

Wave piston

The new D13TC also features a revised wave piston, designed and patented by Volvo Trucks.
The wave piston design uses ridges or waves in the piston crown to improve fuel combustion and cut in half the amount of soot particles emitted by the engine, according to a news release. The wave piston design also improves fuel consumption.

The improved design optimizes wave technology to evenly distribute the air/fuel mixture in the cylinder, burning the fuel more consistently than a traditional piston. Volvo’s design increases the compression ratio from 17:1 to 18:1 while maintaining up to a 90% reduction of soot in the cylinder, further improving fuel efficiency in the engine.

Volvo Trucks is promoting the new engine with a communications campaign featuring a fictional owner-operator experiencing significantly improved fuel economy with the new turbo compound engine and spending the money saved on a high-end lifestyle.