Volvo Trucks will now offer its I-Shift automated manual transmission (AMT) as standard on all Volvo-powered trucks built for the North American market. Sales of the Volvo I-Shift reached record levels in 2012, with nearly one of every two Volvo trucks built in North America featuring the Volvo I-Shift. Göran Nyberg, president, Volvo Trucks North American Sales & Marketing, made the announcement during the Mid-America Trucking Show.
Since its introduction in 2001, the Volvo I-Shift has significantly impacted the global truck market. Volvo has sold more than 330,000 I-Shifts globally, and we are currently building more than 80 percent of trucks globally with the I-Shift. Well over a decade of production experience has made Volvo I-Shift the world’s leading AMT.
Market share of the I-Shift has steadily grown since 2007, when Volvo became the first OEM to bring an integrated AMT to the North American market. In 2012, nearly 60 percent of Volvo-powered vehicles built also featured an I-Shift. Volvo was the first to offer multiple premium packages with the I-Shift, and the first to introduce innovative technologies like load and grade sensors, skip shifting and Eco-Roll™.
The 12-speed Volvo I-Shift is able to downshift and upshift in smaller, optimum steps – averages 28 percent – between gears compared with competitive transmissions, which average 37 percent steps between gears. This improves drivability and skip shifting. Integrated sensors identify truck load and road grade to place the truck in the right gear for the conditions for smooth, optimum shifts, extending clutch life and service intervals.
I-Shift also reduces wasted revs and boosts fuel efficiency by up to 1.56 percent when compared to an unproductive driver.
I-Shift is a central component to Volvo’s XE – exceptional efficiency – powertrain package, which further reduces fuel consumption by lowering engine rpm at a given vehicle speed, a concept Volvo calls “downspeeding.” Volvo’s XE packages downspeed the engine at cruising speeds by 200 rpm or more than traditional specs, so trucks spec’d with XE13 cruise at just 1,150 rpm at 65 mph, while the XE16 powertrain package can cruise as low as 1,100 rpm at 65 mph.
Fuel efficiency improves by about 1.5 percent for every 100 rpm of downspeeding, so customers spec’ing the XE package can expect up to a 3 percent improvement when compared with another overdrive transmission in a similar operation. In 2012, more than 10 percent of all Volvo trucks delivered featured an XE powertrain.