Choosing the right Volvo powertrain engine, transmission and rear axle can save quite a bit of money and time over the long haul. This is an important part of your truck investment, and while you’ll want to invest some quality time in the specing process, we’ll make it easy to come to the best Volvo powertrain decision.

From our advanced engines to our innovative I-Shift transmissions, Volvo gives you the solutions you need for today,  tomorrow and way down the road. You’ll find valuable powertrain information here on our site. And lots more at your nearby Volvo dealership.


With our D16 engine, Volvo takes power and performance to the next level. This ultra-reliable engine delivers the increased horsepower and torque needed to move large payloads with ease, even on steep grades. The Volvo D16 features advanced technology that requires less oil, fuel and maintenance. It’s one more way we’re protecting the environment while we help you rev up your bottom line.

Three power ratings are available in the range from 500 to 600 hp. The engine delivers impressive power in any situation with up to 2050 lbs.ft. of torque for excellent drivability. The variable geometry turbo also makes the engine very responsive while maximizing fuel economy.

The 550 Eco-Torque rating provides a “dual-personality” torque level unique in this horsepower class, which combines high performance with good fuel economy.

The XE16 ?exceptional efficiency ?packages feature the 16-liter Volvo D16 engine with 500 hp and up to 2050 lbs.ft. of torque. The first, a heavy-spec XE16 package rated for combination weights up to 143,000 pounds, was designed specifically for the North American heavy long combination vehicle (LCV) market. The second XE16 package combines exceptional fuel efficiency with outstanding performance for five-axle tractor-semitrailer combinations up to 80,000 pounds.

The Volvo D16 is sold in VNL Daycabs and Sleepers, and in the new VNX model, making it the perfect choice for line haul and heavy haul operations.

At 1500 rpm the standard I-VEB puts out an impressive 420 braking hp and a whopping 600 hp at 2200 rpm, an improvement by more than 20% over its predecessor. The I-VEB is controlled by a new brake stalk switch, allowing three engine-brake increments.

An oil drain interval of up to 35,000 miles with the low maintenance oil pan, which is an option in the VNL, helps to reduce operating costs. The D16 engine offers a dependable, fuel-efficient solution for heavy haul applications that require maximum muscle under the hood.


The Volvo D13 is a very fuel-efficient, powerful and lightweight engine, designed to meet current and future EPA regulations while improving reliability and lowering operating costs.

Fourteen power ratings are available in the range from 375 to 500 hp. The engine provides impressive performance with excellent low-end torque for improved drivability. The new variable geometry turbo also makes the engine very responsive while improving fuel economy.

Two XE ratings, six Eco-Torque and three Dual-Torque ratings provide “dual-personality” torque output for those customers who desire the high fuel economy of their lower torque levels with the strong performance of their higher outputs.

The Volvo D13 is sold in VN Daycabs and Sleepers, the VHD and the VAH, making it the perfect choice for line haul, regional and vocational operations.

At 1500 rpm the optional I-VEB puts out an impressive 350 braking hp, an improvement by more than 20% over our previous engine. At 2200 rpm, it absorbs 500 hp. The I-VEB is controlled by a new brake stalk switch, allowing three engine brake increments.

An oil drain interval of up to 35,000 miles helps in reducing operating costs. The Volvo D13 engine delivers a reliable, cost-effective and powerful solution in a light, high-performance package, for a wide variety of applications.


The Volvo D11 is a fuel efficient, lightweight engine designed to improve reliability and minimize cost of operation.

Five power ratings are available in the range from 355 to 405 hp. The engine provides impressive performance with excellent low-end torque for improved drivability. The new variable geometry turbo also makes the engine very responsive while improving fuel economy.

A 385 Eco-torque rating provides a “dual-personality” torque level for the regional highway carrier to provide the performance of a 1450 lb-ft engine, when needed with, the fuel economy of a 1250 lb-ft torque engine.

The Volvo D11 is sold in VN Daycabs, VAH auto haulers and VHDs making it the perfect choice for regional operations.

The engine delivers competitive performance compared to larger displacement engines with an impressive 405 hp and 1,550 lbs.ft. of torque, and provides lighter solution for maximizing fuel economy in regional, less than truckload (LTL) and distribution situations.

At 1500 rpm the optional I-VEB puts out an impressive 270 braking hp, with 440 braking hp at 2200 rpm, dwarfing many bigger engines’ brake performance. The I-VEB is controlled by a new brake stalk switch, allowing three engine-brake increments.

An oil drain interval of up to 35,000 miles helps to reduce operating costs. The Volvo D11 engine delivers a dependable, cost-effective solution — for a wide variety of short haul applications.


Say goodbye to missed gears, sticky clutches and lousy fuel mileage. With I-Shift, you’ll always be in the right gear at the right time.

Volvo I-Shift is a 12-speed, two-pedal, automated mechanical transmission that maximizes driver comfort, payload and fuel economy. It’s designed to integrate seamlessly with all Volvo engines. There’s no clutch pedal, and the gearshift is operated by intelligent electronics.

Using microprocessor technology, I-Shift continuously monitors changes in grade, vehicle speed, acceleration, torque demand, weight and air resistance. With the engine and transmission in constant communication, there’s no compromising. I-Shift automatically selects the best gear for the engine, allowing every driver to shift like a fuel-efficiency expert. This puts less stress on the driveline, for longer life and less maintenance.

Download an I-Shift brochure:

I-Shift Brochure
I-Shift Spec Sheet – AT2612D – Direct Drive for Volvo D11, D13
I-Shift Spec Sheet – ATO2612D – Over Drive for Volvo D11, D13
I-Shift Spec Sheet – ATO3112D – Over Drive for Volvo D16


Available in five feature packages, I-Shift can be customized to fit your specific driving needs. Out on the road, this amazing transmission will deliver an unprecedented level of features and benefits to help drive success for your business:

  • I-Shift offers maximum flexibility through feature packages that can be tailored to fit everybody’s needs, from owner operators to large fleets.
  • Features that make the I-Shift the most versatile AMT on the road are:
    • Grade sensor
    • Kick-Down Mode for instant power and maximum acceleration
    • Performance Mode for maximum gradeability
    • Brake Program Mode for maximum retardation
  • I-Shift makes every driver shift like a pro, for improved fuel economy. An optional feature called Eco-Roll will also improve fuel economy in the top gear.
  • The I-Shift is available for a wide variety of applications such as line haul, heavy haul, construction, distribution, and pickup and delivery.
  • This is the third generation of Volvo AMTs. It’s based on proven technology that requires minimal service and virtually no maintenance. Introduced globally in 2002, I-Shift transmissions are in use all around the world.

See your Volvo dealer for the I-Shift package that’s best for you!

Testimonial – Marvin Visser




In developing our EPA ’07 compliant engines, we introduced a host of enhancements that help the environment without sacrificing power and fuel economy. Through innovative applications of EGR and DPF technology, Volvo’s ’07 engines effectively reduced NOx emissions by 50 percent, and reduced particulate matter by 90 percent.

EPA ’10 called for a further ?and final ?NOx reduction that is 99 percent lower. That’s good news for the environment, because all 2010 and newer heavy truck diesel engines have near-zero emissions of particulates and NOx. Volvo diesel engines met the challenges of EPA ’10 while improving fuel economy using the proven and highly efficient SCR process.

Engine advancements continued with Volvo’s introduction of its EPA ’14 GHG Certified engines. With all-new and optimized engine components, including the removal of lead from the valvetrain, Volvo’s ’14 engines will reduce its greenhouse gas footprint while delivering innovations for greater fuel efficiency and savings for customers.


Current EPA emissions regulations required further reduction of NOx from diesel engine exhaust. Volvo eliminates NOx with the proven and highly efficient process of SCR: Selective Catalytic Reduction. Volvo engines with SCR technology have near-zero emissions with less fuel consumption.

Volvo further reduces NOx through the aftertreatment of engine exhaust. If NOx gases are selectively eliminated in a downstream aftertreatment chamber, the level of NOx produced by the engine can be significantly higher. This approach allows the engine to be retuned for maximum fuel efficiency.

SCR requires a catalytic converter into which is injected Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF). The primary component of DEF is water; the active organic component is urea.

Urea is a nitrogen compound that turns to ammonia when heated. When a urea-and-water solution is injected into the exhaust stream and passed over a catalyst, the urea reacts with the NOx to form nitrogen and water vapor — two clean and harmless components of the air we breathe.

The basic elements of the Volvo SCR system:

  • SCR catalyst aftertreatment chamber
  • DEF tank
  • Pump & lines
  • Heating system
  • Control & monitoring system

How SCR Works


The Volvo SCR system is simple and effective, with few components. It consists of a DEF tank positioned near the standard diesel tank, plus a DEF tank pump, an injector unit and an SCR catalytic converter.

The advantage of using DEF is that it enables the engine to use less EGR — and higher oxygen levels — for better combustion, while easily meeting the EPA’s near-zero NOx emissions requirement of 0.2 g/hp-hr NOx. By using DEF, we avoid the disadvantages of increasing EGR to massive levels.

This results in better fuel efficiency from your Volvo engine. With rising crude oil prices, achieving maximum fuel efficiency has become the single most important attribute of modern truck engine design.

  1. Diesel engine optimized for high performance, low particle emissions and low fuel consumption.
  2. DEF tank.
  3. The DEF tank and injection system’s control units continuously vary the amount of DEF injected in response to the engine’s current load conditions.
  4. DEF is injected into the exhaust gases in between the DPF (5) and the Catalytic Converter (6).
  5. Diesel Particulate Filter.
  6. In the Catalytic Converter, nitrogen oxides are transformed into harmless nitrogen gas and water.
  7. The system notifies the driver when it is time to top up with DEF.

Volvo Trucks North America offers a thorough look at the 2010 EPA emissions for heavy-duty truck engines and a detailed description of the Volvo solution: Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR). Heavy-duty salesmen and customers alike will benefit from this podcast, designed to answer questions and educate listeners on SCR, the technology that brings emissions to a near-zero level while maintaining the performance and fuel economy the industry has come to expect from a Volvo engine.



i-veb_278x228Our new I-VEB enhances our successful Volvo Engine Brake with Intelligent Software.

As many drivers know, the Volvo Engine Brake (VEB) delivers high retardation over the speed range, and it is integrated into the engine for safety and longer foundation brake life. Its unique design provides quiet, effective braking in the rpm range in which drivers most often operate-1500 rpm and below. Best of all, it allows faster downhill travel with complete control, shortening trip time.

With I-VEB, braking is smarter than ever.

I-VEB has a new ergonomic six-position switch that’s comfortable and easy to operate:

  • Position “O” – Off.
  • Position “A” – Engine Brake Cruise Control. In this position, Cruise Control is enabled and vehicle speed exceeds cruise speed by the driver-controlled set speed, the I-VEB engine brake will engage with infinite control to maintain that speed (within the limit of the engine brake).
  • 1,2,3 – 40, 70, 100%
  • Position “B” – I-Shift Brake Program. With Volvo I-Shift on board, the controls of each feature are integrated for optimum performance.

With I-VEB, the driver doesn’t have to reach over to the dash to adjust the engine brake switch every time the slope of the downgrade changes.

If a driver wants to go down a long, steady downgrade at a steady speed, like 35 mph, he needs only depress the +/- switch at the end of the brake control stalk. I-VEB will take over from there and will hold the truck at 35 mph regardless of the exact terrain (within the limits of the brake).

At 1500 rpm the D13’s optional I-VEB puts out an impressive 310 braking hp, dwarfing many bigger engines’ brake performance.

I-VEB’s ease of operation, precise control with infinite adjustment and maximum fuel economy give you an engine brake that’s the first choice of professional drivers.


warmhold_278x228Volvo believes in shutting off the engine whenever possible to save fuel and reduce noise. But there are some times when extended idling is a necessity. During those times, Volvo engines utilize the variable geometry turbocharger to thermostatically engage and provide Volvo’s ‘Warmhold Function’, which allows the engine to warm up quickly and maintain engine temperature at very low idle speeds, saving fuel and reducing emissions.



Volvo engines do a superb job of keeping fuel temperature regulated, allowing them to operate more efficiently for better fuel economy and lower operating costs.

Engine fuel systems are divided into low- and high-pressure zones. The low-pressure zone filters and supplies fuel to the high-pressure zone, which injects fuel into the cylinders. The cam actuates the injector plunger and produces the high pressure needed to inject atomized fuel for an efficient burn. The fuel injector solenoid valve allows the fuel to be injected or bypassed.

Injectors feed fuel to the engine based on volume. Heated fuel is less dense (less BTU per volume), and therefore, engine performance decreases as fuel temperature increases. Addition of fuel coolers-which also add cost and complexity-can compensate for the increased heat.

Volvo engines do not require fuel coolers. Our system draws fuel from the tank through a 20-40 micron primary filter. It then passes through and cools the ECU as it heads toward a fuel exchange at the top front of the engine cylinder head. At that connection, excess fuel from the injectors is mixed with the incoming fuel and pumped through a 3-5 micron secondary filter. The fuel is then sent to the injectors at the rear of the cylinder head.

Because our system draws only the amount of fuel needed for combustion, the fuel temperature is not increased with large amounts of return fuel. The recirculated fuel’s temperature is maintained by engine coolant, which has better regulation than return fuel.

Click here for more service information.



pto_278x228It’s never been easier to perform multiple tasks with your truck, thanks to the Volvo rear mounted engine power take-off. This clutch-independent design consists of a bearing housing that is mounted directly on the right rear side of the engine geartrain. Since the power is taken directly from the engine, this PTO can be utilized while the vehicle is being driven or stationary for maximum versatility. The power take-off has few moving parts for high performance and is specially suited to Volvo’s engines for high availability.

The Volvo Rear Mounted Engine PTO is designed for applications such as:

  • Dump truck
  • Crane equipped vehicle
  • Cement mixer
  • Refrigerator/freezer units
  • Container lift/load exchanger (roll-off)\
  • Refuse collection
  • Snow plow/sand spreader

Available with optional direct mount hydraulic pump. Mounting location is on the right rear side of engine geartrain, with the following hydraulic pump connections: DIN 5462 / ISO 7653.



advanced_tech_278x228As the world’s largest manufacturer of heavy-duty diesel engines above nine liters, Volvo has earned a powerful reputation for innovations that save money while assuring performance. Here are a few more Volvo engine exclusive features:

  • Performance Bonus Guide – with patented sweet-spot measure to encourage soft driving for better fuel economy.
  • Dual port poppet-style hydraulic EGR valve – for reliable stick-free performance. Close position to turbocharger assures precision EGR control for better fuel economy.
  • Available Volvo air intake pre-heater for assured starting in frigid climates.
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