The New 2024 Volvo VNL Falls Short of Expectations

Jan 24, 2024 in Trucking Events

On January 23rd, Volvo introduced its latest iteration of class 8 semi-trucks, the new version of the Volvo VNL. Despite the company's bold assertion that "The all-new Volvo VNL was designed to change everything," a closer look reveals that the truck leaves much to be desired.

Contrary to the anticipation of a groundbreaking design, the new Volvo VNL seems to share many similarities with its predecessor – the old Volvo VNL. While sporting a curved windshield, redesigned front grill, and bumper and active safety features, touted to become standard, doesn't quite make up for the lack of a transformative overhaul.

The promise of a 10 percent increase in fuel efficiency through new aerodynamics is a positive aspect, as stated by Volvo in their official release.

The biggest improvement seems to be the much-touted highly robotized plant, intended to enhance productivity and profit margins.

Under the hood, the new Volvo VNL features the latest D13 power unit and D12 transmission.  The new design is intended to support alternative electrical or alternative fuel power. The transition 24 V electric infrastructure in preparation for future electric trucks might not resonate well with current Volvo owners, who may foresee potential added costs.

As we assess the new Volvo VNL, it becomes apparent that while it brings some enhancements to the table, it fails to deliver the groundbreaking transformation that was promised. This critical evaluation prompts us to question whether the new VNL truly lives up to the expectations set by Volvo's ambitious vision for change in the world of semi-trucks.