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The FH model Volvo has been around for the last 25 years in the New Zealand market and has evolved and adapted to the country’s environment says Volvo National Sales Manager Paul France.

“We’ve had 25 years of evolution on the FH model helping New Zealand businesses, and it’s a truck that is all Volvo. All FH models are built to spec for the New Zealand market entirely in house. We don’t have to make any changes once the truck gets here from the factory in Australia. Its 25 years of evolution of a product to fit the NZ market,” he says.

In conjunction with the anniversary, Volvo will be releasing a brand-new product – the I-shift dual clutch.

The new technology is set to be shown off at a launch event in mid-May alongside a competition that will give ten drivers the chance of road testing the gear.

Sign-ups for the competition are available through Volvo NZs Facebook page. Winners will be asked to run a leg in a Volvo FH540 equipped with the iShift Dual Clutch technology, ideally doing a run that they would normally do with one of their usual trailers attached carting a load they would normally cart – though Volvo do have their own trailer they can provide in the case this isn’t possible.

“We are hoping that they will be able to do one of their designated runs with their trailer – driving their route with their goods to one of their customers to really get a sense of what it is like driving day to day in the New Zealand environment with this product,” says France.

The iShift dual clutch has already seen a great deal of success in the European market and has finally made its way to New Zealand.

Volvo has released a brief video detailing the mechanism of how the new clutch system makes seamless gear changes, preserving torque and momentum.

The system, originally designed for sports cars, involves the use of two clutches. When driving, the first gear is engaged by one input shaft. At the same time the other input shaft pre-selects the next gear. At the gear change the previously engaged clutch is disengaged at the same time as the idling clutch is engaged resulting in a seamless transfer of power.

The iShift Dual Clutch system will be available on engines up to 540hp. While Volvo says there may be options in the future to have the system for a 16L engine it is currently only available in up to 13L.

France says that “There is serious consideration for consumers going forward as a result of this technology is if you are wanting a powerful truck you could get a 600hp unit. However, you could also go for a 540hp with a dual clutch in it. This would essentially give you the productivity and equivalent hp as a 600hp.”

Competition entries are currently open, and the tour will begin following a customer event day at Manfield Park, Fielding, on the 15th of May. The truck will then embark on its national tour of New Zealand driving ten legs with ten drivers having the chance to test out the new technology.

You can enter the competition via Volvo NZs facebook page.

Article courteously of NZ Truck and Driver.