Hybrid Hauls—Figuratively

Although “hybrid” for many people has come to connote things that are both small and not particularly peppy, that wasn’t the case late last month at the Wendover Airfield in Utah.

Although “hybrid” for many people has come to connote things that are both small and not particularly peppy, that wasn’t the case late last month at the Wendover Airfield in Utah.

On April 27, a vehicle named “Mean Green” set a speed record—in a run sanctioned by the United States Auto Club—of 147.002 mph (236.577 km/h) for a flying kilometer and 95.245 mph (153.252 km/h) for a standing kilometer. Mean Green is a hybrid.

You’re probably thinking—and correctly so—that those speeds aren’t all that astonishing.

But there’s something else that you need to know: Mean Green is a hybrid semi-truck tractor.

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It is primarily based on Volvo Truck elements, including a Volvo VN cab and frame—aero modified for the speed run. It has a Volvo D16 engine with a modified version of Volvo’s automated IShift gearbox. There is an electric motor that supplements the diesel engine.

All together, the engine and motor produce approximately 2,100 hp and 6,750 Nm (5,000 lb-ft) of torque.

Yes, a hybrid.