In summer 2008 Volvo Trucks will launch a new generation of heavy trucks in Europe.  Both the Volvo FH and the flagship Volvo FH16 - the flagship model - are being significantly upgraded. Attention has been paid in particular to the needs of the driver and the cabin environment. 

Production start is scheduled for Autumn 2008; however customers can place orders for the new trucks as early as this December.

"At present there is immense demand for our trucks, resulting in abnormally long delivery times," says Claes Nilsson, President of Volvo Trucks' Europe Division.

"We therefore want to give our customers the opportunity to place advance orders for the product range that will become available as of next Autumn."

So, just what is it that customers are being offered? Volvo does not want to reveal all the details now, but what is certain is that the new range will include an entirely re-designed cab interior.

"We have created a driver's environment that offers more space and light along with far better storage capability," says Christer Pehrsson, business area manager for long-haul operations at Volvo Trucks. "Behind the new design lies a thorough analysis of all the needs that a driver may have, both while driving and when the truck is parked. The driver has to be able to work efficiently and live comfortably."
 
The storage compartments above the driver's seat are of a new design that increases the feeling of space and makes it easier to move around standing inside the cab.

By relocating some of the storage capacity and creating more compartments under the bed, total storage capacity has been increased, even though the interior living space itself feels larger, Volvo says.

Volvo maintains that the level of comfort in the cab is significantly higher, particularly as regards the scope for relaxation. A broader bed with adjustable backrest and a higher position for a more comfortable seat height is one of the new features. Another update is a passenger seat, which can now swivel 90 degrees and recline 15 degrees. There is also a powerful audio system with the possibility for USB, AUX, MP3 and TV inputs.
 
"We have focussed on providing good lighting inside the cab," says Christer Pehrsson. "With well-thought-out positioning of 17 light sources and an advanced lighting control that includes a dimmer, it is possible to deliver the light and adjust its brightness exactly according to the driver's need. Red night-lighting is also available. Our lighting system is among the very best on the market."

Improving visibility under all conditions is of high priority in Volvo's safety work and, as a result, Volvo offers rain sensors for the windscreen wipers. The sensors monitor when, and how much, rain is falling and the windscreen wipers are automatically adjusted to suit. Cornering lights, which provide better visibility when turning, are another solution being introduced. More new safety features will be revealed at the launch next summer.

Most of the changes being introduced on the Volvo FH will also be found on the Volvo FH16. However, the prestigious FH16 also has a large number of unique features.

"Customers who choose a Volvo FH16 do so because they are looking for something exceptional - and that's exactly what they'll get," says Christer Pehrsson.

Volvo says that the feeling of exclusivity is enhanced not least with the colour scheme of the interior, with a purple-blue nuance and bronze highlights featuring throughout the fabrics, upholstery and in the steering wheel. Even the main instrument panel is shaped differently with bronze shade inlays. In addition, the 'FH16' emblem can be found embroidered into the door panels and in a number of other locations in the cab.

"The Volvo FH and Volvo FH16 are designed for heavy transportation assignments, with high demands on productivity," says Claes Nilsson. "By improving the driver's ability to do a first-class job, we also contribute to our customers' profitability. What's more, this also makes it easier to attract the very best drivers."

The new driver's environment will be able to be specified on both the Volvo FH and Volvo FH16 as from mid-December 2007.