Volvo’s FM model has long established itself in Australia’s regional distribution market and also left a mark in line-haul applications where you don’t necessarily require 700hp to move a load – making it one of the last remaining all-rounders in an industry that is now used to customisation.
The latest FM generation, however, has been somewhat overshadowed by the hype around the Volvo FH launch, prompting Prime Mover to put the Swedish multi-talent to the test and see just how versatile the updated version still is.
From the outside, the sleek, re-designed cab of the FM may seem a little more flash and aerodynamic, but what’s even more important to the FM fan is what’s going on beneath the surface. In line with Volvo’s working smarter, not harder philosophy, fuel economy and operational efficiency are arguably the most important factors for potential buyers to consider before making a decision.
To see just how well the FM does in those key categories, Prime Mover had a chance to assess select FM models at the Anglesea testing facility in Victoria, which delivers a diverse range of scenarios to get a good impression of the vehicle – from unsealed country roads to high speed highways, it includes several steep, but admittedly not very long, gradients. To experience some sustained highway hauling at 100 clicks and tackle some more realistic, longer hills, we also slipped out the front gate and took a spin along the Princes Highway.
We tested two different versions of the FM in our road test – both featuring Volvo’s 13-litre engine, but with slightly different ratings of 460hp and 500hp respectively. Both combinations were loaded to around 70 per cent of their GVM.
Read the full feature in the latest edition of Prime Mover – out now!