Why does Scania Still Use V8s?

    If you’re ever in Europe, you will most likely see a Scania on the roads during your time there. This is because Scania is known for being the bestselling truck in Europe. This Swedish truck brand is known for many things, such as reliability, but among others they are known for using a V8 engine design which is unlike the standard inline-6 engines used by most other truck manufacturers. Scania began the production and implementation of the V8 into its lineup of trucks in 1969. Later it would become a staple of the brand, even used by the brand today.

    During the 1960s Swedish authorities raised the speed and load limits for trucks in the country. This created the need for a new bigger engine to perform to these new standards in the Swedish market. Scania being the primary producer of trucks in Sweden didn’t want to be left out of this expansion, so development began on a new engine. Scania’s buyers wanted an engine which was bigger and more powerful than the current inline-8 configuration, but Scania knew that a bigger engine would be more difficult to fit into the truck. This led to the idea of a V8 being used for the new truck design.


    After a few years of development, the first V8 was created. The DS14 engine was a 350 hp 14-liter turbocharged V8 engine. This engine soon became very popular with Swedish truckers, as well as truckers in other European countries. The popularity is primarily due to the fact that this new Scania truck equipped with this engine, was not only the most powerful truck on the market in Europe at the time, but also the fastest.

    This engine was not just revolutionary in its capabilities as a fast and powerful engine, but it also had a philosophy that has become standard in the modern trucking industry. The idea of low-revs and low speed mixed with high torque output was a philosophy that the engine designers subscribed to. This design increased the truck’s pulling capabilities, fuel economy, extended the engine’s life, and made less noise. This had the effect of making the truck more popular with the truckers.

    Scania continued to make the V8 engine due to its high performance and loyal customer base. Scania took off in many countries due to the dependability and popularity of the V8. In places like Britain, many long-haul operators prefer the Scania V8 over that of other trucks due to its pulling capabilities and above-mentioned dependability. Power output increased as the years went on.

    In the 1990s, Scania had upgraded the power output to 530 horsepower and the torque output was increased to 2,300 Nm. Keep in mind that this was the same V8 engine used in 1969, only an upgraded version. In 2000, new emissions regulations were implemented, causing Scania to begin revamping its V8 engine to be able to meet these new regulations. Scania met the regulations by developing the DS16, which produced 580 horsepower, and 2,700 Nm of torque. Scania still builds on and develops its V8, with the modern engine being available in 520, 580, 650 and 730 horsepower variants. It seems that Scania has kept its V8 because “if it ain’t broke don’t fit it”, as well as the reputation that it has among its loyal customers. 

Published in Car Stories

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Unknown Member
Unknown Member
2 years ago


Nicholas Matthews
2 years ago

Scania makes some pretty awesome trucks. Nice article.

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