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2014 Freightliner Cascadia Evolution

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Freightliner has revealed its new generation of the Cascadia heavy duty Class 8 truck which will be introduced as a 2014 model.

The main trait of new Cascadia Evolution is its increased fuel efficiency and the improved aerodynamics. The truck is equipped with Detroit diesel engines and thanks to a few significant aerodynamic improvements and engine tweaks it offers up to 5 percent improvement in fuel economy compared to the 2013 Cascadia.

Talking about the new model, David Hames, general manager, marketing and strategy for Daimler Trucks North America said “With the introduction of the Cascadia and Detroit DD15 in 2007, our priority was to help customers lower their total cost of ownership through improved fuel efficiency and performance. Now, with the Cascadia Evolution, we are building upon our commitment to maximizing our customers’ bottom lines with new product advancements that will deliver unprecedented fuel efficiency.”

Design

Freightliner Cascadia Evolution

The Cascadia was already one of the most aerodynamic trucks from the market and for Freightliner wasn’t hard to make it even more slippery.

To offer a lower drag coefficient, the Freightliner Cascadia Evolution was highly tested in the wind tunnel. The company said that the truck was also “extensively tested on highways throughout the United States, and underwent almost three million miles in combined reliability and fuel economy testing.”

Compared to the actual model, the Cascadia Evolution received several frontal modifications designed to improve airflow and aerodynamics including a new air dam, bumper closure and a hood-to-bumper fill.

There are improved windshield seals, elliptical-shaped aerodynamic mirrors and an integrated antenna. Additionally there are also wheel covers on the rear tandem axles, aerodynamic chassis side fairings and 20-inch side extenders to further help the truck to score a lower drag coefficient.

The cooling system received a few upgrades as well. The 1,400 square-inch radiator now features a revised baffling system and new radiator mounting design for better performances.

Interior

Freightliner Cascadia Evolution

Compared to the actual model, the interior design remained mostly unchanged. Inside there is plenty of space with acres of head and legroom, while a flat floor permits you to move free around the cabin. The materials continue to be slightly behind Volvo’s trucks while the build quality could’ve been improved as well.

The good part is that the ergonomy is fairly good and we continue to be impressed by the convenient wraparound dashboard design which is fitted with easy to reach controls. The Cascadia is also equipped with multiple DC outlets to power different communications, and you can find them either in the center of the dashboard or at the base of the bunk.

You won’t complain about the instrument cluster either as its gauges are fairly big and the screen won’t catch any disturbing sun reflections.

The seats are bigger than usual which puts them in the first class when it comes to comfort. They also come with a proper support and plenty of useful adjustments. For increased comfort, Freightliner offers optional seat-heater, swivel and three way bolster.

The good driving position is enhanced by a two way adjustable steering wheel that comes with convenient controls for cruise, marker lights and engine brake.

The new Cascadia Evolution will be equipped with the Run Smart Predictive Cruise system as standard. This innovative technology evaluates the road profile more than one mile in advance, determines the most efficient vehicle speed, and then adjusts the actual speed of the truck for maximum fuel efficiency.

Engines and Technology

Freightliner Cascadia Evolution

The 2014 Freightliner Cascadia is fitted with a new DD15 diesel engine which features an asymmetric turbocharger with a next-generation amplified common rail system (ACRS).

The asymmetric turbocharger is less complex than variable geometry turbos and offers lower fuel consumption and improve performances. Moreover, the ACRS also delivers higher injection pressure for better combustion control and a simplified design for optimal regenerations. The DD15’s BlueTec emissions technology 1-Box package has been also optimized to decrease size, weight and complexity.

The new Detroit Diesel DD15 engine is 100 lbs lighter than the previous model and its filters need to be changed at every 100,000 miles.

The fresh DD15 is more than 100 lbs. lighter than its predecessor and includes an improved fuel filter module with two filters that deliver lower maintenance costs with an industry-leading 100,000 mile filter change interval.

The Cascadia Evolution will be also fitted with a standard Detroit Virtual Technician system. This system offers real time engine diagnostics which help the truck to stay on road without needing to stop for evaluating various events.

According the Freightliner, the Cascadia Evolution was able to score a fuel consumption of 10.67 miles per gallon which is pretty impressive for a heavy duty truck.

In order to achieve this performance, the optimally spec’d Cascadia Evolution was equipped with fuel squeezing options, including the Detroit DT12 automated manual transmission with wide-base tires, a 6x2 drivetrain configuration and aerodynamic trailer enhancements.

Detroit DD15 Engines Specifications

EnginePower outputTorque
DD15455 HP @ 1800 RPM1550 lb-ft @ 1100 RPM
DD15455 HP @ 1800 RPM1650 lb-ft @ 1100 RPM
DD15475 HP @ 1800 RPM1650 lb-ft @ 1100 RPM
DD15505 HP @ 1800 RPM1650 lb-ft @ 1100 RPM
DD15475 HP @ 1800 RPM1850 lb-ft @ 1100 RPM
DD15500 HP @ 1800 RPM1850 lb-ft @ 1100 RPM
DD15530 HP @ 1800 RPM1850 lb-ft @ 1100 RPM
DD15560 HP @ 1800 RPM1850 lb-ft @ 1100 RPM

Verdict

Freightliner Cascadia Evolution

The actual Freightliner Cascadia was already a pretty efficient and aerodynamic truck, but the new model has pushed the limits of aerodynamics even further.

As today’s concern for fuel consumption is on top of the list when it comes to trucking costs, these significant efficiency upgrades made to the Cascadia are welcomed.

We like than Freightliner has also tweaked the DD 15 engine in order to make it more efficient and reliable which further improves the truck’s performances.

The rest of the truck remained unchanged and it gets the same suspensions setup and the same cabin.

The new Freightliner Cascadia Evolution will enter production in 2013.




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