There aren’t many vehicles out there that are able to mix a traditional look with tasteful modern lines. There is however one truck that stands out from the crowd at any time and any place. We’re talking about the new International LoneStar which was launched in 2009.
The truck was designed for long haul operations and features an aerodynamic design that reminds us of those classic hot roads that caused many jaw drops at their time. With GVWR (gross vehicle weight ratings) between 52,350 – 60,600 lbs, the International Lone Star is available with both Day and Sleeper cabs and is powered by either MaxxForce 13 or Cummins ISX15 engines.
Usually any big rig has everything it takes to turn some heads while passing on the road. But the LoneStar, has a bit more. Its features a dramatic exterior design with an aerodynamic shape and an imposing stance underlined but its conventional cab configuration.
The long nose is dominated by a mean looking sharp grille which is defiantly an eye catcher. The oversized wheel arches follow the same line of the hood and gels seamlessly with the bumper and the front fascia forming a nice aerodynamic design that cuts through the air with ease.
You don’t have to analyze the truck’s design for an hour to realize that everything is sculpted to keep the drag coefficient to a low level including the d-shaped air cleaners, v-shaped bumper, sloped hood and skirts. Besides the fact that the design looks stunning, it also creates a fuel economy advantage over standard long nose conventional models.
Unlike most trucks from the road which feature horizontal light clusters, the LoneStar was designed with vertical units which also offer the possibility to change headlight bulbs without tools.
For those that climbed in an International cab before, the interior will look pretty familiar and except for a new steering wheel and a slightly redesign dash there aren’t other big differences compared to the other trucks build by the company. The materials however, feel a bit better than what you’ll usually get from International and the build quality found inside is also surprisingly good.
Naturally, there is plenty of space and the overall ergonomy is also at par with its competitors, with well placed controls and a logical layout of the gauges and switches.
We love the instrument cluster’s design as is fairly easy to understand and copes well with the rest of the dash. It features two main gauges for the tacho and speedometer which are flanked by other small indicators which are fairly easy to read and don’t catch any disturbing sun reflections.
The International LoneStar’s seats are clearly part of the high class and despite the fact that they could’ve come with better side support, they offer a good comfort and you can ride all day long without feeling any back pains. They can also be adjusted according to you wishes hence you won’t have any problems to find a proper driving position.
International has done a great job in redesigning its old steering wheel, and even if the new one it’s still not our first choice, it features an ergonomic design and feels great to hold. It is also fitted with a bunch of useful controls for the interior lights and audio system, and can be adjusted for both reach and rake offering a plus of comfort.
The high driving position gives you a commanding view of the road, while the huge exterior mirrors and the generous windshield offer a good all–round visibility.
In the Sleeper cab, the front seats swivel towards the multi-purpose living space that features a comfortable sofa. For maximum versatility, the sofa is designed to convert easily into a sleeping area through the use of a 42 inch-wide pull-down bunk that features a premium one-piece inner spring mattress. The sleeper cab is also fitted with a refrigerator and two convenient cabinets which provide plenty of storage places to make your life easier. Other storage areas can be fond above the windshield, under the bunk or at the bottom of the center console.
On the International LoneStar’s equipment list you’ll find a driver information display with navigation, Bluetooth with integrated microphone, MP3 player connection and tire monitoring system.
Engines and transmissions
The International LoneStar can be equipped with either MaxxForce 13 or Cummins ISX15 engines. The engines are mated on Eaton-Fuller manual or automated transmissions with 10, 13, 15, 18 speeds depending on the model.
The MaxxForce 13 engine is one of the most efficient units in its segment and features a high pressure common rail fuel system, dual wastegated sequential turbos and a heat management system. The engine meets EPA’s 2010 regulations, thanks to the use of an advanced EGR system which improves the fuel efficiency and reduces emissions. In order to be lighter than other similar units, the MaxxForce’s engine block was made of compacted graphite iron which is also more resistant that the gray iron making the engine more durable. The engine comes with a powerful Jacobs engine brake for enhanced stopping power.
The Cummins ISX isn’t as efficient as the Maxxforce unit, but offers more power and a better acceleration. Meeting the 2007 emissions standards the Cummins ISX features a totally integrated system from air intake to exhaust after treatment. The engine is combined with a cooled-EGR subsystem, an electrically actuated VG Turbo, a proprietary Cummins Particulate Filter and a crankcase ventilation system with a coalescing filter all managed by a single Electronic Control Module. The engine also comes with a standard Interbrake engine brake which can deliver a stopping power of up to 600 hp.
MaxxForce 13 specifications
|MaxxForce 13||410 @1700||1450 @1000|
|MaxxForce 13||430 @1700||1550 @1000|
|MaxxForce 13||430 @1700||1550@1000|
|MaxxForce 13||450 @1700||1700 @1000|
|MaxxForce 13||450 @1700||1550@1000|
|MaxxForce 13||475 @1700||1700 @1000|
|MaxxForce 13||500 @1700||1700 @1000|
Cummins ISX 15 specifications
|ISX15 600||600||1850 @ 1200|
|ISX15 550||550||2050 @ 1200|
|ISX15 525||525||1850 @ 1200|
Ride and suspensions
The International LoneStar features a standard 6x4 axle configuration with Hendrickson( 12,350 – 14,600 lbs.), Dana Spicer( 12,350 – 14,600 lbs.) or Meritor (12,350 – 14,600 lbs.) front axles and Meritor (40,000 – 46,000 lbs.) or Dana Spicer( 40,000 – 46,000 lbs.) tandem rear axles.
The front parabolic taperleaf springs is combined with rear air rear suspensions and gives the truck a surprisingly good ride even when it’s completely unladen. The NVH levels are at par with the other trucks in the segment as the wind noise won’t disturb you at all. Steering isn’t difficult to use and you won’t need to make too many adjustments to keep the truck in a straight line.
With the new LoneStar, it’s obvious that International has taken measures to fix what was broken without hurting what already worked for its trucks. However some reliability issues still remain and the company still has a hard time convicing truckers about the life expectancy of its products.
On the other, the International designers have gone farther than everyone expected and made the LoneStar a true “turning-heads machine”. In the end International took its highway experience and engineered a truck that is more attractive than anything else on the road, offers a fairly good efficiency and comes with increased driving dynamics.
Video: International LoneStar