Filters: Makes Styles Topics
view thumbnails grid view horizontal compact blog view
2019 Chevy Kodiak HD 4500 Caught testing

2019 Chevy Kodiak HD 4500 Caught testing

GM’s partnership with Navistar International shows promise

General Motors and Navistar International announced their partnership to build medium-duty trucks back in October of 2015, but since then, nothing has surfaced regarding the Class 4 and 5 commercial trucks – that is, until now. Spy shots have surfaced of a camouflaged test mule apparently prepped for stability testing. The rig has a beefy roll bar mounted to its flatbed and its front bumper is prepped for outriggers.

The images come via our friends at TFL Truck. The prototype truck clearly has elements of both GM and Navistar International. The hood and front grille are familiar International designs, while the headlights are clearly lifted from the 2015-2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 WT. The truck’s cab is also pure GM, likely shared with the Silverado 2500/3500 HD. The trailer tow mirrors, door handles, roof marker lights, and the cab’s overall shape are dead giveaways. Sadly, both automakers have remained quiet about the trucks, though TFL Truck cites reports suggesting the 4500/5500 trucks will debut in March of 2018 and go on-sale shortly thereafter as 2019 models. It’s unclear whether the trucks will have GM nameplate or Navistar International branding – or both. GM’s Chevy and GMC divisions could very easily revive the Kodiak and TopKick names, as both have illustrious histories spanning from 1980 to 2009. International might use the truck to expand its lineup below the DuraStar, currently its smallest medium-duty truck.

Continue reading for more information.

Read more
2018 Chevy Traverse Goes Upscale in All-New Generation

2018 Chevy Traverse Goes Upscale in All-New Generation

Tahoe looks combine with crossover functionality making Traverse a solid choice

General Motors is slaying the 2017 Detroit Auto Show with new metal, including the all-new 2018 Chevrolet Traverse. This three-row crossover continues the Traverse’s reign of family-friendly utility, but adds a high-class exterior and upper middle-class interior to the mix, finally reliving the Traverse’s ageing design that’s been around since 2009.

Although a mid-cycle refresh for the 2014 model year kept the hot-selling Traverse moving off Chevy showrooms, the 2018 Traverse marks the first generational change in the nameplate’s history. This new second-generation Traverse now has a far more upscale exterior that shares design cues with the Tahoe and Suburban, along with Chevy’s smaller crossovers and sedans.

The 2018 Traverse rides on GM’s new C1XX platform. Though this is the same platform that underpins the 2017 GMC Acadia, the Traverse’s footprint is larger, allowing for more interior space. Its eight-passenger seating remains, making it one of the segment’s most versatile contenders. Optional second-row captain’s chairs reduce seating to seven, but provide an easier third-row entrance while giving second-row passengers more personal space. Chevy says it has 98.5 cubic feet of cargo room and 33.7-inches of third-row legroom. Both figures are expected to be best-in-class for 2018.

Chevy is introducing a new engine inside the 2018 Traverse. Acting as the standard engine, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder comes mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. The engine makes 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, which is more twist than the Traverse’s optional 3.6-liter V-6 produces.

Speaking of the V-6, it’s the same carryover 3.6-liter as before. It does get a power boost to 305 horsepower, but torque remains at 260 pound-feet. It comes mated to the same nine-speed automatic as the four-cylinder.

Two new trim levels arrive for 2018. A new RS trim acts as the entry-level model and is exclusively paired with the 2.0-liter turbo-four. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the Traverse gets Chevy’s High Country trim with the same saddle-leather style seating found in the Silverado High Country. Suede accents in the seats, 20-inch wheels, D-Optic LED headlights, and a trim-exclusive dual-clutch AWD system set the High Country apart.

Chevy expects the 2018 Traverse to hit showrooms in the fall of 2017. Assembly will happen at GM’s Lansing Delta Township plant.

Continue reading for more information.

Read more
In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer's Guide

In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer’s Guide

A close look at the F-150’s options list

The Ford F-150 has been the best selling pickup for nearly 40 years and has more recently become the best selling vehicle – regardless of model type – in the United States. To say the F-150 is an important and well-loved vehicle would be a dramatic understatement. That’s why we’re looking deep into the F-150’s configuration and options combinations. We aim to inform consumes on what Ford offers with the F-150.

The current F-150 was dramatically reinvented for the 2015 model year an is vastly different from any other pickup on the market. That’s because its body is constructed of lightweight aluminum and it rides on a highly engineered, fully boxed steel frame. It has a pair highly technical, forced-induction engines and it is the first mass-production vehicle to offer a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Of course, the F-150 has some strong competition, namely from General Motors and Ram. GM offers its Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra twins, while Ram has its 1500-series truck. There are others out there, too, including Nissan’s new-for-2017 Titan and Toyota’s aging Tundra. Still, it’s Ford that continues to sell more trucks to more people across the North American continent.

Continue reading for the Buyer’s Guide.

Read more
Chevy Says All-New Traverse Coming to Detroit Auto Show

Chevy Says All-New Traverse Coming to Detroit Auto Show

Room for eight, new styling, and high-tech headlights

Chevrolet is bringing its next-generation Traverse to the 2017 North American International Auto Show. The full-size, three-row crossover is currently one of the oldest vehicles in Chevy’s lineup and is said to receive a bold and refined design with “exclusive D-Optic headlamps” that provide more natural lighting that is comparable to daylight.

The Traverse will continue offering room for up to eight people. Chevy anticipates the Traverse, which will likely be a 2018 model, will have segment-leading legroom for its three, third-row passengers. No details were given in the short press release announcing the Traverse’s debut at Detroit.

However, one important detail is noted. The Traverse, because of its eight-passenger seating, will be larger than the 2017 GMC Acadia – a vehicle that used to share its platform with the Traverse. The new Acadia is now smaller than its previous generation and only provides a maximum of seven seats.

Alan Batey, president of GM North American and brand chief of Global Chevrolet, said, “Nobody in the industry offers a broader, fresher lineup of SUVs and crossovers than Chevrolet. From the all-electric Bolt EV to America’s longest-running nameplate, Suburban, we’ve got something for every customer and lifestyle.”

The revamped Traverse will sell along side Chevy’s other crossovers, including the all-new 2018 Equinox and the 2017 Bolt EV (though some might argue the Bolt is a four-door hatchback). Other crossover and SUV models include the Trax, Tahoe, and Suburban.

Though Chevy wasn’t forthright with information on the new headlights, a quick search reveals D-Optic headlights are a new generation of LED leadlight design with multiple 1x1 LEDs close coupled with injection molded lens optics that provide strong forward lighting with minimal energy requirements.

The Traverse will debut on January 9, 2017. Stay tuned to TopSpeed for official information and photos as they become available.

Continue reading for more information.

Read more
2017 Colorado ZR2 vs 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

2017 Colorado ZR2 vs 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

A detailed look at both trucks

These are exciting times for truck enthusiasts who also like off-roading. The 2017 Ford Raptor is out, launching the second generation of Ford’s halo F-150. Toyota has its new-for-2017 Tacoma TRD Pro that’s based on the new-for-2016 Tacoma. And Chevy comes late to the party with its Colorado ZR2 – a production truck based on the concept version from 2014. These three trucks represent the upper crust of the pickup segment. It’s a prestigious group that’s focused on going fast over rough terrain while still conquering the daily commute.

The Raptor might be the premiere pickup, having birthed this niche segment back in 2010, but the Toyota and Chevy new-comers aren’t slackers. In fact, thanks to their smaller sizes compared to the full-size Raptor, these mid-size pickups are more agile and can fit down narrower trails. The famed Rubicon train in California, or instance, is too narrow for the Raptor’s immensely wide track. The Tacoma TRD Pro and Colorado ZR2, however, should have no problem traversing the tight terrain.

The Toyota and Chevy are also less expensive (or rumored to be) than the Raptor. That puts them basically in a head-to-head fight for customers. Typical things like design, features, and brand loyalty goes a long way in choosing which truck is best, but a more objective comparison should be made. That’s especially true for someone who’s ready to pull the trigger on a purchase.

That’s where this article comes in. We’re going to dive deep into the features and specs of both the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro and the Chevy Colorado ZR2 in order to help you, the customer, make a better-informed decision.

Continue reading for more information.

Read more
Galaxy Note 7 Self Destructs, Takes Jeep with it

Galaxy Note 7 Self Destructs, Takes Jeep with it

The situation could have been way worse

If you were thinking about upgrading to the Galaxy Note 7, you probably noticed that your service carrier’s website shows an unknown or rather extended shipping date. So, you go for a Google search and find out that the Note 7 has been recalled because of battery issues. So far, there has been at least 35 incidents regarding the Note 7 and its ability to randomly blow up. Samsung has since initiated a recall, but that recall didn’t come soon enough for one man in St. Petersburg, Florida who is not only out a phone but his Jeep as well.

According to local news outlet, Fox 13, Nathan Dornacher and his family were out doing some summer yard selling. After purchasing a desk, they traveled back home to offload it, at which point Mr. Dornacher left his Note 7 charging in the center console of his Jeep Grand Cherokee. After offloading the desk, the family sent their daughter and the family’s service dog back out to the Jeep, but the dog – doing his duty – made it known that something wasn’t right. Upon looking out the window, Dornacher realized that his Jeep was engulfed in flames. Lucky for them, they hadn’t sent their daughter and dog back to the Jeep any earlier, or the family could be suffering a loss much worse than a phone and a jeep.

Dornacher advised Fox 13 that his Jeep was a “point of pride” as he had made many upgrades to the vehicle. Now, the vehicle is a total loss, and the family must now find a new vehicle. Samsung has been made aware of the incident and told Fox 13 that they are working with the family to investigate the situation and will do everything they can for him.

Continue reading for the full story.

Read more
Ford Announces 10-Year Renovation Plan for its Dearborn Facilities

Ford Announces 10-Year Renovation Plan for its Dearborn Facilities

Modern, green, & high-tech campus said to foster innovation

Ford Motor Company has announced plans for a complete revitalization of its Dearborn, Michigan facilities over a 10-year period. The plan include new buildings with better workflow layouts and high-tech connectivity upgrades, walking paths, roadways for autonomous shuttle vehicles and eBikes, and courtyards for employees to enjoy – all done with green energy building practices.

“As we transition to an auto and a mobility company, we’re investing in our people and the tools they use to deliver our vision,” said Ford President and CEO Mark Fields. “Bringing our teams together in an open, collaborative environment will make our employees’ lives better, speed decision-making and deliver results for both our core and emerging businesses.”

The transition to an auto and mobility company Fields talks about will have Ford not only building cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans like today, but will expand into building autonomous vehicles and becoming a “leader in connectivity and mobility,” along with tapping into customer experience, data, and analytics.

Construction is set to begin by the end of April 2016 at the Ford Research and Engineering Center and should be done by 2023. Work on the Ford World Headquarters will begin in 2021 and is scheduled for completion in 2026. The two-phase project will deliver more than 1.3 million square feet of space.

Ford expects both locations will achieve at least a minimum silver certification through the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design process. All newly constructed buildings are planned to meet LEED Gold certification, meaning they are environmentally constructed and use less energy than a conventional building.

All this is aimed at replacing Ford’s current facilities, which are more than 60 years old.

Continue reading for the full story.

Read more
Ford 2.7 EcoBoost Falls Short of Engine Award Due to Poor Fuel Economy

Ford 2.7 EcoBoost Falls Short of Engine Award Due to Poor Fuel Economy

Despite having “eco” in its name, the Ford F-150’s newest engine, the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6, did not woo Wards Auto in its yearly 10 Best Engines test simply because of fuel economy. Wards’ independent testing showed the turbocharged V-6 only averaged between 17.6 and 19 mpg over a 253-mile test loop in a 4WD supercab truck. What’s worse, checking the fuel economy manually by filling up the tank and dividing miles by gallons revealed a dismal 15.6-mpg average.

That’s a far cry from the EPA’s estimated fuel economy of 20 mpg combined and 23 mpg highway.

Adding insult to injury, Wards claims to have gotten better fuel mileage in the naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V-8. While the author didn’t dive into details, the EPA rates the Coyote V-8 at 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway.

Wards had a lot of good things to say about the 2.7-liter EcoBoost, despite its poor fuel ratings, however. “This all-new F-150 pickup engine is compelling for several reasons, particularly the “hybrid” block construction that uses compacted-graphite iron for the upper part and aluminum for the bottom, as well as aluminum heads with integrated exhaust manifolds.”

Also mentioned were the fracture-split connecting rods, the variable-displacement oil pump, composite oil pan, and “smooth-functioning” start/stop system. In other words, the EcoBoost is a marvel of modern engine building. Sadly, it failed to deliver on its promise of fuel economy – at least for Wards.

While we hold in high regards the validity of the results, we have to wonder if the particular F-150 tester was having issues. We’ll reserve judgment until a broader field of trucks show the same symptoms.

Click past the jump for more information

Read more
GM Exploring Dynamic Skip Fire for Increasing Fuel Economy

GM Exploring Dynamic Skip Fire for Increasing Fuel Economy

Automakers have employed cylinder deactivation for years now in an effort to increase fuel economy on large-displacement engines. The process essentially cuts fuel to a set number of cylinders when load on drivetrain is at minimal levels. But what if every cylinder could be deactivated to save fuel, only getting fuel and a spark when it’s needed? That’s what General Motors is exploring with the help of a company called Tula Technologies.

It’s called Dynamic Skip Fire and it basically uses sophisticated computer algorithms to fire only cylinders when needed for generating power and canceling vibrations caused by an imbalance in rotational mass. Though still in development, Tula claims a 15-percent improvement on fuel economy over V-8 engines with GM’s cylinder deactivation technology called Active Fuel Management.

Of course, DSF only works on engines with direct fuel injection like GM’s latest EcoTec3 family of engines.

Modifications to the engine include fully deactivatable lifter on the intake and exhaust valves, along with additional oil galleries in the block to supply the new lifter oil manifold assemblies with a steady steam of oil. The computer does the work beyond that.

No doubt the integration of DSF into a production engine will take time and thousands more hours of testing, but the idea of saving another 15 percent on fuel consumption without sacrificing peak engine output is a tantalizing thought. Hopefully we’ll see more of this system in the future, especially now that GM Ventures has announced its investment into Tula.

Click past the jump for more information

Read more
Watch Robby Gordon's Year-Long Prep for the Dakar

Watch Robby Gordon’s Year-Long Prep for the Dakar

Robby Gordon is no stranger to racing. He’s one of the rare types that chases wins from as many racing series as possible. Gordon’s quest has landed him trophies from NASCAR, Indy Car, short course, the Baja 1000, 24 Hours of Daytona, and the 12 Hours of Sebring. And while he’s won multiple stages of the ten Dakar races he has competed in, he’s yet to pull off an overall win. Gordon plans on changing that this year.

Work has been an ongoing event since the 2014 Dakar ended last January. Gordon and his team has constructed a brand new vehicle to compete, called the Gordini, which is a V-8-powred, rear-drive, monster that competes in the car class.

The documentary above details out the first half of the Gordini build, including though from team members and specific challenges that have been overcome. The second half to the video series (below the jump) continues the adventure as the team prepares to ship off to South America.

Much of the two-video documentary covers the intricate fabrication of the off-roader. The tube-frame chassis, aluminum skid plates, large suspension components, a Chevrolet LS V-8 powerplant, and tons of dyno runs to sort it out are all included. Gordon also dives into the mind-blowing logistics it takes to pull off participating in a Dakar race. It’s all an amazing feet of skill and determination.

With the race already underway, Gordon snatched a podium finish for the first stage, ending in second place. Gordon’s good luck ran short on the second day, however, as overheating brakes and a secondary mechanical issue cost the team more than four hours.

Click past the jump for the second video

Read more
2015 Dakar Rally is Underway

2015 Dakar Rally is Underway

The 2015 Dakar Rally is officially underway this week, getting its start Sunday, January 4th and going till January 17th. The highly competitive off road race is the most challenging endurance race of its kind, pairing four classes of vehicles with a drive route that’s over 2,600 miles long through some of the harshest desert terrain on earth. The 13-stage race takes place in South America and travels through Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia on a coast-to-coast round trip.

The four vehicle categories are bikes, quads, cars, and trucks – each highly modified specifically for this race. Looking like a cross between a Baja 1000 truck and a Rally America racer, the car class has massive shocks, meaty tires, all-wheel-drive, and a full roll cage. The truck class resembles a monster truck rally than a Baja race. Also called the Lorrie class, the trucks are cab-over-engine designs and weight over 7,716 pounds. Think Mercedes Unimog.

Though all four vehicle classes run the same basic race, specific routes are planed out to maximize the challenges specific to each vehicle type. The motorcycle and quads are generally grouped together while the cars and trucks mostly run side by side.

Videos are added daily at the official Dakar website and include race details and results.

Click past the jump for more videos

Read more
Kenworth launched a series of new glider kits

Kenworth launched a series of new glider kits

Tired of your old Kenworth truck? No reason to worry, as Kenworth has made available a series of glider kits for the T660, T800 and W900L models. The glider kits can be mated to customer-supplied EPA 2004 engines and matching transmissions.

Alan Fennimore, vocational marketing manager declared, “We’re offering the gliders as both rolling and non-rolling models (customer supplies driveline, axles, suspensions, wheels, tires and other ‘rolling’ equipment) and no FET tax is included from Kenworth. Depending upon the project’s final cost, and if the host parts came from a useable truck, the 12% Federal Excise Tax (FET) on new trucks may not be applicable, which can be a real money saver for customers.”

FET will apply when a glider kit is used to repair a wrecked truck vehicle, or change its intended service or where the restoration cost exceeds 75% of the value.

Mr. Fennimore added: “There are several other engine-related components – such as electrical harnesses, power steering pumps, batteries and air cleaners – that customers need to supply themselves, or purchase from Paccar Parts through their local Kenworth dealerships, but for the truck itself, it’s a very complete package.”

Concluding the report, Fennimore said that the interest for gliders has started to grow in the latest years, hence their decision, “Gliders are a great alternative for fleets and owner operators with the tools and service technicians to bring a solid and existing powertrain back to life in a ‘brand new truck’. We’ve talked with several fleets that plan to purchase gliders and have their service technicians work on the conversions during slow or off periods. It can be an effective use of shop hours.”

Read more
Mack upgraded the Pinnacle's cab with a series of new features

Mack upgraded the Pinnacle’s cab with a series of new features

Mack’s models are among the best truck’s you’ll find on today’s market and the company was always a leader when it comes to comfort and new technologies.

The company has recently made available a new series of features for the Pinnacle model, designed to increase the driver’s comfort.

Jerry Warmkessel, Mack highway marketing manager declared, “Driver retention is critical, and one way to positively impact that is to improve driver comfort. A comfortable driver is also a more productive, safer driver. We listened to what our customers told us they wanted in their cabs, and we’re delivering it with this series of interior enhancements that result in a more comfortable, productive cab environment.”

Mack’s new features include an optional center storage console with interior lightening and a 12 volt power slot. There is also a new optional ambient floor lightning and a standard rest pedal for the driver’s left foot.

The Pinnacle’s cab will be fitted from now on with a new standard dash-mounted single DIN Mack mDrive automated manual transmission shifter.

Mack has come also up with a series of improvements to the PowerLash and Engine brake controls to improve the driving performances.

Other new features include self-cancelling turn signals and a remote in-dash sleeper auxiliary HVAC switch which is standard for 70-inch and 60-inch sleepers and optional for the 56-inch and 48-inch sleepers.

Read more
Hino will launch a new Class 5 medium duty truck

Hino will launch a new Class 5 medium duty truck

Hino has announced that this fall will launch a new cabover Class 5 medium duty truck platform. The new 195 truck will come with a gross vehicle weight of 19,500-lb and is powered by a 5.0 liter diesel engine which develops 210 hp and 440 lb.ft of torque. Moreover, the new Hino 195 can be also ordered with a diesel-electric hybrid powertrain.

Glenn Ellis, Hino’s vp-marketing declared, “The launch of this new cabover product line offers Hino dealers an opportunity to reach new customers. Over the past several months, the management team at Hino has monitored the truck market rebound, the U.S. economy, and foreign currency exchange rates to develop a plan that supported our customers and dealers in the short term, while sustaining a business model for the long term. With these factors in mind, the introduction of our cabover truck is on track.”

The diesel engine uses selective catalytic reduction (SCR) exhaust emission aftertreatment system to meet EPA’s 2010 emission standards.

For the start the Hino 195 hybrid models will be delivered only in California with the rest of US markets to follow.

Read more
All Freightliner natural-gas trucks will get standard Allison transmissions

All Freightliner natural-gas trucks will get standard Allison transmissions

Allison is now the standard transmission for Freightliner’s natural-gas vehicles, including the new Cascadia 113 natural gas day cab tractor.

Freightliner said that the Allison transmissions are the perfect choice for their natural gas trucks, thanks to their torque converter technology which improves the engines performances.

Robert Carrick, vocational sales manager – natural gas, for Freightliner Trucks declared, “Allison transmissions are the ideal option for alternative fuel vehicles because of their torque converter technology that results in improved startability at the launch of the vehicle, full power shifts and better performance.”

The Freightliner Cascadia will get the Allison 4000 Series Transmission, while the M2112 and 114SD trucks (equipped with Cummins Westport ISL G 8.9L engine) will be mated on Allison’s 3000 Series transmission.

Jim Wanaselja, vice president North American marketing, sales and service, for Allison Transmission said, “Natural gas technology is an exciting option in the commercial trucking market and we’re proud that Allison is a leader in this area. Customers anxious to experience the new Cascadia 113 natural gas tractor will be able to take advantage of all that natural gas engines have to offer while getting Allison’s renowned reliability, durability and performance.”

Read more
Volvo Trucks revealed its new Euro 6 engine

Volvo Trucks revealed its new Euro 6 engine

As the new Euro 6 Emission standards are just over the corner as they’ll be available from Jan 1, 2014, Volvo has struggle to go in front of the pack and revealed its new Euro 6 engine developed especially for trucks. The new D13 engine develops a maximum output of 413 hp between 1400 -1900 and will be available for order in spring 2013. The engine is standard with a Volvo I-Shift automated transmission.

Mats Franzén, manager of engine strategy and planning at Volvo Trucks declared: “By offering our most popular engine in Euro 6 configuration, we meet the needs of a large proportion of our customers. The rest of the Euro 6 engine range will be launched well before the requirements become obligatory.”

The new Euro 6 standards will cut nitrogen oxide emissions by 20% from current Euro 5 engine standards and cut particulate emissions 50%.

“We have developed a reliable solution that not only meets the emission requirements but also gives customers added benefits in the form of good fuel economy and trouble-free ownership,” added Franzén.

To achieve these efficiency standards, the in-line 6-cylinder D13 engine uses selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology in combination with exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and a diesel particulate filter.

Read more
Volvo presents its new I-See feature designed to improve fuel efficiency

Volvo presents its new I-See feature designed to improve fuel efficiency

Volvo was always at the front of the pack when it comes to safety features and efficiency and the company announced that it has developed a new system which uses the kinetic energy to increase efficiency with up to 5 percent.

The new feature is called the I-See and uses the transmission’s tilt sensor and the truck’s momentum to improve the efficiency. Basically the I-See acts as an autopilot which controls gear changes, throttle and brakes offering the best possible mix to return lower fuel consumption.

Anders Eriksson, product developer at Volvo Trucks declared: “If kinetic energy can be exploited to a greater extent, it may help cut fuel consumption. This will benefit both the environment and the industry’s economy, something that is very important today as fuel costs are becoming an increasingly heavy burden on many haulage firms.”

Mr. Anders Eriksson added, “If kinetic energy can be exploited to a greater extent, it may help cut fuel consumption. This will benefit both the environment and the industry’s economy, something that is very important today as fuel costs are becoming an increasingly heavy burden on many haulage firms.”

The system will prove handy especially when the truck needs to deal with undulating roads with steep slopes, as the system helps the truck to freewheel. In this way I-See also spares the life of service brakes and tires.

Mr. Eriskon explained: “It is this freewheeling capability that makes the system special. When the truck rolls freely, virtually no fuel is used. But in order to freewheel, a whole lot of data is required.”

Read more
First real world efficiency tests for the new Freightliner Cascadia Evolution sound promising

First real world efficiency tests for the new Freightliner Cascadia Evolution sound promising

Freightliner has recently revealed the first details about the new Cascadia Evolution that will be introduced as a 2014 model. In a press conference held not long ago, the company declared that theirnew Cascadia Evolution will be able to offer up to a 7% fuel economy improvement compared with the current model.

To prove that they are talking serious about the performances of the new model the company had organized a series of real-world tests hosted at Freightliner’s manufacturing facility in Detroit.

Mr. Tim Tindall, director-engine & component sales for Detroit, was the host of the event and said that 40 new Cascadia Evolution models were handed in customers’ hands to be tested.

Ten of these tractors were equipped with DD13 engines and had day cab configurations, while the rest of 30 vehicles were fitted with the new DD15 engine and came with sleeper cabs.

Tindall said, “All of these trucks are equipped with the visibility package [which is part of Virtual Technician], so we can look at fuel consumption at anytime on any of these customer trucks. The program is aimed at showing that the truck does what we say it does and that the reliability is what we say it is.”

After the tests, Tindall revealed that the new Freightliner Cascadia Evolution scored a 6.7 % improvement in fuel economy compared to the original Cascadia.

The second step of this demonstration will be made in September, when 61 additional Cascadia Evolution trucks will be delivered for extra tests. The trucks will be fitted with both DD15 (35 units) and DD15 (26 units ) engines and 16 of the DD15 models will also get the new Detroit DT12 transmission.

Read more
Nissan reveals details about its factory conversions for the NV400

Nissan reveals details about its factory conversions for the NV400

The new Nissan NV400 is a highly versatile vehicle and it’s available in a wide range of configurations. While until now the company didn’t revealed too many details about its range of factory build NV400 conversions, now it has finally decided to break the silence.

The new Nissan NV400 is now available in six and nine seat minibuses, crew vans and both single and double cab dropside and tipper conversions. Apart from the models listed above the new Nissan NV400 will be also available as a box van, Luton and refrigerated van, plus a 14-17 seat minibus.

Firstly, the NV400 chassis cab is offered in a total of 13 versions with mid or long wheel bases and single or twin rear wheel drive. The NV400 chassis cab is powered by the 2.5 dCi diesel engine which is available in two power outputs – 125 hp and 150 hp.

The NV400 minibus offers space for up to nine people but it’s also available with a six seats configuration. This version has a starting price of £26,575 and comes with a choice of two engines with 100 hp and 125 hp on tap.

Appealing to those seeking for crew transportations, the crew van comes with seven seats and a generous load area. For this version you’ll have to pay not less than £25,565 and you can choose from numerous payloads of up to 1398 kg and both front or rear wheel drive configurations.

There is also a dropside model on offer, with a starting price of £23,365 for the single cab and £25,765 for the double cab. The Nissan NV400 dropside is offered with a choice of either single three seat or a double seven seat cab, front or rear wheel drive and a range of payloads up to 1,462kg.

For those looking for a reliable construction partner designed to go head to head with arduous working conditions without backing down, Nissan offers its NV400 tipper. The tipper’s load deck tilts automatically at 45 degree for easy unloading and comes with a wide range of payloads of up to 1,227kg. This model is offered in two versions with prices starting from £24,765 for the single cab and £27,165 for the double cab.

Read more
Eaton has improved its hybrid power system for trucks

Eaton has improved its hybrid power system for trucks

Eaton has made a series of upgrades to its hybrid power systems for trucks. Among the most significant modifications there is a more performant battery, a higher capacity clutch and a new single phase 115 volt AC auxiliary Power Generator (APG).

Thanks to the new lithium-ion battery the fuel efficiency of the system was increased with up to 10 %. Moreover, the new battery more than doubles the engine-off capability of the system and extends battery life.

Kevin Beaty, product strategy and manufacturing operations and strategic sourcing manager, hybrid power systems for Eaton said, “Not only will fleets realize greater fuel efficiency and reduced C02 emissions, but drivers will notice faster acceleration with the updated hybrid propulsion system. The new battery is designed to allow for simplified servicing of internal components.”

The new APG is smaller and 25 lbs lighter than the previous model, so it will be easier to install. Talking about the new APG, Gerard DeVito, engineering director said, “The new APG unit offers a soft-start function that can handle high inrush loads that require an immediate boost of power. The APG is also a fully isolated system from the high-voltage battery, which eliminates the need for a separate isolating transformer to further reduce cost and weight.”

The high-capacity battery and APG will be available from the fourth quarter of this year for serve utility applications and the new battery will be also introduced for beverage tractor applications in the third quarter of 2012.

Besides the aforementioned upgrades, the company also offers more performant clutches that can deal with engines up to 860 lb-ft of torque and 300 HP.

The company has announced that it will start to offer remanufactured batteries in July which will be significantly cheaper than the new ones.
Beaty declared, “Fleets can now extend the life of their hybrid power system for a fraction of the cost of new service units. Our goal is to provide the greatest possible value to hybrid customers who want more sustainable fleets at the best possible cost.”

Read more