Light- and medium-duty Class 1-6
Truck makers revamp lineups, debut new models in response to growing market
The light-duty truck market isn’t seeing many changes for 2012, but the same can’t be said for the medium-duty truck makers, which are launching several new models and introducing big redesigns, updated engines and revamped platforms in response for a growing market for lighter trucks. Here are some highlights:
Chevrolet/GMC: Both the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana cutaway 3500 and 4500 commercial vans now offer a liquefied petroleum gas option.
Dodge: Ram Trucks beefed up trailer towing capacity for its 3500 pickups, now pulling 22,700 pounds maximum. The 4500 and 5500 medium-duty Class 4 and 5 chassis cabs are available with an optional 30,000-pound GCWR, while a tow package is available on both regular and crew cab models in 4×2 and 4×4 configurations.
Ford: A tougher frame and hitch, along with software upgrades, allow F-350 and F-450 Super Duty trucks with a Power Stroke diesel engine and dual rear wheels to tow 17,500 pounds.
Freightliner: An automated manual transmission now is available on Business Class M2 trucks. The AMT3 combines the design principles of a manual transmission with intelligent electronics to create an automated two-pedal shift system that helps improve driver performance and fuel economy. The AMT3 eliminates the torque converter and couples the engine to the transmission with a hydraulically actuated clutch, which helps reduce wear.
Hino: Two new diesel and two diesel-electric hybrid cab-over-engine trucks now are available for the Class 4 and 5 North American markets. The Class 4 155 diesel and 155h diesel-electric hybrid models have a 14,500-pound GVW rating, while the Class 5 195 diesel and 195h diesel-electric hybrid models carry a 19,500-pound GVW rating. All models feature Hino’s J05E Series 5-liter engine and Aisin’s A465 6-speed automatic transmission.
Isuzu: Isuzu Commercial Truck of North America and Utilimaster joined forces to create the Reach pickup-and-delivery van, which features a body designed by Utilimaster on an Isuzu NPR Eco-Max chassis and is powered by Isuzu’s 3.0-liter diesel engine. The Reach provides added fuel economy and the functionality of a custom-built work truck along with the styling and ergonomics of a cargo van.
Kenworth: A 6×6 configuration for the T370 medium-duty truck features a factory-installed front drive axle available in ratings ranging from 10,000 to 16,000 pounds with a 40,000-pound-rated rear suspension.
Mitsubishi Fuso: The new Canter FE/FG Series cab-over-engine trucks include five models in the Class 3-5 markets. The company’s new 4P10 diesel engine – a turbocharged, intercooled four-cylinder model – is coupled to an advanced Mitsubishi Fuso Duonic six-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission. The Canters use Daimler’s BlueTec selective catalytic reduction emissions technology.
Navistar: The International TerraStar now is available in a 4×4 version to meet more severe demands. Navistar also now offers a broader range of alternative-fueled vehicles for its medium-duty lineup, including a DuraStar Hybrid and a DuraStar model powered by either compressed or liquefied natural gas.
Peterbilt: Model 337, available in truck and tractor configurations, features the Paccar PX-6 engine and can be spec’d with either an Eaton Fuller manual or Allison automatic transmission; the truck also can be ordered with a hybrid powertrain. The PX-8 engine with all-wheel-drive also is available.
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