Detroit Diesel, Freightliner ready for ’07

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Saying the company’s preparations for meeting the 2007 emissions regulations represent “more investment, resources, testing and preparation than we’ve ever put into a component launch,” Chris Patterson, president and CEO of Freightliner LLC, announced that Detroit Diesel’s Series 60, MBE 4000 and MBE 900 diesel engines will be ready for the road in January ’07.

Patterson’s announcement came Thursday, March 23 at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky.

Detroit Diesel and Mercedes-Benz heavy-duty engines will add between $7,000 and $10,000 to the price of 2007 Freightliner trucks, Patterson said. He estimated Mercedes-Benz engines in Freightliner medium-duty trucks will add $4,500 to $6,000 to the purchase price.

Patterson also announced a new climate control system, the Bergstrom No-Idle Thermal Environment, which works independently of the vehicle’s main engine. It will be available on the Century Class S/T, Coronado and Columbia models.

Later this year, Freightliner will become the first manufacturer to offer rack and pinion steering on its heavy-duty trucks. Inspired by Freightliner truck racer Mike Ryan, eight-time winner of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the new steering system allows increased payload and maneuverability in heavy traffic or at cramped loading docks.

Freightliner plans to introduce a completely new Class 8 truck at the 2007 Mid-America Trucking Show, one that “ultimately will replace many models on display today,” Patterson said.