International introduces LoneStar to trucking industry

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On Thursday, March 27, at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., International Truck and Engine officially debuted its new flagship tractor, the LoneStar, to the trucking industry. It initially was introduced at the Chicago Auto Show in February.

The LoneStar merges the classic styling preferred by chrome lovers with aerodynamic design and technologies sought by fuel-conscious owner-operators to create a new Class 8 category called “Advanced Classic,” International said.

The LoneStar can be ordered from International dealers beginning in April for fall delivery. Production will begin in August at Navistar’s plant in Chatham, Ontario, Canada.

The LoneStar is projected to be 5 percent to 15 percent more fuel-efficient than classic trucks, the company said. “Now, drivers don’t have to compromise,” said Dee Kapur, president of the Navistar Truck Group. “They can have it all — looks, efficiency, comfort, functionality and productivity.”

Unusually, the truck progressed directly from math and clay models to production without any development prototypes. Company engineers “felt confident that we could develop this truck without spending months in prototyping,” said Tom Baughman, vice president and general manager of the Navistar Heavy Truck Vehicle Center. “We knew we had another winning truck with the category-defining LoneStar and its superior aerodynamics and innovative styling. With the use of more sophisticated tools, we were able to bring this product to market quickly.”

The LoneStar is the result of automotive-inspired design and extensive customer research, including interviews with hundreds of drivers, International said. The LoneStar offers improved ergonomics, an industry-leading suspension, advanced electronics and a quiet cab, the company said.

The distinctive grille and sloped hood were inspired by International’s D Series trucks of the 1930s, which boasted pontoon fenders, split windshields and passenger-car looks. A restored and modified example of that truck, the DMAXX, was on display at International’s booth.

International said the LoneStar’s automotive-style features include:

  • Standard ABS;
  • Roll stability;
  • Traction control;
  • Bluetooth integration for hands-free phone use;
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel;
  • Automotive-style dash and gauges with rosewood or titanium trim; and
  • 50-degree wheel cut.
  • Interior highlights, according to the company, include:

  • Wood flooring in the sleeper cab;
  • Sofa-bed design with back pillows;
  • Swivel chairs;
  • Closed “airline” cabinets for maximum storage;
  • Monsoon stereo system with 11 speakers, subwoofer and amplifier;
  • Pull-down bed with 42-inch premium mattress;
  • Workspaces to plug in laptop computers and work in a desklike setting; and
  • Optional 1.7-cubic-foot refrigerator.
  • International officials say the 40-plus customization options of the LoneStar is another selling point to the truck. A new line of exclusive parts call DoubleSix Customs is being launched in conjunction with the LoneStar to provide truck drivers with unique options.
    Customers can go online to configure their own LoneStar, including custom parts from DoubleSix Customs.