Navistar unveils 15-liter MaxxForce engine

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Navistar on Wednesday, March 18, introduced a new 15-liter version of the MaxxForce engine for its International truck brand. The engine “was developed using a proven formula of collaboration,” said Eric Tech, president of Navistar’s engine division.

The company worked with Caterpillar in producing the MaxxForce 15, “leveraging a proven platform,” including the block, crankshaft, head and other components of the Caterpillar C15, he said. Navistar will add to that foundation the fuel and air systems it developed for the MaxxForce 11- and 13-liter engines.

Caterpillar announced in June 2008 that it will exit the heavy-duty on-highway engine business effective with the next round of emissions cuts in January 2010.

Tech said maximum ratings will include 500 hp with 1,850 lb.-ft. of torque as well as a 550 hp version at the same torque level. Both 1,800 and 2,000 rpm governed speeds will be offered. The engine will be built at Navistar’s Huntsville, Ala., plant along with the MaxxForce 11- and 13-liter engines.

The necessary testing, verification and certification for the MaxxForce 15 means it won’t be available in January 2010. Five million miles of testing will be done before the engine is introduced, according to Tech. As a bridge, Navistar will use Cummins ISX engines built in 2009 to the extent allowed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said Tim Shick, director of business and product strategy for Navistar Engine Group. In addition, the MaxxForce 13 will be used for applications that don’t require 15-liter power. Shick expects the 15-liter engine to be available in early 2011.

“Development of the MaxxForce 15 took several years,” said Jim Hebe, senior vice president of North American sales operations. “It’s all about integration, and International wanted a more integrated engine strategy. Today, International is the most vertically integrated truck manufacturer.”

Referring to the fact that Navistar is the only engine maker not using selective catalytic reduction to meet the new emissions regulations that go into effect in January 2010, Hebe said: “The competition says we’re on an island. We think it’s more like an oasis.” Navistar will meet the 2010 regulations using a combination of enhanced exhaust gas recirculation and emissions credits.

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With the addition of the MaxxForce 15, the Navistar heavy-duty engine family ranges from 11 to 15 liters with power ratings from 300 to 550 hp.

Harley-Davidson LoneStar

The walls of Freedom Hall — the arena linked to the Kentucky Expo Center where the Mid-America Trucking Show is held in Louisville, Ky. — on Wednesday echoed the sounds of a dozen Harley-Davidson motorcycles riding through to celebrate the unveiling of International’s Harley-Davidson limited edition LoneStar heavy-duty tractor.

The truck was introduced by Hebe and Ron Hutchinson, senior vice president of product development for Harley-Davidson Motor Co. “The Harley-Davidson Company is proud to put its logo on this truck,” Hutchinson said. “Early in 2006, we saw some drawings of it. We thought it would make as much of an impact as the Harley-Davidson motorcycle has.”

“This truck is full of innovation,” Hebe said. “International is a very innovative company. This truck represents freedom, independence and the spirit of the open road from two great American companies. It also has acres of chrome, and a brutal custom grille. The front end looks like the face of Brutus, and it symbolizes power and force.” It has headlights lifted out of the Harley-Davidson parts and accessories catalog, and the tops of its 24.5-inch wheels are at the height of a Harley seat, he said.

Hebe described the interior of the cab as “an office suite.” A limited production number will appear on the gearshift lever, and there is a Harley badge on the seat back as well as judicious use of Harley symbols throughout. The bench converts to a 42-inch bunk, and the hardwoods that grace the inside “are the most beautiful ever put in a truck,” he said.

Hebe said only 250 Harley special edition Lonestars will be built in 2009, and that one already had been sold to a senior owner-operator leased to the largest truckload carrier in the United States.

Features of the exterior design include:

Black paint with contrasting silver and orange striping in the classic Harley-Davidson style;

The LoneStar’s distinctive grille, inspired by the 1939 International D-series, but also including Harley-Davidson logo-type side graphics;

Authentic Harley headlights;

Massive 7-inch chrome exhaust stacks with aggressive bologna cut tips;

Set-back fuel tanks for a sleeker appearance;

Custom forged and machined 24.5-inch wheels with Harley-Davidson bar and shield center caps; and

A super-deep sunshade and an aluminum battery box, both sporting Harley-Davidson bar and shield logos.

Interior features include:

A unique bright finish shift lever with engraved limited production engine-turned number plate on a custom shift handle that includes the owner’s name and a distinct limited edition serial number;

Black perforated leather upholstery with color-coordinated black-on-black stitching throughout;

Authentic Harley-Davidson fuel tank badges on front seat backs and the rear couch bolster; and

A special edition instrument cluster featuring hooded gauges with turned aluminum faces and an engine-turned argent colored housing background for the cluster and secondary display.

The truck will be available only in a sleeper configuration. It will be available for order in April with production starting in June.