Australia has seen two of the heaviest hitters in parent company Daimler Trucks witnessing the local launch of Freightliner’s all-new Cascadia.
In Sydney for the customer event, Daimler Trucks and Buses AG chairman Martin Daum and the CEO of Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) Roger Nielsen hail the fit-for-purpose nature of the advanced conventional.
"There is no such thing as a world truck," Daum says of the right-hand drive vehicle Daimler spent $100 million engineering.
"We listened to our customers in Australia and New Zealand and developed this great truck specifically for them."
An international market testing program was held on both sides of the Pacific for the initiative, with six test trucks operating in the US and three running up miles in Australia on challenging routes.
"We run our trucks hotter, harder and longer so we needed to make sure the Australian Cascadia would be up to the task," Freightliner Australia Pacific director Stephen Downes says.
"We made some changes and are extremely confident this truck is ready to start saving money for our customers and delivering an on-road experience we know drivers will love," Downes adds.
Daimler Truck and Bus Australia Pacific president and CEO, Daniel Whitehead, says the introduction of the Cascadia represents a new chapter for conventional trucks in Australia.
"This is quite simply the best conventional truck available in Australia and raises the bar to a new level," Whitehead says.
"Whichever way you look at it, from its remarkable fuel efficiency to its advanced safety features, connectivity and driver comfort, the Cascadia is way out in front of its ‘competitors’," he concludes.
New safety features for Cascadia include the Sideguard Assist system that warns the driver if the truck’s turning trailer could hit objects such as power poles when turning left and also alerts the driver if they are about to merge left into an occupied lane. There is also a radar/camera system for automatic pedestrian detection.
The Cascadia will be available with a head-protecting airbag from launch and the cab meets ECE29 crash test standards.
The Australian Cascadia will be available with two new-generation Detroit engines that exceed Euro 6 emission standards by meeting US GHG 17 standards using an enhanced SCR system and upgraded common rail injection.
Engine choices include the new 16-litre DD16 with up to 600hp (441kW) and 2,050lb/ft (2,780Nm) and a new 13-litre DD13 with up to 505hp (377kW) and 1850lb/ft (2,508Nm). Transmissions include the smart DT12 Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) and an 18-speed Eaton manual.
GPS-based and road-reading Intelligent Powertrain Management also aims to help drive down fuel use, along with Cascadia’s ultra-aerodynamic shape, its built-in air deflectors, integrated antennas and 12-inch and 20-inch cab side extenders.
On-road testing in Australian conditions has found that all of these changes have delivered fuel efficiency that will make the Cascadia the smart business choice.