Commercial vehicle manufacturer, Daimler Trucks, has unveiled its right-hand drive next generation Freightliner Cascadia including its newest safety features at an exclusive launch in Sydney.
The special customer event held on Friday night showcased what Daimler is now calling the "most advanced conventional truck in Australia" after it made a $100 million investment in proving the Cascadia is fit for local conditions.
It will introduce to the Australian market Detroit Connect, a portal in which vehicle updates such as fault code diagnosis, OEM analysis of fuel economy and safety performance can be accessed in real-time in addition to the Sideguard Assist system, a feature that warns the driver if the vehicle's turning trailer might come into contact with objects when turning left.
Also part of the advanced safety package is a radar/camera system that can detect a pedestrian and quickly bring the truck to a complete stop without input from the driver.
The Cascadia will be available with a head-protecting airbag from launch and the cab, Daimler confirmed, meets ECE29 crash test standards.
Fleet owners can even remotely alter to the truck’s top speed and idle shutdown temperature.
Present at the event were Chairman of the Board of Management Daimler Truck AG, Martin Daum, and the CEO of Daimler Trucks North America, Roger Nielsen.
“There is no such thing as a world truck,” said Daum, in relation to the unprecedented international market testing program undertaken on both sides of the Pacific involving three test trucks in Australia and another six in the US.
“We listened to our customers in Australia and New Zealand and developed this great truck specifically for them,” he said.
Freightliner Australia Pacific Director, Stephen Downes, said the team had worked tirelessly to ensure the Cascadia was fit-for-purpose for the tough Australian operating environment.
“We run our trucks hotter, harder and longer so we needed to make sure the Australian Cascadia would be up to the task,” he said.
The Australian Cascadia will be available with two new-generation Detroit engines that exceed Euro 6 emission standards as they both meet US GHG 17 standards using an enhanced SCR system and upgraded common rail injection.
Engine choices will include the new 16-litre DD16 with up to 600hp and 2050lb/ft and a new 13-litre DD13 with up to 505hp and 1850lb/ft.
Transmissions include the smart DT12 Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) and an 18-speed Eaton manual.
Fuel efficiency gains, part of the Cascadia's reportedly low cost of ownership, are achieved through GPS-based and road-reading Intelligent Powertrain Management, 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 according to Daimler has revealed that all of these changes have delivered fuel efficiency that will make the Cascadia a compelling business choice for fleets.
“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,” said Downes.
Daimler Truck and Bus Australia Pacific President and CEO, Daniel Whitehead, said the introduction of the Cascadia represented 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,” he said.
“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’.”
At launch, Freightliner offered the Cascadia as either 116 or 126-inch BBC units (Bumper to Back of Cab measurement), with everything from day cabs to 36-inch, 48-inch, 60-inch and 60-inch raised roof cab options.
An all-new interior features integrated steering-wheel controls as well as a wrap-around dashboard and aircraft–inspired ambient lighting on select models.
The Cascadia is now available to order through Freightliner’s vast Australian dealership network.
Standard safety features include the fully-integrated Detroit Assurance 5.0, with radar and HD camera for active emergency braking and adaptive cruise control in addition to Tailgate Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Intelligent High Beam and Automatic Wipers/Headlamps.
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