Powerful 16-litre Mercedes-Benz set to haul Red Bull Ampol race transporter

A spanking new Mercedes-Benz 2663 prime mover will tow the Red Bull Ampol Racing transporter for the 2021 Repco Supercars season.

Assigned to carry the cars of seven-time Supercars champion, Jamie Whincup, and 2016 Supercars championship winner and current series leader, Shane van Gisbergen, it will also move a vast amount of spares and team gear.

Whincup was on hand to collect the keys for the top-of-the-line prime mover at Daimler Truck and Bus headquarters in Mulgrave, Victoria, and couldn’t wait to take the truck for a quick spin.

The range-topping 16-litre unit punches out 625hp, not far short of the ‘635hp-plus’ output of the Red Bull Ampol Racing Holdens it hauls; however, the big Mercedes-Benz also sports a hefty 3,000Nm of torque.

It features Predictive Powertrain Control, which uses topographic map data and GPS information to help the truck anticipate terrain and select the optimum shift pattern and engine response for maximum fuel economy.

It also features two 12-inch customisable tablet screens that present information in super crisp detail, giving the driver more control and information in a clear and stylish manner.

Red Bull Ampol Racing also ticked the box for the optional MirrorCam system, which captures vision from cameras on aerodynamic wings and displays it on screens mounted on the A-pillars in the cab.

It also comes standard with the Mercedes-Benz Active Brake Assist system – a radar/camera system that can automatically performs full emergency braking for vehicles and pedestrians.

Whincup, who has a Multi-Combination heavy vehicle licence, thoroughly enjoyed his ‘hot lap’ in the big Benz.

“The cab is a real stand out. It’s really impressive how much of the technology you see in Mercedes-Benz cars is also in these trucks,” said Whincup.

“These screens and the touch controls on the steering wheel are excellent – it’s really easy to keep on top of everything.”

Whincup, who is competing in his last full season of Supercars, welcomed Daimler Trucks on board as a sponsor and supplier of the team’s trucks.

“We always want to work with the leaders in each field and it’s clear that Daimler Trucks is a leader with advanced trucks like this fine example,” he said.

Whincup is hoping to hit the road for a longer run in the 2663 on the way to one of the events during this season, but regular driving duties fall to experienced operator Dave Lewin.

(Image: Redbull Ampol Supercars driver Jamie Whincup).