It’s been little more than two years since the Fuso Shogun made its Australian debut on the Daimler Trucks stand at the 2019 Brisbane Truck Show.
A lot of changes have happened in the world since then, and not all have been good. However, the recent availability of a 13-litre engine in the Shogun is definitely a good thing.
Specifically developed by Fuso for the Australian and New Zealand markets the availability of the 13-litre engine is a strong indication that Fuso is serious about being a player in the B-double landscape.
The 510 horsepower engine delivers a maximum torque of 2,500Nm which leads the rival Japanese manufacturers by a significant margin and full torque is available from as low as 1,100rpm from the Daimler-sourced OM471 engine.
Optimal drivability is assured with 86 per cent of maximum torque available from just 800rpm, while 84 per cent of maximum torque is still available at 1700rpm.
The requirements for an Australian B-double specification prime mover present some unique challenges for manufacturers because we run faster at higher weights in often hot conditions and our main road system is only just starting to evolve from following the same routes bullock carts negotiated over a century ago. The Shogun is known as the ‘Fuso Super Great’ in Japan where operators run at significantly lower gross weights than we do here so the 11-litre engine is quite sufficient for their needs, as is the 8-litre for lighter duty applications.
The 13-litre Fuso has come into being in response to requests from Australian customers for a true high-performance Japanese heavy duty truck with B-Double capabilities and has been several years in the planning.
The installation of the Daimler OM471 six-cylinder engine into the Japanese chassis hasn’t been rushed to ensure the Shogun is fit-for-purpose without any glitches. The use of an asymmetric turbo charger is a major factor in the availability of the high torque numbers and the engine meets Euro VI emission benchmarks through the use of a diesel particulate filter (DPF) and its AdBlue SCR after-treatment system.
The 510hp (375kW) rating at 1600rpm in the Fuso is the same as available in the Mercedes-Benz Actros. The Actros can also be obtained with a 530hp (390kW) version which has 2,600Nm of torque. Daimler Trucks should be commended for making the 13-litre engine available across its range of brands, Fuso, Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner, rather than attempt to dictate to the market what it wants as an OEM by restricting engine/brand combinations.
The Shogun 510 will increase the breadth of the Fuso Shogun prime mover and rigid model range which already includes 8-litre and 11-litre options. Designed for metropolitan and intrastate applications, the Shogun 510 is rated at 63 tonnes Gross Combination Mass and is capable of hauling a single or double trailer set or working as a tipper and dog combination.
It is available as a 6×4 prime mover with a 3910mm wheelbase or a 6×4 rigid with a 4300mm wheelbase.
Fuso engineers have carried out extensive testing of the Shogun 510 since 2017, including an outback Australian test of an initial prototype, durability testing in South Africa and an additional production-ready test in Australia and New Zealand.
Daimler’s own 12-speed single overdrive automated manual transmission is well-proven across its application in a number of Daimler products and has three main modes of Auto, Economy and Heavy, in addition to a crawler mode in which speed is regulated with the brake pedal instead of the accelerator and is ideal for connecting trailers or engaging loading docks.
The ratios of the transmission have been chosen to best exploit the prodigious torque of the 13-litre engine.
The transmission features a rock free mode for when traction is a problem and limited slip diffs are available as an option.
In light load conditions the transmission will skip shift and the EcoRoll feature is a real fuel saver.
The three stage engine brake can apply up to 411kW of driveline retardation and is operated by a control wand mounted on the steering column which also serves as the transmission selector.
This enables the manual over-riding of downshifting as easy as a click in order to maximise the engine brake’s effect on the truck’s speed with the result of reduced wear on service brake components.
Although the Shogun is a ‘two pedal’ truck, the hill hold function is a handy safety feature. Front suspension is long taper leaf springs with double acting shocks and at the rear is Fuso’s four airbag trailing arm system which is certified road friendly.
The Shogun range further raises safety levels with a number of new and upgraded safety features many of which are, as yet, unmatched by most other Japanese heavy-duty models.
The Active Attention Assist feature operates at speeds above 60km/hr and uses multiple inputs from the Shogun’s various safety systems, including the lane departure warning system, to monitor for a driver’s low attention level or distraction.
The feed from the forward-facing camera at the base of the windscreen is programmed to identify inappropriate lane wandering which can be a strong indication of driver fatigue.
A facial monitoring camera is mounted very subtly above the instrument binnacle and identifies actions such as inappropriate extended gazes to either side and prompts the driver with visual and audible alarms to pay attention.
The same warnings are triggered when the driver’s eyes are closed for longer than an extended blink in order to alert for micro-sleeps.
The Shogun is equipped with the latest generation Advanced Emergency Braking System (AEBS) technology which now uses camera and radar camera technology to provide enhanced pedestrian-sensing capability, making it able to autonomously completely stop for a moving pedestrian in the event the driver does not respond to an audible warning.
Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), a driver airbag, Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and Hill Start System (HSS) assistance function continue as standard elements of the Shogun safety package.
The Shogun has Intelligent Headlight Control, which automatically turns on and off the truck’s high beam function in response to approaching vehicles or vehicles travelling in the same direction near enough to be affected.
Daytime LED running lamps are located below the main headlight assemblies.
“We pushed hard to get the 13-litre engine into the Shogun for our market because our customers made it clear they wanted a Japanese heavy-duty truck with serious performance,” says Daimler Truck and Bus Australia Pacific President and CEO Daniel Whitehead whose persistence in presenting strong business cases was honed during the planning to enable the Freightliner Cascadia to be tailored to suit the Australian market.
“We’re glad it has joined the line-up because the Shogun 510 is the perfect example of how the global strength and engineering might of Daimler Trucks gives our Australian customers a real competitive advantage,” Daniel says.
Fuso Truck and Bus Australia Director, Alex Müller, says the arrival of the Shogun 510 represents an important milestone for Fuso in Australia. “Fuso has been steadily growing our share of the heavy-duty market and the new 510 model, as well as the renewal of the entire Shogun range, will help us attract even more heavy-duty customers,” Alex said.
Australian interest in the 13-litre Shogun 510 has already been strong and more than 50 orders were reportedly placed prior to the truck’s official launch.