With a total investment of more than €1 billion for the vehicle’s complete development, the new Mercedes-Benz Actros is the first truck to hit the road with a design that’s consistently in line with Euro VI requirements. In addition, more than €1 billion was invested in production locations and equipment and tools for the model.
The new long-distance haulage truck will become available for ordering on July 1, 2011. Expectations for it are high, as its main competitor at the moment is the current Actros MP3, of which more than 700,000 units have been sold to date, making it the best-selling truck in Europe.
Economy, secure handling, and driver comfort were the top priorities when the new truck was developed from the ground up. The vehicle has a new range of cabs, new engines, a new chassis, and a new design featuring eye-catching lighting units. The design gives the truck a powerful and dynamic look that also reveals the outstanding aerodynamic fine-tuning carried out during the 2,600 hours the model spent in the wind tunnel. The external dimensions of the cabs promise generous interior space for drivers to work, live, and relax in.
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“Trucks have become and continue to become more and more economical, efficient, safer, and quieter,” says Andreas Renschler, Member of the Daimler AG Board of Management with responsibility for Daimler Trucks and Daimler Buses. “The Euro VI legislation soon to go into effect in Europe requires us to come up with completely new vehicle concepts. The new Mercedes-Benz Actros enables us to meet the demanding Euro VI limits while at the same time further reducing fuel consumption to such an extent that customers notice it in their pockets. Our customers need to know that it will pay off for them if they invest in environmental protection at an early stage of the game by purchasing a Euro VI vehicle. Governments also clearly have an obligation to offer incentives that will speed up the modernization of truck fleets.”
Economy: Three to seven percent lower fuel consumption
Depending on its exhaust classification, the new Actros boasts either three to four percent (Euro VI), or six to seven percent (Euro V) lower diesel consumption than the current Actros MP3. This will likely make the new Actros the Euro VI long-distance haulage truck that most efficiently converts energy from diesel fuel into transportation performance in Europe.
To achieve this ambitious goal, Daimler is using the new powertrain generation from Mannheim for the Actros. The powertrain’s ultramodern technology, which includes the unique X-Pulse injection system, as well as exhaust gas recirculation, exhaust gas treatment with BlueTec diesel technology, and a closed particulate filter, has been tried and tested by American and Japanese Daimler Trucks customers in more than 70,000 vehicles. Its reliability and great fuel economy have already helped Daimler brands to achieve major increases in market share in those countries.
“Although the European truck market still has not regained its pre-crisis level, we expect sales of trucks over six tons GVW to rise by at least 25 percent this year, whereby higher growth rates are also possible,” says Hubertus Troska, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks. “Our customers are getting a boost and therefore so are we as truck manufacturers. That’s why we plan to increase global sales of Mercedes-Benz trucks by about 20 percent this year from their 2010 level of 135,000 units – and with the new Actros we’ve laid the foundation for achieving this objective.”
Enhanced reliability with 20 percent longer engine operating performance (1.2 million kilometers), maintenance intervals extended to as much as 150,000 km, and a cost reduction of up to six percent for the Complete service contract are further aspects that are helping to meet the demands of vehicle operators for greater economy. As a result, the additional procurement costs for the Euro V version of the new truck can be recouped within two years. A similar result could be achieved with the Euro VI version if appropriate incentives are offered.
Handling: Safe and superior
Superior and safe handling is ensured in the new Actros by a wider and more torsionally rigid frame designed especially for road vehicles, new axle steering mechanisms, and a new steering system. Mercedes-Benz is also opening up a new chapter in safety systems through the introduction to the new Actros of the unique Proximity Control Assist system with a stop-and-go function that now automatically controls acceleration and braking in traffic jams – which makes things a lot easier when driving through cities or in stop-and-go traffic on highways.
Comfort: Three-room apartment for the driver is truly worth it
The interior of the new Actros has everything it takes to make a trucker’s working day easier and also incorporates the results from the latest driver research studies. The latter have shown that relaxed drivers are not only much safer drivers but also use as much as two liters less fuel than other truckers. An ergonomic workstation and outstanding comfort right up to the best sleeping quality any truck can offer play a major role here. That’s why the railing with the control elements is built around the driver area in an easy-to-reach design. Examples of the various equipment possibilities range from the SoloStar Concept variant with a rounded corner relaxation area on the front passenger side to a driver seat with a massage feature and a level for precise adjustment of the bed position. The beds themselves can be as large as 2,200 x 750 mm and come with a seven-zone cold-foam mattress that offers the great comfort of a high-quality bed at home.
“Our new Mercedes-Benz Actros has enabled us to achieve a quantum leap in truck development,” says Troska. “Our overriding goal was to be able to offer our customers even better handling, safety, and comfort in a truck that also boasts lower fuel consumption, emissions, and operating costs. And that’s exactly what we did.”
New product range optimally tailored to customer requirements
Customers can begin ordering the new long-distance haulage truck from Mercedes-Benz on July 1, 2011; the production launch is scheduled for the end of September. The new truck program consists of semitrailer tractors and flatbed trucks in four output classes ranging from 310 kW (421 hp) to 375 kW (510 hp) and from 2,100 to 2,500 Nm of torque. The new drive system comes with either Euro VI technology or else with Euro V. There are seven cab variants with widths ranging from 2.3 to 2.5 meters; five of these come with level floors the whole way through. Up to 11 different wheelbases are available – for example, with the two-axle chassis-cab. This is but a small selection of the great number of variants that will be offered so that the truck can be easily tailored to the customer’s specific needs.
20 million kilometers of testing – “Trucks you can trust”
The new long-haulage Mercedes-Benz Actros was put through its paces like no other truck before it: The model went through 20 million kilometers of grueling tests – in 40-degree Celsius heat in the Sierra Nevada and in the -40 degree deep freeze at the Arctic Circle, in tests on rough tracks and in practical trials on normal roads. A new Development and Testing Center was even built in Wörth to ensure top quality in the new truck generations. After all, the existing haulage trucks from Mercedes-Benz have already proved their reliability in practice, so it makes sense that the new Actros generation should also remain true to the Mercedes-Benz pledge of “Trucks you can trust.”
Source: Daimler AG