DETROIT IS ROCKING

Rolf Lockwood

October 24, 2007 Vol. 3, No. 22

Truly a world engine, the new Detroit Diesel DD15 is an interesting piece of work in terms of more than just the hardware. Introduced last week at a press conference at the company’s plant in Redford, Michigan, after an investment of $1.5 billion, the motor will find its way into all Freightliner LLC trucks within the next year or so. And later, coming out of factories in Mannheim, Germany and Kawasaki, Japan, it will power Mercedes-Benz and Mitsubishi Fuso trucks as well. Asia won’t see it ’til the second half of 2009, and European trucks won’t get it before late 2010.

Developed from the get-go as an international engine, 90% of the componentry will be common no matter where it’s built. The remaining 10% will be sourced and developed locally. The new engine platform will replace the four distinct engine series used today by Daimler Trucks brands globally. The Redford plant will supply all three factories with various bits of hardware like connecting rods, for example. By 2010, the factory will be making 1.2 million con rods a year.

The first model we’ll see here, with full production set for next April, is the 14.8-liter DD15. Two other versions, the 12.8-liter DD13 and then, but not until 2010, the 15.6-liter DD16 will round out the offering. The three displacements use the same block, with modifications only to the cylinder liners. Everything else on the engines will stay the same.

The DD15 is a 14.8-litre, in-line six with four valves per cylinder in a single-piece head, with two overhead camshafts. It was born EPA-’07-compliant, of course, by way of cooled EGR and a particulate filter, and it’s ready to meet EPA ’10 with the addition of just a downstream selective catalytic reduction (SCR) exhaust aftertreatment system to meet the lower NOx standards.

Detroit Diesel is convinced that the relative simplicity of SCR, with a claimed fuel-economy advantage over advanced EGR, is the best way to meet the next round of emissions standards. Cummins, as you now know, announced a couple of weeks ago that its heavy-duty engines won’t need SCR, and there is going to be much head-scratching by engine-buyers as to which approach is best.

The DD15 will be offered in output and torque variants from 455 hp to 560 hp and 1550 to 1850 lb ft, including dual torque ratings for special applications. The big DD16 will get up to 630 hp and at least 2050 lb ft of torque.

Rolf Lockwood

Rolf Lockwood is editor emeritus of Today's Trucking and a regular contributor to Trucknews.com.

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