International challenges competitors to fuel economy showdown

by Truck News

LISLE, Ill. — International Trucks has challenged its competitors to bring their most fuel-efficient Class 8 highway tractors to its New Carlisle, Ind. proving grounds so they can conduct head-to-head fuel economy and performance comparisons.

“The heavy-duty products we are building today are the highest quality, most fuel efficient trucks we have built in decades,” said Jeff Sass, senior vice-president, North America Trucks Sales & Marketing. “We have worked hard to ensure our heavy-duty products lead the way in fuel economy, driver appeal and uptime performance, and we want to prove it.”

The testing, Navistar says, will be conducted in front of industry trade press and will closely follow “industry-recognized testing methodology.”

The truck maker plans to compare: fuel economy (using the TMC/SAE Type III protocol as well as aero coastdown testing); ride vibration and harshness; curb-to-curb cornering ability; forward visibility; and interior noise.

OEMs have been invited to send two trucks of their choice. They must meet the following criteria: Class 8 on-highway sleeper; model year 2016 (2015 calendar year builds); feature only factory-installed options; and have between 2,500 and 15,000 miles on them.

“Each of us are proud of our vehicles, and I believe that running our vehicles in an open and transparent forum, side-by-side, will not only raise the water mark but also benefit each of our customers in this industry,” International wrote in a letter written to OEMs and distributed to the trade press. Representatives from competing OEMs are invited to attend, the letter said.

International, however, may not get any takers.

“No, we won’t participate – we prefer to let customers decide which trucks best suit the specifics of their operations,” Volvo spokesperson Avery Vise told

Daimler’s Diane Hames said Freightliner won’t take part either, noting track tests aren’t a true reflection of “real cost of ownership.”

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