CHICAGO, Ill. – International is back in the Class 4/5 segment, with the new CV Series it co-designed with GM.
The company unveiled the new model during an event attended by about 500 customers, dealers and media here Nov. 7. It believes customers will benefit from International’s expansive, commercial vehicle-focused dealer network.
Moving from start-up to scale-up was the theme behind the launch.
“When a start-up business moves to the scale-up stage, the International CV Series provides a truck that will take their business to the next level,” said Michael Cancelliere, Navistar’s president, truck and parts. “We’ve designed, built and tested the CV Series to deliver the commercial-grade power, reliability and practicality that growing businesses require, along with the comfort, safety features and easy drivability that drivers appreciate. And we are backing it up with the expertise of the International dealer network, the only network in this category 100% dedicated to commercial vehicles.”
The Class 4/5 segment represents a market of about 40,000 units per year.
“These customers operate trucks in unique industries and vocations – everything from towing to landscape, construction to repair services,” Cancelliere said. “To these companies, the truck is an integral part of how they service their customers.”
Ford has dominated the segment, but Cancelliere said customers were looking for a new choice.
“Customers told us they were ready for a different solution, for a new alternative. They no longer want to do business with automotive dealers that dabble in trucks,” he said. “These customers need a brand that focuses on uptime with service capabilities and dealership hours that meet their needs. They want more than a truck, they want a truck commercial partner to help take their business from start-up to scale-up.”
David Majors, vice-president of product development, said the truck was built to handle tough commercial applications. The chassis features 50,000 psi frame rails, and the entire chassis is factory-painted for corrosion resistance. A gear-driven transfer case provides better strength than a chain-driven design, he said.
The truck features an air-ride suspension and is powered by a 6.6-liter engine that puts out 350 hp and 740 lb.-ft. of torque. Two Allison transmissions are available. The forward-tilting hood allows easy access to the engine compartment. Majors said body integration will be seamless.
“No one has more experience with body integration than International Trucks,” he said.
The cab is huck-bolted, with bolts that won’t come loose in extreme conditions. The interior features an automotive design, featuring the GM cab and interior. The truck can be ordered with Apple Car Play and a back-up camera.
Regular cab and crew cab configurations are available, in 4×2 and 4×4 drive setups. Customers can choose between three fuel tank options ranging from 25 to 65 gallons. Gross combination weight ratings (GCWR) run to 37,500 lbs.
“The CV Series features a long list of heavy-duty details that would only be found on a truck designed by commercial truck engineers,” said Majors. “Our engineers had one mission: to create the toughest, most capable, most upfit-friendly Class 4 and 5 truck to be found at any work site.”
On the track
Initial test drives were offered to media on two tracks set up in the Soldier Field parking lot.
Trucks I drove include a CV515 with set-forward axle in a 4×2 configuration. It was decked out with the Diamond interior and had an Allison 2700 RDS automatic transmission mated to the International 6.6 engine with 350 hp and 700 lb.-ft. The other one I spent some time behind the wheel of was also a CV515 with similar spec’s, but in a 4×4 configuration. It was fitted with an empty dump body but had the same powertrain spec’s.
The trucks handled well, with responsive steering and good visibility. The turning radius was tight and acceleration was impressive.
The cab was also quiet, and the interior was comfortable and clearly automotive-inspired. The truck will be comfortable to operate for those who expect an automotive driving experience, while the truck is versatile and durable enough to handle a wide range of applications.
The real advantage in this segment, however, will be International’s ability to offer true commercial vehicle support and expertise to customers.
James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies