by John Curran

DALLAS, Tex. – For the most part, today’s owner/operator demands both form and function from their equipment, the two key virtues Freightliner says it has built into its new Class 8 tractor, the Coronado.

Enhancements and design advancements in aerodynamics for better fuel economy, safety features, integrated electronics and significant improvements in both ride and noise abatements had all but forgotten the independent trucker, according to Jim Hebe, Freightliner president and chief executive officer.

“Truth be told, some truckers don’t really care about this trend,” he insists. “To them it’s about image, it’s about prestige and it’s about personal expression. That’s clearly what motivates many owner/operators to buy our Classic XL and you have to respect that.”

“You can have it all,” adds Hebe.

The Coronado has been engineered to offer all of the benefits of modern technology.

The 132-inch BBC truck will be available in a spacious 70-inch raised roof sleepercab, a 70-inch mid-roof XT (Extra Tall) sleepercab, as well as a daycab option.

To call the tractor “all new” would be a bit of a misnomer, however, since its combination retro/modern styling gives the Coronado a classy look, with the subtle hint of a long-bygone era.

The unit’s polished aluminum grille accentuates the hood and provides maximum airflow. The large chrome bumper is set off by a pair of uniquely designed chrome air intakes. Running boards on either side of the vehicle incorporate polished aluminum fuel tanks, while a chrome visor serves as a proper crown for Freightliner’s new king of the highway.

Away from the elements, the Coronado’s high styling continues with Freightliner’s Chaparral interior package offered as a standard spec. A premium package of interior fabrics and coverings, the Chaparral features padded leather or vinyl upholstery on the seats, as well as a rugged “distressed leather” cloth on the walls, headliner and door panels. All interior hard trim is available in tan or gray with five carpet colors.

Oregon burl woodgrain accents are included on the dashboard, doors, steering wheel, overhead consoles and modular cabinetry in the sleeper.

The truck comes with Freightlin-er’s proprietary EzyRider seat standard , which is taller and wider than other standard seat offerings.

At the same time, Coronado offers Freightliner’s smoothest ride ever, thanks to the latest in suspension technology. The truckmaker’s AirLiner rear suspension has been teamed with the unique leaf-and-a-half front spring system for minimized self-steer effects and enhanced lateral control.

For even more ride comfort, the optional AirTek front suspension can be included, which also offers additional weight savings.

Coronado buyers have a range of power choices from Detroit Diesel, Caterpillar and Cummins, right up to 600hp, although the 500hp Detroit Series 60 is standard.

“Intended for very discriminating, high-end owner/operators and independent truckers, the Coronado combines traditional styling with the latest advancements in comfort, ride, fuel efficiency, productivity, up-time and safety,” says Hebe.

“Part retro, part futuristic; defying description, accept to say that I truly believe this is the best looking truck of this time.” n

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