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Kenworth unveils new aerodynamic highway tractor

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Kenworth has introduced a new Class 8 tractor it says offers improved styling, aerodynamics and fuel economy....


AERODYNAMIC: Kenworth's new T660 tractor boasts improved aerodynamics and an enhanced forward lighting system, the company says.

AERODYNAMIC: Kenworth's new T660 tractor boasts improved aerodynamics and an enhanced forward lighting system, the company says.


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Kenworth has introduced a new Class 8 tractor it says offers improved styling, aerodynamics and fuel economy.

The T660 was unveiled at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky.

“We’re excited to introduce the new Kenworth T660 with modern styling, superior forward-lighting technology, enhanced aerodynamics and fuel economy, advanced technology, and increased driver comfort,” said Bob Christensen, Kenworth general manager and PACCAR vice-president. “The new Kenworth T660 is the latest evolution of our quality, aerodynamic product line and reinforces Kenworth’s leadership in fuel economy performance.”

The new tractor will be available for delivery with the new 2007 engines underneath the hood. The truck stands apart from other Kenworth tractors thanks to its tall, narrow grille which provides for better aerodynamics as well as the improved cooling capacity required for the ’07 engines. The truck’s new forward lighting system also makes it easily identifiable.

The new halogen project low beam headlamps provide 40 per cent more light down the road compared to previous sealed beam lamps, the company says, adding the new headlights also last three times as long as current designs. Customers will also be able to spec’ an optional high intensity discharge configuration which provides 75 per cent more light and lasts 11 times longer than sealed beam lamps.

“You won’t find a better forward-lighting headlamp system,” said Mike Dozier, Kenworth chief engineer. “It’s definitely world-class.”

Despite the narrow appearance of the grille, it is actually five per cent larger than past models, the company pointed out.

“Yet, Kenworth was able to actually achieve a positive increase in aerodynamics and fuel economy,” said Dozier. “We used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis extensively to fine tune the aerodynamic performance of the whole vehicle.”

The T660 interior features an enhanced multiplexed electrical instrumentation system as well as a Kenworth GPS navigation system. A driver’s display also provides information on items such as real-time fuel economy, a gear display, an electronic alarm clock and an ignition timer.

The seats have also been upgraded, with armrests that can fold away behind the seat providing an extra four inches of sleeper access. The seats also boast new styling, colours, textures and patterns, company officials added.

Another first on the T660 is Kenworth’s new Clean Power System – the industry’s first engine-off cooling system. It’s a battery-powered climate control system that can provide heating and cooling (as well as 110 volt power) for a full 10 hours with ambient temperatures of over 90 degrees F. That’s enough to provide a driver with a full comfortable off-duty cycle considering the new Hours-of-Service rules.

The new cooling system has already proven to be a winner among one prominent Kenworth fleet. Contract Freighters Inc. announced it will be making the Clean Power System a standard spec’ on future orders.

“With diesel fuel at $2.50 per gallon, we expect the Kenworth Clean Power System to significantly reduce our fuel costs through reduced idling,” said CFI’s vice-president of maintenance, Bruce Stockton. “Not only does it appear that the system will be cost effective from an economic standpoint, we are confident that our drivers will love it. For us, the Kenworth Clean Power System makes complete business sense.”

With the system in place, CFI estimates its total idle time will account for no more than 20 per cent of the company’s total engine hours.


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