Freightliner unveils new Cascadia Evolution; promises 7% fuel savings
May 30, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Freightliner has introduced a new version of its flagship Cascadia, which it claims will provide 5% better fuel economy than today’s model, even when equipped with all the latest aerodynamic fairings introduced earlier...
This Cascadia Evolution achieved 10.67 mpg when pulling an aerodynamic trailer during closed circuit testing.
Most of the aerodynamic improvements came in the form of subtle front end changes.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Freightliner has introduced a new version of its flagship Cascadia, which it claims will provide 5% better fuel economy than today’s model, even when equipped with all the latest aerodynamic fairings introduced earlier this year.
The new model will be 7% more fuel efficient than most Cascadias on the road today, the company announced.
The 2014 Cascadia Evolution has achieved 10.67 mpg on closed circuit testing pulling an aerodynamic trailer and 9.31 mpg in over-the-road testing, the company announced during an unveiling here today.
Aerodynamic improvements were achieved through subtle front-end enhancements, including: a new air dam, bumper closure, a redesigned windshield seal and a hood-to-bumper fill. Other enhancements include an improved cooling system, more aerodynamic mirrors and antennas that are integrated into the cab.
Daimler also improved upon its Detroit DD15 engine for further fuel economy gains.
“We examined every detail to ensure that no stone was left unturned when developing the Cascadia Evolution,” said TJ Reed, director of product marketing for Freightliner Trucks. “The result is a truck that will immediately benefit fuel economy performance and overall cost of ownership.”
Freightliner has assembled an ultra-fuel efficient spec’ that includes: wide base tires, wheel covers and the new Detroit automated transmission in a 6×2 configuration, and it was this truck that yielded the greatest fuel savings. However, when the truck becomes available in 2013, customers will still have the option of spec’ing Cummins engines, Eaton transmissions and Meritor axles, if they wish.
“But the most fuel efficient combination will always be the captive one,” said Daimler Trucks North America CEO Martin Daum, speaking of the combination of a Detroit engine, axles and transmission.
The Cascadia Evolution with integrated powertrain will consistently deliver a 7% fuel savings over most Cascadias on the road today, Daum said. Mark Lampert, senior vice-president of sales and marketing, said pricing of the new model has not been finalized and while it will be priced higher than today’s Cascadia, he said the fuel savings will provide a return in short order.
“I think what we will see is the value proposition and corresponding payback for customers who choose to go with the Evolution will be quite short,” Lampert said. “It will be within a year to a year-and-a-half time frame; the payback will be much shorter than anybody’s trade cycle.”
David Hames, general manager of marketing and strategy with Daimler, shared fuel economy test results that showed today’s Freightliner Cascadia with DD15 engine is the most fuel efficient Class 8 vehicle available, but he admitted competitors were closing the gap with recent enhancements.
“The Cascadia with its 2011 aerodynamic improvements was still the best-in-class vehicle in terms of fuel efficiency, but the gap was beginning to narrow and we weren’t waiting for the competition to catch us,” Hames said, emphasizing Daimler’s calculations were based on “scientific testing” and not “marketing testing,” which is conducted to provide a favourable result. The most fuel-efficient competitive truck in the market today consumes 5.5% more fuel than the Cascadia Evolution will when introduced, Hames said.
Freightliner will be delivering customer demonstration units of the Cascadia Evolution later this year with production set to begin in early 2013. Look for more on the new truck in the July issues of Truck News and Truck West.
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