It started last year with the announcement of the Cummins/Eaton SmartAdvantage integrated powertrain that joins an ISX15 engine with the Fuller Advantage automated transmission, and now there’s a variant in Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks that mates that gearbox with the PACCAR MX-13 motor. Peterbilt calls it the Apex, while Kenworth seems not to have bothered with a name.
At Mid-America, Eaton announced that the Cummins/Eaton SmartAdvantage combination is now available in all Volvo VNL models. It employs a Cummins ISX15 engine with SmartTorque2 and is designed to enhance the time spent in the diesel’s most efficient RPM zone to reduce fuel consumption — by anywhere from 3 to 6%, says Eaton.
A little ironically, Volvo spent some time in its press conference extolling the virtues of its own ‘vertically’ integrated powertrains: the XE13 introduced in 2011, the XE 16 launched in 2012, and now the XE11 hatched this past February. The XE13 offers 425 and 455 hp with torque of 1750 lb ft while the XE16 package has 500 hp and 2050 lb ft. Volvo says the XE11 — 405 hp/1550 lb ft — is its most efficient combination. All mate the company’s own I-Shift gearbox with one of its own proprietary engines.
The XE11 package looks like this: Volvo 11-liter D11 engine, Volvo I-Shift overdrive transmission with a 0.78:1 ratio, axle ratios of 2.64 to 2.80, and proprietary software that facilitates seamless communication between the various components.
Over at Peterbilt, the company announced its new optimized drivetrain package for the aerodynamic Model 579 tractor. Called APEX, the new option pairs the MX-13 Engine with the Fuller Advantage and uses optimized shift calibration, weight savings (80 lb), and proprietary control logic between the two components to get up to a 4% improvement in fuel efficiency versus previous drivetrains.
The 12.9 liter PACCAR MX-13 Engine and the 10-speed Fuller Advantage share critical data including torque, operating gear, and other vehicle performance metrics.
The transmission senses the load demand on the engine and selects the best shift points to match vehicle weight, road grade, engine torque, and throttle position. It also has unique control logic and a small-step gear ratio that enables downspeeding in top gear, overdrive, while allowing a quick down-shift to direct-drive 9th gear required when pulling a grade.
The MX-13 Engine is available with 380 to 500 hp and up to 1850 lb ft of torque.
APEX is available now for order. Kenworth’s offering is exactly the same, except for the name.
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