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Mack introduces new trucks and engine family

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Mack is introducing a new family of engines - the company's first new engines to be introduced in 40 years....

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Mack is introducing a new family of engines – the company’s first new engines to be introduced in 40 years.

And to ensure those engines have a good home, the company also announced it’s introducing a new premium highway tractor as well as new Granite models.

MackPower (MP) engines

The first of the MP engines to be brought to market is the MP7, an 11-litre powerplant available in horsepower ratings between 325 and 405 hp and torque ranging between 1,260 and 1,560 lb.-ft.

The 2004-compliant MP7 will be available in the new Pinnacle and Granite models in 2006 and will then be brought in line with the 2007 emissions standards the following year.

Key components of the MP7 include: high-performance EGR; a variable geometry turbocharger; electronically controlled fuel injectors; single overhead cam with four valves per cylinder; wet sleeve cylinders with single piece steel pistons; and a rear gear train offering a simple REPTO option.

In 2007, Mack will roll out the MP7’s bigger brother – the MP8. This engine is ideal for customers requiring higher horsepower, with the 13-litre engine rated between 415 and 485 hp (and torque ratings of 1,540 to 1,700 lb. ft.)

Both engines will be available in three families: Econodyne (for the fuel-conscious highway operator); Maxidyne (for construction and other vocational applications); and MaxiCruise (for overall performance).

Steve Homcha, Mack executive vice-president of Class 8 programs, says testing has shown the MP engines can deliver improved fuel mileage to the tune of two to three per cent in highway applications and even more than that on the vocational side.

The engines are also more than 100 lbs lighter than their predecessors, Homcha points out.

And they deliver improved low-end torque response which will be welcomed by construction customers.

Mack has also stretched out drain intervals which are estimated at 30,000 miles for standard highway applications and 300 hours or 15,000 miles for construction work.

Mack plans to add to the MP engine family with a 16-litre offering – the MP10 – to be released down the road. Officials wouldn’t divulge much information about the MP10 except to say it will probably boast in the neighbourhood of 600 horsepower.

The Pinnacle and Granite

Any suggestions that Mack wasn’t serious about the highway market will be put to rest following the introduction of the Pinnacle.

At first glance, the new premium highway tractor looks a lot like the Vision. Upon a closer look, however, the many design enhancements as well as improved ergonomics and driver comfort become evident.

You’ll also have to take a close look at the Granite before noticing the many improvements, as Mack didn’t mess a whole lot with the overall exterior appearance of the successful model.

Mack conducted comprehensive research of customer preferences and ergonomics when designing the new Pinnacle and Granite cabs, incorporating many of the suggestions offered by drivers. Enhancements include: an additional four inches of depth in the day cabs providing more leg and belly room; a new cockpit-style dash with a revamped primary gauge cluster that has room for up to 25 switches; a one-piece windshield for improved visibility; a widely adjustable steering column and new driver foot pedal controls; stainless steel fasteners for a rugged, machined look; and a new HVAC system with heavy-duty, easy to use controls.

The interior lighting has also been inproved in the day cab versions and additional storage has been provided.

“Taken as a whole, these features result in an interior environment that promotes safety, eases service and provides a level of comfort that’s sure to help attract and retain drivers,” said Tom Kelly, vice-president of marketing with Mack.

The Pinnacle is being offered in a 116-inch BBC day cab configuration or with 48-, 56-, 60-, 70- mid-rise and 70-inch high-rise sleepers. The new Granite and Granite Axle Back models also feature a 116-inch BBC measurement. Kelly says the Pinnacle boasts the “most durable cab ever built by Mack.”

Business is booming: Vikner

Mack president and CEO Paul Vikner said the new product releases represented a huge investment and should serve notice to the company’s competitors that Mack is still a significant player in the industry.

“There couldn’t be a more clear and defined commitment to the Mack brand (from parent company Volvo),” Vikner insisted.

“The competition has speculated that someday there’s going to be a slash on our grille and Mack will merge into Volvo…Mack is Mack and Volvo is Volvo and we think there’s plenty of room for the two of us to grow our businesses at the expense of somebody else and not each other.”

Vikner added that business is thriving for Mack with a large backlog in place and build rates near capacity.

He expects 2006 will be another good year and said that while the industry will experience a downturn in 2007, he doesn’t think it will be as severe as some analysts have suggested.

“Things are very healthy around our organization,” said Vikner.

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