Freightliner to import heavy-duty 12.8-litre Mercedes-Benz engine

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 27, 2000) — Freightliner Corp. plans to offer a 12.8-litre, in-line six-cylinder diesel engine from Mercedes-Benz, complementing its offering of medium-duty Mercedes-Benz engines in Freightliner Business Class models.

The engine, called the MBE4000, is seen as an alternative to Caterpillar C-12 and Cummins ISM powerplants. It will be available in seven ratings between 350 and 450 horsepower and 1350 to 1550 pounds-feet of torque. Freightliner plans to use the engines in its Century Class S/T, Columbia, Argosy, and FL 112 heavy-duty trucks, and the company said it would be aimed at linehaul, regional freight, bulk, grocery, and vocational markets. It is not meant to compete with high-horsepower, big-bore engines like the Detroit Diesel Series 60, Caterpillar 3406, or Cummins ISX.

Like the MBE900 medium-duty engine, the MBE4000 is controlled by two units: an electronic control unit manages the engine’s fuel injection, while a separate vehicle control unit (VCU) governs programmable engine parameters like speed limits, idle shutdown intervals, and cruise control. The VCU is accessible on the inside of the cab; technicians need only plug into a standard serial connection port to change engine parameters and access engine information.

Unique to the MBE4000 is a standard engine brake which uses a constant throttle valve integrated in the cylinder head. It delivers 325 bhp at 2100 rpm with no additional cost and no weight penalty. Freightliner will offer an optional turbo-brake that provides up to 600 bhp at 2100 rpm.

Freightliner points to the engine’s relative light weight as an advantage. The MBE4000 is roughly 100 pounds lighter than comparable Caterpillar C-12 and Cummins ISM (when equipped with a compression brake), and more than 600 pounds lighter than the Detroit Diesel Series 60.

A two-year/250,000-mile warranty is standard.

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