Fuso going with gas in Class 5 cabover

by John G. Smith

“Customers want gasoline and we see our competition, we see other players, going in the same direction,” says Justin Palmer, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America is building on its commitment to gasoline engines with the first gasoline-powered Class 5 cabover in the marketplace — the FE 180 Gas.

“Customers want gasoline and we see our competition, we see other players, going in the same direction,” says president and CEO Justin Palmer.

The 2020 Model Year truck comes with a GM 6.0 L V8 that delivers 297 hp and 361 lb-ft of torque. That is coupled to a PTO-capable Allison 1000 Series transmission. Fuso is also including FuelSense 2.0, featuring the DynActive shifting that can boost fuel economy 2-6%.

Payload estimates approach 11,885 lb.

Other standard features include electro-coated frame rails, 40 US gallon fuel tanks, and 19.5-inch tires rather than the 17.5-inch rubber used in other international markets. The cab interior includes an upgraded driver’s seat with more lumbar support, black fabric, and a shifter mounted on the dash rather than the floor. Red seatbelts, cruise control, and power windows are also included as standard features.

The manufacturer launched its gasoline strategy in 2017, unveiling the FE140 and FE180 Class 3-5 trucks in 2018.

“Gasoline trucks are the new standard for our medium-duty market,” says Bill Lyons, vice-president of sales and operations, referring to particular growth in the Class 3-4 segments. About 60-70% of those trucks run on gasoline.

He credits the reduced complexity when compared to diesel. “The drivers who drive our trucks are not really truck drivers in our segment,” he says. There’s no need for them to worry about regens or DEF when driving with this fuel.

Fuso now boasts a powertrain lineup with options including diesel, gasoline, and even the electrified eCanter. The latter van has now been released in limited numbers, although the company won’t confirm exactly how many are on the road.

“It’s a small number – but very important customers,” Lyons says, referring to lessons being learned.

The eCanter has a 16-foot body and range of 95 to 125 km, and can recharge in seven hours using a Level 2 charger, or as little as one to three hours on a fast charge.

The manufacturer first showcased an e-propulsion system at the Work Truck Show three years ago. “Today, go around the floor. Everyone is trying to do the same,” Palmer says.

The FE180 Gas will arrive in dealerships in the final quarter of this year.

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