LOUISVILLE, KY – Arguing that integration is critical to optimizing fuel economy, Mack Trucks is elevating its focus on providing an integrated powertrain package.
At the Mid America Trucking Show the company unveiled its Super Econodyne powertrain, which Mack claims capitalizes on its Pedigree powertrain expertise to squeeze 3.5% improvement in fuel economy over similarly spec’d vehicles.
The Super Econodyne powertrain system is designed with all-Mack proprietary components for a complete Mack Pedigree Powertrain. The Mack MP8-445SE engine, Mack mDRIVE automated manual transmission, Mack C125 proprietary drive axles and Mack’s custom software are combined to offer a system designed for fuel efficiency.
The powertrain system is not everyone, emphasized David McKenna, Mack director of powertrain sales. It is, however, ideal for dry van, refrigerated, liquid and dry bulk haul, and flatbed operations.
Super Econodyne is available on all Mack Pinnacle models, rated up to 88,000 lbs. GCWR. McKenna said with some tweaking the Super Econodyne could work for applications up to 110,00 lbs GCWR but that is in the future.
Contributing to the fuel-efficiency improvement is the Super Econodyne’s “down speed” feature. Super Econodyne is engineered to “down speed” more than 200 rpm at a highway speed of 65 mph, cruising at 1160 rpm versus 1380 rpm. This reduces fuel consumption by up to 2% compared with previous engine models, with a corresponding reduction in CO2 emissions. The Mack proprietary C125 drive axles deliver an additional 1.5% fuel economy improvement.
“We’ve designed a completely integrated system to run efficiently at 450 rpm above idle speed when before it was 700 to 800 rpm above idle speed,” McKenna said.
The Mack MP8-445SE offers 445 hp and up to 1,760 lb-ft of torque. The C125 axles have a 2.66:1 ratio. All powertrain components communicate with each other via Mack software, and it’s critical that they share data at the same time and in the same manner, McKenna explained.
“It’s the ultimate in complete powertrain integration,” McKenna said. “The engine seamlessly communicates with the transmission, which seamlessly communicates with the vehicle, resulting in instantaneous decisions. Add the Mack C125 drive axle, and we’re talking about fuel-efficiency benefits never before realized in a powertrain system.”
Also key to the fuel efficiency delivered with the Super Econodyne powertrain package is the Mack mDRIVE transmission. The 12-speed automated manual has no clutch pedal, and the gearshift is operated by an intelligent shift pad module and managed by sophisticated electronics.
mDRIVE continuously monitors changes in grade (both up and down), vehicle speed, throttle position, acceleration, torque demand and combined vehicle weight. The mDRIVE transmission features Mack’s industry-leading, two-speed reverse functionality that better controls road speed and engine speed.
So popular is the mDRIVE that Kevin Flaherty figured that penetration of the transmission in 2011 US sales of Mack trucks could reach as high as 40%. It’s already above that in Canada.
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