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The enhanced interior, which goes into full production in July this year, features the company’s so-called ‘Smart Wheel’, a steering wheel incorporating finger-tip controls for the engine brake, cruise control and high-beam headlights.
There’s also an interior privacy curtain which wraps around the entire windscreen and both door windows. Made from heavy-duty vinyl, the curtain blocks all natural light and prying eyes, providing complete privacy for changing or sleeping.
It also has a reshaped dash panel and redesigned overhead console for increased storage space. This was achieved through a revised console layout which made provision for two extra storage compartments, one each above the driver and passenger.
“One of our design objectives was to provide operators with as many practical storage options as possible,” said Andrew Hadjikakou, Kenworth’s director sales and marketing. “Where drivers store their gear is very subjective; so we aimed to offer a mix of closed lockers, open pockets and compartments with shelving. This has made the K200 in-cab storage areas multi-purpose to suit individual needs.
“Most drivers are used to looking at eye level and below – not above their head,” Andrew continued. “So we have relocated items from the overhead console, placing the most commonly used equipment, such as the CB and radio, within reach in the main dash. This provides convenient access to all instruments and information displays and, most importantly, allows the driver to keep his eyes on the road.”
Kenworth engineers have made other important improvements that are normally out of sight. Electronic service components and electrical circuitry, such as fuses and circuit breakers, have been consolidated into two pockets within the dash. Therefore, this key componentry can now be accessed simply by removing a panel on the dash.
Kenworth says the new interior is the result of a collaborative effort which draws on its more than four decades of local manufacturing experience as well as feedback from its customers.