At the recent Brisbane Truck Show, visitors got to see a couple of brands with new models and new features on display. These two brands come from either end of the heavy duty sector. The show was a chance to see what keeps these brands moving ahead and what we can expect from them in the future.
MAN Follows the Performance Line
A new truck on Australian roads this year has been the MAN XXL cabin powered by the 640hp version of the D 38 engine. The introduction of the new model is reflective of MAN’s ongoing growth in the Australian truck market. Lifting the horsepower rating available from the D38 engine from 560hp to 580hp has given sales a fillip, and now the even more powerful 640hp version is coming online making the brand more interesting to the owner/driver market.
MAN also had its new Performance Line cab offering on show, where all of the comforts of the modern cabin are featured in an XXL cab.
After many years where the all wheel drive business predominated, the more powerful engine has opened up the line-haul market for MAN. Now, the company is setting its sights on the tipper market, judging by the tipper specced 13-litre 540hp model on show at BTS.
If you are looking for one of the reasons for MAN’s change in fortunes in Australia, you need to no further than the change in design philosophy. There is more development work going on specifically for Aussie conditions including local testing and the results are showing in sales figures. One of the factors which has helped MAN in adapting their vehicles to the Australian market is their experience in fitting out and maintaining the large contract for the defence forces vehicles in which it is currently engaged.
Anthem Gets Closer and Superliner Gets Taller
The two standouts of the Mack display were a cut open Anthem cabin display unit and a very tall experimental Superliner. One gave us a glimpse into what we can expect to appear from Mack next year and the other reveals a little about the way the US truck maker is thinking.
When the Anthem is unveiled next year it will allow Mack to introduce a new body, including bonnet and cabin across its range. The Anthem itself will be a replacement for the current Granite but the cabin system will roll out across the Mack range, enabling improved electronic and safety systems as well as improved driver accommodation.
The tall Superliner reveals Mack’s realisation of its need to fit the 16-litre MP10 engine in a conventional truck with a BBC enabling it to handle B-double and A-double operations more effectively. The model on display will not see the light of day; it is an engineering concept test bed. By combining the lessons learnt in creating this monster and the benefits available in the Anthem cab system, Mack will be able to offer a 16-litre engine in a short BBC prime mover.