For the first time, the Australian truck market has access to a big banger from MAN.The change which has made it possible for MAN to make this foray into the market comes from a change of policy back in Germany. In the past, high horsepower MAN engines have been V8s and, as such, not viable here, due to excess mass over the steer axle. The decision to develop a 15 litre six cylinder has been crucial for potential sales here.
The new engine comes as a next step for the current engine line up. MAN came up with a completely new engine concept over ten years ago with the 10 litre D20. Later came the 13 litre D26 and now the 15 litre D38.
Rated at 560 hp (412 kW) in the horsepower stakes and with 2700 Nm (1991 ft lb) of torque, this engine has the capacity to handle the task with plenty to spare. The 12 speed Traxon transmission is the, well proven, ZF automated manual with an MAN control system overlaid. There is also an optional ZF Intarder available, offering up to 600 kW of retardation if needed.
Innovative design concepts are included in the design, like the top down cooling system, which introduces the coolant at the top of the engine, around the combustion chamber and injectors. This means , at its coolest, it meets the hottest part of the engine first.
The common rail fuel injection system runs at 2500 bar. The wiring loom on these trucks are encased in foam, inside the conduit, to eradicate chafing and rubbing between cables.
MAN are also adding to the plethora of new acronyms on a truck with the introduction of CRT on the D38. This stands for the Continuous Regeneration Trap, as opposed to a DPF. The continuous regeneration is said to give the system a longer working life.
“The design of this vehicle is as important as when we talk about the engine, says Roger Penske, Chairman Penske Automotive Group. “We talk about an automated manual transmission. We don’t buy a manual in the US now, for two reasons. One, from the driver perspective and, two for the residual value.
“The metrics we’ve seen and the feedback we’ve got on the vehicles has been quite positive. I think we have to be a better company, here in Australia, from a service perspective. We look around the country and see our service locations number being able to grow over the next eighteen months. Even though the market is down, we need more market share and we need to invest in our service locations.”
If the MAN brand is set to grow, this is the Penske group’s opportunity. Any growth will be from a low base, but the new model looks to be a good platform to build on. It ticks all of the boxes as truck and, if the promised increase in service locations eventuates, it should be able to perform. Penske’s purchase of the Detroit network gives it plenty of outlets and the possibility to exploit the strengths of this new player in the market.