Freightliner’s ‘Aussie Special’ Coronado

In a determined and carefully planned bid to finally fill the void created by the loss of Sterling’s versatile HX9500 model, Freightliner has taken the covers off its new Coronado 114 model.

The truck was recently previewed to a group of truck journalists including DIESEL’s Steve Brooks at Freightliner’s major US truck manufacturing plant in North Carolina.
Senior Freightliner executives from both Australia and the US were quick to explain that the 114 is designed to take the fight to Kenworth, Mack, and corporate colleague and competitor Western Star in the short bonnet, high horsepower category.

It’s a class of truck which has been largely unavailable to Daimler Trucks in Australia since stocks of the discontinued HX9500 were eventually exhausted in 2010. The HX9500 – with its 113 inch (2870 mm) bumper to back-of-cab (BBC) dimension and the ability to house big bore engines such as Cummins ISX, Cat C15 and Detroit’s 14 litre Series 60 – was a successful model for the Australian operation and easily the most popular of the Sterling range with around 300 units sold annually.

However, expectations are that the Coronado 114 will be significantly more successful due to the fact it has been engineered specifically for the Australian market in righthand-drive only configuration. With a BBC of 114 inches (2895 mm) and under development for around four years – or basically since the announcement of Sterling’s exit from the Daimler family – the shorter Coronado continues the bold styling of the flagship Coronado 122 and maintains the same interior features but has the design features to target a considerably broader market than its big brother.

For Daimler’s commercial vehicle managing director Kolja Rebstock and senior manager of Freightliner trucks Gary Wheatley, the Coronado 114 also demonstrates a powerful example of America’s strengthened commitment to the Australian market. US executives were, in fact, equally keen to assert their resolve to provide their Australian counterparts with the response, resources and product firepower to achieve greater market impact.

With the cab raised 50 mm (two inches) and pushed forward approximately 200 mm (eight inches) to achieve the shortened BBC over a set-forward front axle, the Coronado 114 is powered by the Detroit DD15 EGR engine with up to 560 hp (417 kW) and 1850 lb ft (2508 Nm) of torque. At this stage there are no plans to add a Cummins ISX option.

The truck carries a gross combination mass rating of 106 tonnes and will be offered in slimline and sleeper form, with the 34 inch (864 mm) and 58 inch (1473 mm) XT – Xtra Tall – sleepers available. Heavy-duty truck and dog applications, fuel haulage, roadtrain doubles as well as 19 metre and 26 metre B-doubles are all likely targets for the Coronado 114.

While a dedicated 1700 square inch cooling package has been designed for the model, the system maintains the clever engine-mounted design which allows the radiator to move in sync with the engine, allowing the nine-blade fan to run with minimal tip to shroud clearance for enhanced performance.

On first impressions the 114 is a smart and hugely versatile design which largely completes Freightliner’s product range and equally, fills the gaping hole left by the demise of the Sterling brand.

The truck will be officially launched on the Australian market later this year.

A detailed article outlining the development of the Coronado 114 and other aspects of Freightliner’s plans for Australia will feature in the November/ December issue of DIESEL magazine.

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