Scania has introduced a P 360 8×2 rigid version of its New Truck Generation range part of its continual drive to lower the fuel consumption of its trucks. The truck is targeted squarely at urban distribution roles and Paul Matthei took a loaded unit for a jaunt over the Blue Mountains west of Sydney and returned with an extraordinary fuel figure.
As tested, the P 360 has an eight-tonne payload aboard and is grossing about 24 tonnes. It has a tare weight of 16.16 tonnes and maximum gross vehicle and gross combination mass limits of 32.8 and 45 tonnes respectively.
With these figures in mind, the P 360 8×2 makes a compelling case as a versatile truck and dog or truck and pig alternative to a prime mover and semi-trailer combination for certain applications.
With virtually the same volume and weight capacities, albeit in two separate vehicles, the rigid has the advantage of running without the trailer at half the load capacity significantly more efficiently than a partially loaded semi.
Furthering this versatility, the availability of dog and pig fridge vans with doors at both ends and a fold-down ramp enabling drive-through fork access from trailer to truck eliminates the time-consuming chore of unhitching the trailer to load and unload at docks.
Back to the test, and a left turn onto the M4 soon has the formidable bulk of the Blue Mountains looming ahead. With the relatively light payload the P 360 literally romps up the long grade with just a momentary pause to drop one gear close to the summit.
The engine is a 9.0 litre five-cylinder with four valves per cylinder and a fixed geometry turbo. It produces 360hp (265kW) at 1900rpm and 1253lbft (1700Nm) of torque between 1050 and 1350rpm.
Euro-6 emissions level is achieved utilising Scania XPI Extra-High Pressure injection along with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and a diesel particulate filter (DPF).
Power is fed to an Opticruise automated 12-speed GRS895R direct-drive ‘box featuring two additional crawler gears and a Scania R 3500 retarder.
The final drive ratio is a super-tall 3.08:1 and brakes are ABS/EBS7 discs with Advanced Emergency Braking.
The sleeper cab includes an electro-hydraulic tilt system, 12cm side air deflectors and a 65cm roof mounted air deflector. On the inside resides a generously proportioned 800mm wide foam mattress.
As you would expect from Scania, safety features abound including driver and passenger roll-over side curtain airbags, steering wheel mounted driver’s airbag, automatic seat belt pre-tensioners on both seats and tilt/ telescopic adjustment for the steering column.
There’s also adaptive cruise control with active prediction mapping, electronic stability control, traction control, lane departure warning with forward looking camera and rain sensing wipers. A manually operated emergency roof hatch is an excellent safety feature to enable occupants to exit the cab quickly in the event of a rollover or crash.
A suite of driving aids includes Eco-roll, hill hold, differential lock and the aforementioned load transfer system for the rear axles.
In the lighting department there are H7 halogen headlamps incorporating LED daytime running lights, fog lamps and cornering lights, along with LED tail lights.
Additional driver niceties include black leather upholstered seats, rear wall shelf, manual climate control air conditioning, USB ports in the dash and on the rear wall above the bunk, as well as Bluetooth connectivity and a premium sound system.
These features serve to make the trip across the Blue Mountains and back a very pleasant experience. Above all though, the satiny smooth and effortless performance of the 9.0 litre engine which was happy to idle along at just 900rpm in the 60 zones continued to impress.
This combined with the Opticruise transmission’s intuitive operation enabling full power at such low revs without down-changing gave the five-potter a decidedly ‘big-bore’ engine feel throughout the test.
Another notable highlight was the retarder which made light work of washing off speed approaching red lights and on the main descent down the mountain.
The remainder of the motorway run was smooth, quiet and comfortable, three attributes that make this truck an ideal place to spend the day or night. Entering and alighting the truck is also first class thanks to the wide, well-placed steps.
All the low-rev running proved very beneficial for fuel consumption too, with the computer readout showing 4.2km/l (11.8mpg) at the end of the trip.
This really is the icing on the cake as it shows what combined fuel savings can be achieved by using one drive axle instead of two and tall gearing that keeps the torquey engine below 1500 revs under most operating conditions.
As previously mentioned, this 8×2 proves every bit as manoeuvrable as a 6×2 during metro delivery work and is equally at home cruising the highway doing a long-distance run.
Coupled with the ability to haul a trailer with a GCM the same as a semi-trailer, Scania’s P 360 8×2 would have to be one of the most versatile and fuel-efficient heavy-duty trucks available today.