Leading Swedish commercial vehicle manufacturer Scania has announced a new and improved range of heavy-duty vehicles, after spending a whopping AU$3 billion on research and development. Unveiled in Paris last year, the range has been some 10 years in the making.
Improving on their existing range in terms of performance, safety and driver comfort is the biggest investment the firm has made in their 125-year history. And it seems to be paying dividends already, with Scania’s new S Series model taking home the gong for International Truck of the Year 2017.
Gianenrico Griffini, Jury chairman for the award outlined the reasons behind the jury’s decision to award Scania top honours:
“Building on the success of its current range, Scania’s delivered [a] new truck generation which offers substantial improvement in crucial areas such as cab aerodynamics, driveability, comfort, safety and performance.”
Scania has delivered an overall 5% reduction in fuel consumption, thanks to enhanced aerodynamics, as well as mechanical and electronic revision of their existing range. Updates to the automatic manual transmission (AMT) will mean improved shift times and minimal loss of momentum, improving power delivery substantially. A lower centre of gravity, as well as a repositioning of the front axle, has improved both stability and braking performance. According to Prime Mover Magazine, Scania is the first in its industry to introduce side-curtain airbags into their cabs, for rollover protection.
The improved cabin design features optional rotating seats, increased options for seat adjustment (so be they tall or short, all drivers can sit comfortably), and the flat-floor designed to cater for long-haul drivers; increasing the living experience within the trucks. In fact, driver comfort both when operating, and when sleeping in the trucks has been a major benefactor of the manufacturer’s range overhaul. A lower dash increases the field of vision when driving, while extra insulation ensures better temperature control of the vehicle and improved noise cancellation.
The engines of course, have had an overhaul too. The 13-litre engine version, available in a 500hp variant, has seen the biggest upgrades, with new engine management systems and combustion chambers, as well as improved injectors and cooling. Meanwhile, all of the new range can be run on hydro-treated vegetable oil (HVO). While still a new-age concept in Australia, this option is becoming increasingly popular in Europe. As the company has a focus on sustainability, and is keen to stay ahead of shifting European standards for emissions, engine variants which support renewable fuels will soon be available.
Australians got to witness the new S 500 in May’s Brisbane Truck Show, as Australian managing director Roger McCarthy explained before the show:
“The Scania S 500 won the recent 1,000-point test beating off three rival Europeans, underlining its strength across many categories under scrutiny, such as high performance, economy, excellent driving characteristics, ease of operation, safety and driver comfort.
“As a result of this impressive vote of confidence in the new all-new Scania, we took the decision to fast-track the delivery of an example of the S 500 to Australia, even though the commercial launch of the New Truck Generation Scania range is still some considerable way off,” he said.
Further enhancing their international reputation for reliability, Scania also highlighted their value-added services at the Brisbane Truck Show, including truck rental and finance, service agreements, and flexible maintenance options.