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08/11/2016
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY EDITION

IAA Nutzfahrzeuge 2016

 

New models, editions and engines for large trucks and light commercial vehicles. Vehicles that increasingly rely on IT technology and data exchange, both internal and external, to guarantee safety, reliability, fuel consumption reduction and environmental impact

Massimo Condolo

One thing is certain: after this IAA edition, innovations in future exhibitions will revolve around more than just metal. The 2016 show anticipated the truck of the future, both as a vehicle ( see the prototypes unveiled by Iveco and Mercedes-Benz) and as a data generation and exchange hub. Whether we’re talking about fully autonomous driving or a set of dedicated services aimed at improving transport efficiency or even maintenance scheduled on the actual conditions of the vehicle, connectivity is now essential. Not to mention the close ties that on-board technology and data exchange are establishing with vehicles powered by alternative fuels or full electric cars, which must be no longer considered a technological experiment or a long term road map on mobility, but a present day reality on many vehicles of different weights and applications.

                                                                                        

Same engines, but more fuel efficient                     

IT rules at Daf’s booth. The Dutch House turned the spotlight on its Connect fleet management system that provides real-time information about a vehicle and the driving style of its driver. The interface is a configurable dashboard, on which the company can set up the most suitable parameters. Furthermore, still thanks to an engine management software, the most recent versions of the PX-5 and PX-7 engines used on both the LF and CF ranges are 4% more economical. The result was obtained through a better air and heat management. Iveco, on the other hand, unveiled its new Stralis XP, with new settings (and a new record in terms of power 570 hp) and improved efficiency with on-demand control of auxiliary aids such as air compressor, power steering and alternator as well as a system that shuts down the engine after idling for a prolonged period of time. But the latest innovations are not limited to software development: in fact, in order to reduce friction both pistons and piston rings have been redesigned.

The Z-truck, a futuristic prototype with advanced solutions soon to equip more “traditional” vehicles, will be extensively dealt with in the box at page xx. MAN, on the other hand, makes its debut in a completely new field, light commercial vehicles. Taking advantage of the partnership with Volkswagen, the parent company, its new line of vans range between 3 and 5.5 tons, launching the German company among full-range manufacturers. The TGE is offered as a panel van, a combi-van, as a crew cab with platform body or chassis cab with platform body, with a single or double cab, three lengths (the extra long model has the same wheelbase of the regular one with longer overhangs), Volkswagen diesel engines ranging between 101, 122 and 140hp with a single turbocharger and a 177hp twin turbo option. The choice is between front, rear or 4-wheel drive with a six-speed manual and an automatic eight-speed transmission. The standard safety equipment includes Emergency Brake Assist while Park Steering Assist, Rear Traffic Assist and Active Lane Assist (acting on the steering wheel keeping the vehicle on track) are available on request. Not much new at the Renault stand, despite the recent renovation of the entire range: the flagship T520 appeared in the special MaxiSpace Edition, all black, with a black leather interior and aluminum rims.

 

Scania takes the Truck of the Year Award

Scania takes home the 2017 European Truck of the Year award, crowning the birthday of the Swedish manufacturer (125 years). No major changes to the Powertrain, which Scania updates continuously with small steps, while the new S series, replaces the R series as the top of the range. The new top of the range model offers a completely flat floor, previously missing. The cabs, completely new, though maintaining that traditionally strong family feeling with older models, are now available for long distance R and S trucks. The current R series is not ready to hand over the stage yet, and adds to its offer the Crown Edition, with a special new lighting system and new cabin features. The Volvo stand provided the sparks with a record breaking vehicle, the Iron Knight: 276 km/h thanks to its 2400 BHP four turbochargers engine. Certainly not to be registered in an extreme road race but to demonstrate how the new dual-clutch variation of i-Shift transmission can handle monstrous torque without problems. The Iron Knight unleashes a monstrous 6000 newton-meter torque to the ground and it does so without problems thanks to a standard i-Shift, the same that can be found on a 500hp “only” Volvo Fh.

                                                                                              

New entries in the lightweight sector

The Volkswagen Crafter took the Van of the Year award, and shares with MAN’s TGE design, range of models and versions, with the jury rewarding the design and road handling. Furthermore, two new Fiat Professionals, the result of two international partnerships, were also presented: the mid-size van Talento, a partnership with Renault, Nissan and Opel, and the pickup Fullback made together with Mitsubishi. Additionally, the event saw the debut of the new Renault Trafic, Opel Vivaro (with its newest sporty version) and Nissan NV300 (replacing the Primastar). The Fullback line also boasted a new special version, dedicated to the world of motocross. Not to mention the Ram 1500, a 5.7 liter Hemi V8-engine American pickup: in Italy it will still be imported by an independent operator, while in Africa and Middle East marketing policy will favor, depending on the market, either the Fiat Professional or the Ram logo. Among the various partnership products, this was a first for the Citroën Jumpy / Peugeot Expert, keeping only the name from the older model and strengthening its collaboration with Toyota on the end production of the old model. The current model keeps its name Proace. Back to Renault, the French giant presented its large pickup Alalskan, produced in Mexico and available with a simple or double cab.

 

 

Electric trucks - Volts for everyone

Whoever was looking for an electric vehicle was certainly spoilt for choice: some were seen on big trucks, like the electric tricycle Sortimo, while others, such as a Libner proposal, looked like trucks the size of a Smart (which can be loaded at a 90° angle on a trailer), not to mention MAN’s TGS eTruck dedicated to night deliveries. In the middle of all this, a small Swedish electric vehicle by Carvia, the fourth generation of Iveco’s electric Daily, the new Mitsubishi eCanter and MAN’s TGL, TGM and TGS especially modified by specialists such as the German Framo or Dutch eMoss.

                                                

 

Truck show: hassle free

Two IAA’s ago, the Iveco Glider was unveiled as a truck that was both sharp looking and practical, which could reduce consumption by simply optimizing the internal friction of the power-train and making an intelligent use of all the auxiliary units. Today many of those innovations can be found on the Stralis XP, which isn't so innovative in design but has learned its lesson. This year the Italian manufacturer does it again with an even more impressive concept, the Z-truck, Z stands for zero emissions, zero stress, zero accidents. Running on Liquified natural gas (LNG), of which Iveco is a true pioneer in its use, the Z-truck can boast a cab with many lay-outs, all designed to make the driver feel comfortable: when relaxing or when performing typical office activities while stationary, not to mention when autonomous systems will enable him to take the hands off the wheel. Add to this a 2200 km mileage range and the driver's seat suspended from the rest of the cabin to reduce vibration; Michelin tires traceable via RFID are the world’s first AAA tire in the energy class.

 

Wheels: ultra-lightweight steel

Gen 34 by Maxion Wheels is a wheel for industrial vehicles that weighs only 34 kg (5 less than the previous model) despite being made of steel. Production will start next year and represents a further step towards the goal of weighing less than 30 kg, that the company has set for 2020. Furthermore, 2017 will see the production start of the Max Smart series, which integrates sensors to detect load, brake pressure distribution, tire pressure and the air temperature. Self-feeding sensors make use of kinetic energy from the wheel.

                                                             

 

Vans: Happy birthday Ducato

This year, oddly enough, no new developments were seen. But the birthday remains important: 35 years after the production of the first unit, 2.9 million customers later, 600,000 of which are camper owners, the Fiat Ducato is still the leader in this area, thanks to the constant technological updates (the last restyling dates back to last year) making it an all time favorite in its field. Right from the start, production has taken place in the Atessa factory in Abruzzo, along with its twins branded Peugeot and Citroën.

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