UD Trucks launches the Quester

This striking new tractor unit about to enter production could easily be mistaken for the latest Euro-6 model but is in fact a Euro-3.

The Quester comes from UD Trucks, Volvo Group’s Japanese business. UD Trucks is gaining strategic importance for Volvo as the mature European truck market plateaus, and Quester is designed to take the group into developing new markets like south-east Asia, China and India.

Its emphasis is on robustness, simplicity and low cost. So although the 10.8-litre engine, rated at 370hp, 390hp or 420hp, is based on that used by Volvo and Renault, this has unit injectors not the common-rail found on the European Euro-6 versions.

And I-Shift is also considered a step too far, so Quester has nine- or 12-speed manual boxes. Nor is their air-suspension for the drive axle; this is steel multileaf.

However, Quester does have some surprisingly advanced features, including a graphic display to give drivers feedback on their fuel economy and driving style, with GPS-enabled telematics in the pipeline too.

The Quester range includes tractors, multi-wheelers and two-axle rigids, all sharing the same cab. Even the biggest, a 6x4 tractor for work at up to 80 tonnes GCW, can be also specified with UD Truck’s 7.7-litre engine, which is another variant of that in Volvo Group new Euro-6 middleweights such as Volvo’s FL/FE and Renault’s D range.

Production is about start in Bangkok, Thailand, initially to serve the Thai market, and then export markets in the region. After that, production will spread first to China and then India.