You can specify just about any combination of series, capacity and driveline you can think of to build yourself the perfect Scania XT.
Scania launched the XT as a rough and ready range for work in the toughest environments from quarries to forests. It also made it available across its entire cab range so you can get an XT with either a G-, P-, R- or S-series cab. In addition you can specify almost any model or configuration within the ranges. The P-series tested here, for example, is available as a day cab, a shortened day cab or as a sleeper cab.
The P-series tested here, for example, is available as a day cab, a shortened day cab or as a sleeper cab.
The XT spec is though, all about the bodywork and the most noticeable addition is the steel bumper. It’s there to give added protection and can be specified with added under-run protection, but the other benefit is the greater approach angle it allows. The other inclusion is the front towing bar which allows for a 40-tonne towing capacity so that a fully laden vehicle can be pulled out if it is stuck. One of the key changes inside the new generation cabs is a revised seating position, which moves the driver forwards and outwards. The dash is lowered to further improve visibility and the A-pillars have been redesigned too.
As well as the practical elements, there’s a range of XT-related trim add-ons available that include different configurations for the central engine tunnel hump with either an open storage tray or centre console. Orange contrast stitching to the seats and a variety of XT badges remind you that you’re in the toughest version of the P-series. Because toughness is the overall theme of the XT, this P series has been fitted with a Predator Ultimate body from Abba Commercials, which claims to have the highest quantity of Hardox used by any UK manufacturer. There’s also Hyva tipping gear and a VPG on-board weighing system.
Our test vehicle is an P410 XT day cab, which means it uses the 13-litre engine with SCR-only producing 410hp and 2,150Nm of torque. It’s a strong engine that proves extremely driveable in this set-up with exceptionally low torque across a wide rev range. It’s paired to a 12-speed twin-pedal Scania Opticruise transmission that produces exceptionally fast and clean upshifts. Like many automated gearboxes it is overly keen to change ratios early to preserve fuel economy, but downshifts are less forthcoming which not only assists with engine braking but keeps you well within the usable range of the engine’s power and torque band. When a downshift does come it feels a little slow to engage, but overall the characteristics of the transmission are well suited to the busy life of a muckaway vehicle such as this.
Steering is light but responsive and the P-series feels well connected to the road. Ride quality is also very high for an 8-wheeler.
The main benefit of having a P-series XT, however, has to be the improved visibility. There really is a great view both forwards and sideways from the driver’s seat. This results in a much better view of the road immediately in front but also helps to narrow the blind spot around the A-pillars. That awkward A-pillar blind spot is also reduced because the upright is now narrower, and the special XT reinforced ribbed rear-view mirrors are easier to see around – it helps open up the view in a notoriously difficult area. Visibility is improved further still by the optional cut-out lower passenger door mirror which is actually much more useful than in other set-ups because the driver’s seating position is that much further forward. Also fitted is a Brigade Camera Monitor system to eliminate blind spots on the inside of the vehicle.
In the cab
The interior itself is pure functionality. Almost everything a driver needs is now controlled from the stalks around the steering wheel. The instrument cluster is clear and the interface to move between the menus is simple and effective. It’s quiet too. Compared with the competition the XT seems to be particularly well insulated from engine noise and tyre drone.
With a big engine, producing a relatively low horsepower, this particular P410 XT feels like it’s able to leisurely go about its business in an unflustered and extremely professional manner. The real benefits, though, are in the minor changes to the driving position. It might not sound like much, but despite the tough looks of this truck underneath – or rather on the inside – it is actually a sensitive creation very much geared towards urban living. It performs well on the open road but equally well in the crawl of traffic. A testament to a truly effective modern tipper.