Cummins Gets to 600 BHP

This will please the Editor in Chief, who has a thing for Big Bangers. Well, it might - it's a big engine.Cummins latest variation of the ISX now tops out at 600 bhp and 2050 lb-ft of torque. The new rating is designed for heavy-haul customers, fleets and owner/operators who specialize in expedited freight, and performance enthusiasts in the trucking industry. This from the Press Release. As is this: "Extra torque allows drivers to maintain road speed even on steep inclines, reducing the number of downshifts and fuel consumption. Maintaining a higher average road speed with less shifting also reduces driver fatigue and shortens trip time.""In addition to stronger pulling power, the ISX for 2007 also includes electric actuation on the patented VG Turbo, for improved engine response across the entire power range. The Intebrake™ system, an integrated compression brake that generates over 600 braking horsepower, continues as standard equipment."And this: Jeff Jones, Vice President - Sales and Market Communications, noted that: "This rating has been developed to meet growing customer requests for extra pulling power. The fact that we've increased the torque on this engine and maintained exceptional fuel economy while meeting the 2007 emissions regulations with a single diesel particulate filter and turbocharger shows the true benefit of our integrated design and manufacturing capabilities. It is a testimony to the advanced thinking and visionary design of the ISX."This from us: It's never a good idea to make too many judgments on the build up day of a trade show - cardboard is the primary exhibit at MATS at present. But, we've noticed a lot of Freightliners boasting CAT 15 engines, and more Cummins than might have been expected over at Navistar's enclave. Seems a bit arse about face to us.

Paccar: The MX Conundrum

We know what this is. It's a Paccar MX engine, soon to be manufactured in Paccar's new engine facility in the Southern US, and on display at the Mid America show.What we don't know is how many - if any - of the same US built MX's will find their way back to Europe. But consider this; the new plant is a monster, and will, according to Bill Jackson, Peterbilt GM, supply a global business - including the Asian market, media representatives of which appear here by courtesy of Paccar.So, a big plant, with a big capacity, and yet Paccar will continue to offer a choice of engines within the US market. Let's say it gets to around 75 per cent adoption of the MX over time. Entirely plausible - CAT isn't here, and we reckon isn't long for the on-highway business - but even so, 75 per cent of 70,141 - Paccar's Class 8 production during the boom year of 2006 is 52605 units. The new plant will have some serious excess capacity.Could it be just possible that Paccar's grand scheme is to reduce engine production at Eindhoven, thereby freeing up desperately needed production capacity? Could it be, ultimately, that there will be no engine production at Eindhoven?What bedevils the US market at present is capacity management. Putting all the production into one place would give Paccar a base level of production - the European market is not nearly so cyclical as the US - and so would allow for some vestige of predictability. As we say - just a thought.