Iveco has launched two new versions of the Stralis, one of which it claims to be “the most fuel-efficient and reliable truck the market has ever seen” (pictured), and the other it believes to be so significant that it will change the face of European long-distance haulage.
The fuel-efficient offering is called the Stralis XP (extra performance) and includes a host of features designed to reduce rolling resistance and improve fuel economy by up to 11%.
At the heart of the truck are revised Cursor 9 and 11 engines, with additional torque. In a surprise move, Iveco has combined a small amount of EGR (8%) with its Hi-SCR system on 480hp and 570hp engines, but stresses “Smart EGR” has nothing to do with emissions and everything to do with fuel economy. “It is a combustion optimisation enabler,” said Fabrizio Conicella, head of energy management, “and requires no regeneration or additional maintenance.”
The XP features ZF’s new Traxon transmission, christened Hi-Tronix by Iveco. The 12-speed direct-drive automatic gearbox, which has four reverse gears, makes changes 10% quicker than AS-Tronic.
Also new is a 2.47 Meritor rear axle, the longest in its class. It is 45kg lighter than the 2.64, and results in a 7% reduction in engine revs. Michelin’s new
X Line Energy tyres, with their improved rolling resistance, are fitted all-round.
Smart auxiliaries, including the alternator, air pressure management and variable steering pump automatically disconnect, or go into energy-saving mode, to save fuel. Further savings come from Hi-Cruise, which uses predictive GPS to manage Eco-Roll, gear-shifting and cruise control, while a new Ecoswitch not only limits the top speed to 85km/h, but shuts the engine down after five minutes of idling, and alters torque level according to the weight of the truck’s load.
Completing the package is the Uptime Guarantee, which uses Iveco’s Truck Stations to get stricken vehicles back on the road as quickly as possible (in no more than 24 hours), helping to reduce the XP’s total cost of ownership (TCO) in long-haul operations
While the truck is 9% more expensive than a regular Stralis, Iveco said it will have a two-year payback in long-haul operations. It anticipates 30% of all UK buyers opting for it over Stralis, a figure that’s likely to increase if diesel prices rise significantly.
Stralis NP (natural power), Europe’s first long-haul gas-powered truck, is the vehicle Iveco believes will change European hauliers’ buying habits.
Iveco has been building gas trucks for 20 years, but said the NP, which is powered by the Cursor 9 and runs on LPG or CNG, is the first genuine long-haul proposition. Twin 540-litre CNG tanks, or eight 115-litre LNG tanks (or a combination of both), give the 4x2 tractor a range of up to 1,500km. Meanwhile, diesel-like performance (400hp/1,700Nm), and an AS-Tronic 12-speed automatic transmission, will appeal to drivers.
Conicella told CM that driveability will be improved further when the Hi-Tronix transmission, which Iveco engineers are developing for this application, is included in the package. He said Iveco made the decision to launch NP before Hi-Tronix was ready because it wanted to beat Scania (which it considers to be its closest rival in gas trucks) to market.
Iveco thinks attitudes towards diesel are changing, and a switch to gas will be rapid now that truck buyers have a viable alternative.
Heavy line gas development manager Clemont Chandon said the number of gas filling stations will also steadily increase.
Although the NP costs 40% more than an equivalent diesel-powered Stralis, Chandon said trucks covering 120,000km a year will have a 7% lower TCO than their diesel equivalents, and have the ability to save approximately £16,000 over five years (based on current fuel prices).
Iveco brand president Pierre Lahutte said the manufacturer is on the cusp of something big, stating that it isn’t only the market leader, but that it has created an entire class of truck. “The revolution has started,” he declared. “The truck industry is about to take a giant leap forwards thanks to gas.”
He is confident that in three to five years’ time, between 20% and 50% of all Stralis tractors sold in Europe will be gas-powered, and said the UK, with its higher than average diesel prices, is a potentially massive market. What’s more, he said, the UK has the best availability of LNG of any European country. But one obstacle UK hauliers face is that the 6x2 offering, which comes to market in 2017, will have twin 250-litre LNG tanks, reducing its range to between 400km and 500km.
- Want to know what the Iveco Stralis XP is like on the road? Read our test in next week’s Commercial Motor (out 30 June) and turn to page 46 to read our interview with Iveco UK MD Stuart Webster.
- This story originally appeared in the 23 June issue of Commercial Motor. Why not subscribe and get 12 issues for just £12?
- Browse Iveco Stralis for sale on Commercial Motor