Mercedes-Benz has launched the next generation Actros in northern Queensland, setting a new standard for heavy trucks in Australia.
The groundbreaking truck was introduced after an 18-month local evaluation programme involving 35 customers, 20 trucks and more than a million kilometres.
Introducing a new dimension for driver comfort, the next generation Actros also delivers performance and economy, with four new engines, including a high-performance 11-litre, 13-litre and the range-topping 16-litre.
Using feedback from the Australian and New Zealand trials, Mercedes-Benz developed a product line-up that targeted key mainstream applications, giving customers the exact trucks they need to get the job done.
Mercedes-Benz Truck and Bus director, Michael May, said the new Actros was ready to roll and that the customers had helped the company put together a fantastic line up of trucks that will deliver new standards of efficiency, reliability and comfort.
Mercedes-Benz launched the prime mover models, focusing on metro, regional, B-double and road train work. It will introduce rigid models in the second quarter of 2017, while all-wheel drive models will follow later that year.
The next generation Actros was the subject of an unprecedented development programme with more than 50 million test kilometres and gruelling drive programmes in six summer test cycles in Southern Italy and Spain (with temperatures of up to 50 degrees) and six winter test cycles in Sweden and Finland (with temperatures dropping to minus-40 degrees).
First launched five years ago in Europe, the Actros won the 2012 International Truck of the Year and a string of other awards for quality, economy and environmental credentials. More than 200,000 units of the next generation truck have been sold.
The truck features a new range of in-line six-cylinder engines that deliver fuel economy savings of up to 7% (under test conditions) and an AdBlue consumption reduction of up to 40%, while the latest generation of automated transmissions change gears 20% faster and incorporate a clever new crawler function for low speed work.
The next generation Actros also delivers when it comes to safety with a strong new cab, a range of standard safety systems, and advanced optional electronic assistance programs including Proximity Control Assist adaptive cruise control with stop/start function and Active Brake Assist.
Mercedes-Benz has introduced key local upgrades for the new Actros; locally-sourced inner-spring mattresses, long range fuel tanks and a 6.1-inch touch screen truck sat-nav unit and sound system.
Mercedes-Benz is also committed to supporting the trucks when they hit the road and has undertaken its largest pre-launch technician preparation programme, which included theory training and servicing work on the 20 trucks in the evaluation fleet.