Mystery prime mover snapped

A number of photographs of a mystery prime mover have been published in Europe. The truck is seen heavily camouflaged and without a clear indication of brand. Experts close to the European truck manufacturers suggest the new truck is a replacement for the Mercedes-Benz Actros, due sometime next year.

If a large global organisation like Daimler has gone to the expense of developing an all-new cab to the point where it is now on road trials, it can be expected that the design shown here may also be used elsewhere on the group’s products. Versions of this cabin may appear on Freightliner and Fuso trucks in the future.

The need to design a complete new cab platform for the Mercedes Benz truck range is due to the radical change expected to take place within the next two years in the engine offering from the German manufacturer. The current Actros range uses V6 and V8 diesel engines developed over the years in Germany.

Any replacement for the Actros will use a Mercedes-Benz version of the engines being sold here in Australia as the Detroit Diesel DD 13 and DD 15. The new engine design and shape is completely different as the new Daimler global engine platform uses an in-line six cylinder configuration.

With the cost of new technology development being so high, the group will have designed this new cabin to suit its other major brands. The Freightliner Argosy will be looking for and needing a replacement for its current cab in the not too distant future and this design could clearly be adapted to the more relaxed cabin dimension requirements of Australasia and South Africa where the truck is currently being sold in good numbers.

In Japan, the specifications of the Fuso heavy-duty range, the Super Great, is already becoming aligned with the global Daimler technology strategy. Earlier this year, the new Super Great was unveiled for the Japanese domestic market with a Fuso version of the Detroit Diesel DD 13. As the next-generation of the Fuso heavy-duty offering is being developed we can expect to see this new Mercedes-Benz cab design to be adapted for Japanese conditions.

Examination of the photos taken of the new cabin design does not reveal any certainties about the look and feel of the new truck. The clever camouflage pattern painted on the truck makes it difficult to discern body panel shapes. Window design is also clearly obscured by the disguise under which the truck is being tested.

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