International Truck last week launched the International LT Series — its new flagship line of Class 8 over-the-road trucks developed through driver-centric design and featuring advanced technologies that the truckmaker claims deliver fuel efficiency, uptime and driver appeal.
Bill Kozek, president of truck and parts for Navistar, said, “This new vehicle reflects our strong belief that integrating the best technology will provide customers with a significant operating advantage.”
In keeping with the company’s DriverFirst product design focus, International undertook extensive research with truck drivers, including driver clinics that gathered input from hundreds of drivers. International used this research to design an all-new interior, and identified multiple new and improved features that enhance driver appeal.
Jeff Sass, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Navistar, said, “Many of our customers tell us that their No. 1 challenge is attracting and retaining drivers, which is why we put so much effort into understanding and responding to drivers’ needs. These improvements also contribute to increased driver ease of use that will boost the vehicle’s productivity.”
Based on a review of more than 500 points where the driver and truck interact, the highly ergonomic interior of the LT Series includes better elbow room, hip room and leg room. Driver input also led to a smart, well-designed mix of high-tech and traditional features that emphasize driver ease of use.
The redesigned interior features a new premium gauge cluster with a digital driver display that places everything within comfortable reach, while offering drivers real-time monitoring of fuel economy and other important alerts in clear sight. The new display also offers up to 15 customizable digital gauges. In addition, the air horn was relocated back to its traditional, intuitive position over the driver door in response to overwhelming driver feedback.
The same aerodynamic improvements that boosted the LT Series’ fuel efficiency also yielded a decrease in wind noise, which eliminates noise harshness for improved driver comfort.
Multiple improvements are designed for improved safety, including standard LED headlamps to improve night vision, a column-mounted gear-shifter that allows drivers to keep their eyes on the road, and a redesigned one-piece side window that affords the driver a clearer line of sight. In addition, the Bendix Wingman Advanced Collision Mitigation system comes standard in the LT Series.
The LT Series was designed with the goal of best-in-class uptime, meaning keeping the truck on the road and facilitating quick service when the need arises. To drive improved uptime, International carefully reviewed reliability data and other data collected from OnCommand Connection, the company’s remote diagnostics system, and made multiple enhancements to support increased reliability and serviceability.
“We pored over reliability data to evaluate nearly every single system on our on-highway platform, in order to look for ways to get better,” said Denny Mooney, senior vice president of global product development. “In some cases, we completely redesigned the entire system to reach our goals. We are proud of the integrated, data-driven approach we used to assure improved reliability, serviceability and productivity.”
Many of the truck’s new features were designed to improve reliability and serviceability, as well as functionality. For example:
- The new single-canister aftertreatment system is not just 60 percent smaller and 40 percent lighter, but is also simplified for quicker servicing.
- The new LED headlamps and fog lamps not only deliver brighter light and intensity, but also have tough new polycarbonate headlight lenses that protect them against breakage.
- The cab wiring includes all-new harnessing and an in-cab power distribution module that is inside the truck, away from the elements.
- All key service points under the hood, inside the cab and around the vehicle are ergonomically designed for easy access and servicing, and many components have been engineered with longer intervals between required maintenance.
The LT Series features dramatically improved aerodynamics and provides fuel efficiency that is 7 percent better than the company’s most recent fuel economy leader, a 2017 ProStar with the Cummins ISX15 engine.
International has always placed a strong emphasis on industry-leading aerodynamics as a solid foundation for fuel efficiency, and the LT Series delivers 3 percent improvement in fuel economy due to its aerodynamic benefits alone. Upgraded aerodynamic features on the new International LT Series include an aero-contoured hood, fender, wheel opening and chassis skirts and an aero-enhanced three-piece front bumper, while longer side extenders shorten the trailer gap.
Aerodynamics in the LT Series were fine-tuned using multiple advanced testing methods, including computational fluid dynamics, one-eighth scale and full-size wind tunnel and coast-down testing, to assure that the vehicle would perform well facing winds not just head-on, but also at an angle. In fact, the higher the yaw angle of the wind, the better the LT Series performs against the competition.
Central to the advances of the International LT Series are advanced driver assistance systems that support safety and efficiency goals and pave the way for additional customer-selected options.
The Bendix Wingman Advanced Collision Mitigation system comes standard with every model in the series, and is also available with the optional Bendix Wingman Fusion and Meritor WABCO OnGuardACTIVE systems.
International’s own predictive cruise control looks ahead of the vehicle and recognizes the terrain and continuously calculates the most efficient speed and gear for optimal fuel economy in real time. Unlike conventional predictive cruise technology, International predictive cruise control uses preinstalled GPS maps and the latest commercial route data to make adjustments to cruising speed without the need to pre-drive the route.
The sophisticated new electronic control systems also use programmable parameters to optimize efficiency. Driver controls and instrumentation are based on robust industry-standard SAE J1939 electrical architecture, with a new cluster and switches designed to keep drivers focused and maximize uptime.
The LT Series will be offered in multiple configurations, including daycab, 56-inch low roof sleeper, 56-inch hi-rise sleeper, 73-inch hi-rise sleeper and 73-inch sky-rise sleeper. It will offer customers a choice of engines that provide premium performance.
The LT Series is being launched with the new 2017 Cummins X15 engine, which has horsepower ratings of up to 500 horsepower in the efficiency series and up to 565 horsepower in the performance series. It is also being launched with the new 2017 Navistar N13 engine, which will be available in the spring and has an advanced fuel-efficient 13-liter design that produces up to 475 horsepower and 1,750 pounds-feet of torque from a design that is 500 to 600 pounds lighter than traditional big bore engines.
The company is taking orders now and will begin production in late November.