March 21, 2012 3:00 PM, EDT
Kenworth, Peterbilt Unveil New Sleepers, Day Cabs

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kenworth Truck Co. and Peterbilt Motors Co. showed off their new heavy-duty trucks here on Wednesday, which they described as premium but competitive tractors.

Kenworth’s new truck is the T680 and Peterbilt’s is Model 579, each truck comes in sleeper and day cab models, and they were unveiled at back-to-back events on press day at the Mid-America Trucking Show with dry ice, action-adventure movie music and light shows.

The two companies, exhibiting at MATS, are units of truck and engine maker Paccar Inc.

The trucks are different “see-touch-feel” design aspects, said Peterbilt Chief Engineer Landon Sproull, but they share chassis designs, stamped aluminum cabs, aerodynamic improvements and comforts aimed at drivers.

Preston Feight, Sproull’s counterpart at Kenworth, said he would match his truck against a Lexus. Peterbilt General Manager Bill Kozek said the trucks combine value with comfort.

“We’re not just building a posh truck; we have to compete in the market as well.”

Kozek and Kenworth GM Gary Moore described the launches as among the most significant in Paccar’s history.