September 11, 2017 4:00 PM, EDT

Navistar Redesigns Flagship LoneStar Model

LoneStar Navistar International Corp.

International Truck announced redesigns and updates to its almost-decade-old LoneStar model to emphasize new ergonomic, stylistic and fuel efficiency features while maintaining the flagship truck’s classic appearance.

“Dealers will get them in January,” and they are available for ordering now, Dave Majors, vice president of product development for Navistar International Corp., said during a teleconference. Navistar is International’s parent company.

The trucks are available as a day cab and in four different sleeper configurations.

The launch of the updated LoneStar follows the introduction of International’s all-new LT and HX Class 8 models last year. The initial LoneStar model was available for order in April 2008.

“This truck was targeted at owner-operators to start with. But one of the things we have come to realize is fleets have been using this truck to reward drivers for their outstanding performance,” Majors said. “It’s like arriving in a Porsche. It’s just a very distinctive style.”

The announcement came at the beginning of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.

Among the new features are an updated HVAC system with a maximum AC and maximum defrost buttons, cab wiring with all-new harnessing and an in-cab power distribution module. Other features include a larger pocket behind the door handle; an air horn lanyard; doors that open 4 degrees wider than before and improved sealing around windows and doors to reduce noise, vibration and harshness.

The vent line in the door window has been removed to improve visibility, the company said.

Other updated systems include lighter, pedestal-style mirrors that boost fuel efficiency by 0.5% and which were pushed forward to increase visibility and reduce drivers’ neck strain, according to the company.

Navistar International Corp.

“One of the comments we got back from many of the drivers was the new windows and the placement of pedestal mirrors gives the feel of a larger, more spacious cab, which helps the driver in day-to-day-operations,” Majors said.

He added that the truck is not intended for vocational applications except wreckers, but Majors noted that special requests could be granted.

The LoneStar’s standard engine is the Cummins X15; the truck will not be available with International’s own recently launched A26 engine. The X15 engine ranges from 400 to 605 horsepower, with 1,450 to 2,050 pound-feet of torque, according to the company.

“One of the great relationships we have is with Cummins, and the X15 improves our fuel economy in this segment by 3%, Majors said, noting its variable geometry turbo charger, XPI [ extreme high pressure injection] fuel system, single high-capacity electronic control module and contoured hood and fenders.

Cummins and International engineers worked on the single-canister design, which saves more than 100 pounds compared with the previous systems and takes 80% less time to replace if maintenance is required, Majors said.

The exhaust system options include a dual B-pillar vertical tailpipe.

The choices in transmissions include Eaton 10, 13, 18-speed manuals; Eaton UltraShift PLUS: 13, 16, 18-speed automated manuals; and the Eaton Fuller Advantage Series automated 10-Speed.

Also, the instrument cluster has been updated with new graphics and a design that the driver is able to configure to show the preferred set of gauges, he said.

The truck also has a Bluetooth pillar-mounted microphone. “We spent a significant amount of time placing this in just the appropriate position so you don’t get any feedback or road noise. It has controls on the steering wheel,” Majors said.

The shifter is located on the steering column. It serves to engage the engine brake and select automated or manual gears. “It allows you to keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel,” he said.

In addition, the door panels have deeper map pockets, and the door comes with a 300 pound-rated grab handle.

Standard, limited and eagle trim levels are available, according to the Lisle, Ill.-based company.

“This has just been a legendary and iconic LoneStar, and we have maintained that image moving forward,” he said. “We are very, very pleased with this vehicle.”