[Stay on top of transportation news: Get TTNews in your inbox.]
Peterbilt Motors Co. has unveiled a restyled version of its Model 579 flagship on-highway truck that offers a 7% fuel economy improvement compared with the truck it replaces, which was launched in 2012. The new model is designed to be 10% quieter in the cab, and comes with technology upgrades such as a driver-configurable digital dash, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist.
“This is the result of five years of development,” Peterbilt General Manager Jason Skoog said during an online reveal of the new model. “We took a great truck and made it better.”
Fifty-nine Peterbilt customers provided input during the design process, and 17 participated in field trials using 23 trucks. The trucks accumulated 1.5 million real-world miles, according to Denton, Texas-based Peterbilt, a unit of Paccar Inc.
The main goal was to reduce buyers’ total cost of ownership, Skoog added.
Key exterior features include a redesigned, stronger Metton hood that Peterbilt said is narrower and more resistant to damage. A bright stainless steel grille and a choice of improved Halogen or optional LED headlights are included, along with a new three-piece bumper that integrates the forward radar cover for collision mitigation. Also up front is a larger aerodynamic air dam. In addition, the truck’s mirrors, fairings, side skirts and closeouts help improve the overall aerodynamic shape with the revised A-pillar vane redirecting airflow around the windshield, reducing friction and reducing noise in the cabin. This front of the truck is topped off with Peterbilt’s familiar “bird” ornament.
The final changes embodied in the new truck reflect thousands of iterations of computational fluid designs, “making sure you get all you can out of [the design process],” said Scott Newhouse, Peterbilt’s chief engineer.
The truck is available for ordering in a day cab configuration, integral 80-inch UltraLoft sleeper and a variety of other sleeper sizes.
The integral sleeper in the 579 UltraLoft model features 70 cubic feet of space and an eight-foot high ceiling. The cabin has room for small appliances, including a 1.1-cubic-foot microwave, a 32-inch TV, a tall wardrobe closet, multiple power outlets and optional bunk beds with a fold-away ladder, Peterbilt said.
Inside the redesigned sleeper. (Peterbilt Motors Co.)
Multiple windows offer natural light and additional ventilation, while at night interior lighting comes from dome LED lights and three directional spot/reading lights. New sound abatement technology helps minimize outside noise for a quieter cabin, both on and off the road.
The company said small additions like a fixed cup holder and the option for multiple USB charging ports in the center console are intended to make life on the road more comfortable.
“What a great time to be coming to the market with this great new truck,” said Robert Woodall, Peterbilt assistant general manager of sales and marketing. “Freight demand is strong. There is a real premium focus on driver recruiting and retention.”
The truck’s all-new digital dash integrates with electrical and safety systems offered on the new 579, including the Bendix Fusion Advanced Driver Assistance System.
The 15-inch digital display features a fully customizable user interface for a broad combination of digital gauges viewable on the main screen. Operators control the digital user interface through one of three different Drive View Zones. The Minimized View eliminates everything but the speedometer and tachometer. Basic View represents traditional information found on analog dashes, with air and oil pressure, fuel and diesel exhaust fluid levels, and water temperature all prominently displayed, along with a speedometer and tachometer.
The Enhanced View builds upon the previous views, displaying the maximum number of viewable gauge options from a list of more than 30 information sources. The operators can fine-tune the information shown to suit their individual needs through controls found on the all-new steering wheel, Peterbilt said.
The Enhanced View display. (Peterbilt Motors Co.)
Prior to trip departure the digital display has the ability to run through a visual systems check, inspecting 13 systems and providing a green check mark with each passed test. Post-trip, a detailed trip information screen provides a breakdown of important metrics of the most recent journey.
Want more news? Listen to today's daily briefing below or go here for more info: