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August 2, 2022 11:33 AM, EDT

Western Star Launches 57X Class 8 Model

Western Star 57XWestern Star 57X 72-Hour Sleeper van. (Daimler Truck)

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YPSILANTI, Mich. — Western Star is launching a new Class 8 over-the-road model that parent company Daimler Truck North America promises will deliver on the niche brand’s reputation for dependability and toughness, while adding advanced safety, driver comfort and fuel efficiency features as well as a slate of engine choices aimed at attracting more small fleets and owner-operators.

The Western Star 57X, which the company showcased here during a media event at the American Center for Mobility test track July 26-27, joins two earlier versions in its X series, the 47X, introduced in September 2021, and 49X, introduced a year earlier, both built for vocational applications.

“With the addition of the 57X, Western Star’s new X-Series now rises to the next level,” David Carson, senior vice president of sales at DTNA, said in a release.

The 57X is 5.8% more fuel efficient than its predecessor, the 5700XE — 50% of that from aerodynamic improvements and 50% from a more efficient powertrain — making it Western Star’s most fuel efficient truck, the company said. Cylinder head design and fuel/air mixture are improved.

There is a choice of three Detroit engine models: The DD13 Gen 5, DD15 Gen 5 and DD16. The 57X is also available with Detroit Powertrain components including Detroit DT12 direct or overdrive AMT transmissions, which are designed to reduce fuel consumption and increase efficiency while improving shifting and reducing wear. Intelligent powertrain management anticipates terrain and adjusts to road conditions to further maximize efficiencies. Available Detroit front steer and high-speed ratio rear tandem axles are also intended to contribute to fuel efficiency and performance while reducing maintenance, Western Star said.

Four cab options are offered, including day cab, 60-inch midroof, 72-inch midroof and 72-inch Stratosphere. All offer leather seating and, on sleeper models, an optional enhanced driver’s lounge with table and Murphy bed provide for rest and downtime.

New aerodynamic improvements to the cab and chassis include:

  • New aerodynamic hood and bumper with air ducts.
  • Roof and chassis fairings for the day cab, 60-inch and 72-inch midroof.
  • Chassis side fairings with flexible skirts specifically designed to fill the gaps between cab and chassis.
  • Aerodynamic roof fairing or adjustable aerodynamic deflector for day cab.
  • 24-inch sleeper side extenders (12-inch for day cabs).
  • Optimized drive wheel fairings smooth the air flow as it passes the trailer.
  • FlowBelow mold-in color drive wheel covers.

The 57X comes standard with the Detroit Assurance 5.0 safety system with active brake assist, an always-on system that fuses camera and radar technology to detect moving obstacles in front of the truck and can deploy full braking.

Western Star 57X dash

The interior features digital display screens. (Daimler Truck)

Detroit Assurance also includes adaptive cruise control to help the truck maintain safe distances. Detroit Assurance also offers optional active lane assist, which includes lane keep assist, auto stop, lane departure protection and steer assist.

“Active lane assist is our Level 2 autonomous technology, which is packaged up under our safety systems,” said Len Copeland, product marketing manager at Detroit. “You can feel the difference in the steering, and driver comfort is something we hear [praised] more than anything else from drivers who experience active lane assist.”

Additionally, the 57X debuts active side guard assist, an industry-first technology designed to mitigate blind side issues during right-hand turns.

Western Star 57X day cab

Interior of 57X day cab. (Daimler Truck)

Standard Detroit Connect offers a suite of connectivity systems that provide real-time, actionable insights into vehicle performance and empower better decision-making, resulting in less downtime and a better bottom line for owners.

During a test drive, the truck maneuvered powerfully and smoothly. The windshield offers 28% more visibility compared with the predecessor model, and the interior features digital display screens as well as overhead lighting in sleeper models that mimicked the adjustable glow found in the ceilings on commercial jets. From behind the wheel, multiple safety systems monitored the road and the well-insulated cab kept the ride quiet.

Numerous customization and bright finish options are available to tailor the truck to the owner or driver’s needs.

It offers an all-LED exterior lighting package for a distinctive look and greater road illumination, as well as dual-stage intelligent LED headlights with sensors that can melt ice or clear condensation.

Western Star each month typically earns a roughly 2% share in U.S. Class 8 retail sales, according to Wards Intelligence. It sold 3,213 trucks in the first six months of 2022 — the fewest among truck makers Wards tracks.

Production of the 57X is planned for early Q1 2023 at DTNA’s Cleveland, N.C., truck manufacturing plant. The plant also manufactures the 47X and 49X.

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