The first serious test drive of the new Iveco S-Way for PowerTorque was on a run from Brisbane down to Sydney with a fully loaded B-double set. This is the S-Way with AS (Active Space) cab and the 550hp 13 litre Cursor engine, putting out 2500Nm of torque at 1000rpm.
This was a fully loaded B-double, it is powered by a 13 litre and it does lose momentum on the hills, but it doesn’t lose that much. On climbs there were no fully loaded B-doubles flying by and the truck never seemed to be working too hard.
After descending down through Mooney Mooney, the truck started climbing back up the grade, it handled it with comparative ease at 1600rpm and 70 km/h. It moved up to 1700rpm but held onto its gear, running above the green zone on the tacho, well aware it’s heading up a serious grade.
As the grade tightened up, it held 14th gear, at about 63 km/h, slowing down to 1300rpm. Just before it got to 1200rpm it grabbed a gear or two and got back up to 1750rpm. The system works in a very traditional mode, not letting the revs lug down and relying on torque to pull the truck through.
The fact that Iveco hasn’t got a 15 litre engine may not matter, because a lot of its competitors are also selling 13 litre engines into this size of set-up now. These 13 litres are capable of doing this job and are working. The engine control systems are much more precise on these modern trucks. Eco-roll comes in quite a lot as it drops down to just over 500rpm. What we’ve got here is a truck which can match others, that’s really competitive.
At its slowest the truck was in 13th gear at 55 km/h, but as soon as the grade backed off, it jumped straight up to 15th in order to try and save as much fuel as possible. Skipping a gear when still on an upgrade is going well on this reasonable climb.
At the end of the journey, the trip had been comfortable, the cabin is quiet, even when the truck is working hard. How hard it was working was illustrated when looking at the telematics results after the run.
The readout and display from the Iveco telematics is easy to use and clear. Luckily for this driver the driver score function had not been switched on. So despite the driving style and being loaded to just under 55 tonnes, the fuel consumption over the whole journey was 1.93 km/l over the 900km plus route. This was running with the AMT on auto most of the time, but not driving in the most fuel efficient manner at all times, scoring 52 out of 100 on that measure. The vehicle care score was 79 and safe driving score 89, just an average day in the cab.
The driving may have been average, but the truck itself will surprise, because Iveco have put a lot of smart design into a valid contender in the B-double space, it’s now up to the organisation here on the ground in Australia to get that message out into the market.