MACK MOVES | TRUCK REVIEW – MACK ANTHEM

Mack plays its Anthem to announce a new direction in on-highway ability.

It’s all systems go for Mack Trucks North America, as from January this year the company swings into action to deliver the latest addition to the Mack Trucks range, the Anthem, on the American market.
For Mack Trucks this is the new, next-generation highway hero. The Mack Anthem is a reengineered, redesigned and reimagined interpretation of what today’s highway truck should be – aerodynamic, comfortable and connected, all with a distinctively bold Mack look.
Details of the Mack Anthem were announced at the inaugural North American Commercial Vehicle Show by Dennis Slagle, in what turned out to be one of his final major media announcements as president of Mack Trucks, a position he has held since 2008.
“As one of the most significant new trucks in Mack’s 117-year history, the Anthem combines our latest innovations with more than a century of truck-building know-how,” said Dennis.

“The incredible result is a truck that’s been built for our customers’ businesses and designed for drivers, all while delivering the power and presence that only a Mack truck can deliver,” he added.

The Mack Anthem gives drivers and businesses the tools they need to command the road. The truck features an all-new exterior design with optimised aerodynamics for improved fuel efficiency by up to 3.0 percent.

New driving and sleeping environments were crafted with an emphasis on increasing driver comfort and productivity.

Gauges on the instrument panel have been positioned higher for better driver visibility, the new steering wheel contains illuminated controls for cruise control, Bluetooth and the audio system, and, behind the steering wheel, Mack’s Co-Pilot display has been updated with a new full-colour screen for improved visibility and more intuitive navigation.

“Every detail on the Anthem was designed with purpose,” says Jonathan Randall, senior vice president, sales, Mack Trucks North America. “We surveyed thousands of drivers and incorporated their feedback to deliver a functional, strong, efficient highway truck with an authentic design unlike anything on the road today”.

In addition to a new hood and grille, Mack engineers redesigned the roof and chassis fairings, mirror covers, and front bumper and air dam to more easily cut through the wind.

Standard features included in the new Anthem models include a day cab, 48-inch flat top sleeper and a 70-inch stand up integral sleeper. All the exterior lights will be LED as standard, and for the driver there will be a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and satnav.

In the United States the power options include the Mack MP-Series of the 11-litre and 13-litre engines with power outputs ranging from 425 to 505 hp, with mDrive transmissions and Mack axles. The US market no longer offers the MP10 16-litre engine in Volvo or Mack products but it remains to be seen if that option will still be available for the Australian market when it launches here.

No date has yet been announced for the Australian introduction of the Anthem, but Mack Trucks Australia’s Dean Bestwick is on record as having said that a particularly exciting feature of the Anthem is the inclusion of a fully-integrated stand-up sleeper that would provide huge potential for sales in both the Australian and New Zealand markets.

“Looking at the new Anthem for the first time, most people are struck by its strong, distinctively Mack design,” says John Walsh, Mack vice president of global marketing and brand management. “But it’s also incredibly aerodynamic”.

Mack also introduced Mack Connect, which will serve as the reference for Mack’s growing connectivity and uptime service offers. With Mack Connect, current and future services will be structured under connected support, connected business and connected driving.

When service is required, the closest dealer location is identified and service bay space and parts availability is confirmed, all while the truck is still on the road.

Using predictive analytics and connective technologies, Mack Connect turns data produced by the truck, the driver and the service process into insights and actions, resulting in superior support and service to Mack customers.

The existing range of Mack Granite and Pinnacle models have both been upgraded, with new ergonomic interiors for all-day comfort. Pinnacle also gains the new sleeper configurations rolled out with Anthem.

Also available in this range is the Mack MP8-TC engine, which features turbo-compounding and offers ratings of 385-445 hp with torque outputs of 1460-1860 lb-ft and near zero emissions levels.

The turbo-compounding turbine in the MP8-TC captures waste heat from the exhaust gas and converts it into torque on the crankshaft. This results in a 6.5 percent fuel economy improvement and allows usable torque from as low as 850 rpm, with peak torque produced from 900 to 1250 rpm. The turbocharger used with the MP8-TC is of fixed geometry. All Mack engines, transmissions and drivelines are assembled in Hagerstown, USA.

The engine line-up for Mack trucks in the US includes the 12-litre Cummins Westport ISX12G natural gas engine of 400 hp that is capable of operating on CNG, LNG and bio-methane, and the Cummins L9 that offers a 15 percent improvement in economy and 350 hp with 1150 lb-ft of torque.

Production of the new Mack Anthem starts this January and coinciding with the commencement of production is the announcement of the appointment of Martin Weissburg, currently president of Volvo Construction Equipment, to replace Mr. Slagle as president of Mack Trucks (effective June 1, 2018).

Mr. Slagle will remain with the Volvo Group as a special projects leader reporting to Martin Lundstedt, president and CEO. Mr. Weissburg will continue to be a member of the executive board for the Volvo Group.

“Thanks to Denny Slagle’s leadership, the Volvo Group’s North American truck business has substantially improved its profitability and competitiveness, and is strongly positioned for the future,” said Martin Lundstedt.

“In Marty Weissburg, Mack Trucks will have another proven leader who is passionate about realising the full potential of this great truck brand,” Mr. Lundstedt added.

Born in 1962, Martin Weissburg has served as president of Volvo Construction Equipment since 2014. He joined the Volvo Group in 2005 as president of Volvo Financial Services Americas, and in 2010 became global president of Volvo Financial Services. He will be headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina, USA.

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