Fighter’s new punch

Fuso has a new con­tender, writesGRAHAMSMITH

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Big Wheels -

THE mid­dleweight con­tender in Fuso’s range, the aptly named Fighter, will have to live up to its name if it’s to be a se­ri­ous hope for the hotly con­tested medium-duty ti­tle.

The Fighter is the last of the new­gen­er­a­tion Ja­panese medium-duty trucks to hit the road here.

Isuzu un­leashed its com­pe­tent F-Se­ries late last year, and was quickly fol­lowed by Hino and then UD in early June.

For the first half of the year, Fuso was a dis­tant third in the sales race, trail­ing Isuzu and Hino, but the Fighter should boost its stocks.

The Fighter range is made up of 4x2, 6x2 and 6x4 rigid and primemover mod­els in the 10.4-tonne to 24-tonne GVM mar­ket.

It starts with the Fighter 6, a 10.4-tonne GVM model with a choice of four wheel­base lengths from 4170mm to 5540mm, and a choice of reg­u­lar cab and crew cab.

The Fighter has had the most ex­ten­sive makeover of the Fuso mod­els re­leased this year.

Most no­table is the new cab, which brings a roomi­ness to the medium-duty Fuso.

The driver gets plenty of leg, head and el­bow room, and with lots of adjustment in the new air-sus­pen­sion seat and steer­ing col­umn.

There’s no ex­cuse for not find­ing a com­fort­able and safe driv­ing po­si­tion no mat­ter the driver’s girth.

Fuso has pro­vided seat­ing for three in at­trac­tive cloth-trimmed seats. The back of the cen­tre seat will prob­a­bly see more use as a use­ful work ta­ble and drinks holder when folded.

Stan­dard fea­tures in­clude air­con­di­tion­ing, cruise con­trol, power win­dows, CD sound, flu­o­res­cent cab light­ing and power adjustment for the left-side mir­ror.

The up­dated en­gine is also not- able. The Fighter 6 has a 7.5-litre in­ter­cooled six-cylin­der tur­bod­iesel en­gine putting out 177kW at 2600 revs and 686Nm at 1400 revs.

That’s 22 per cent more power and al­most 20 per cent more torque than its pre­de­ces­sor.

It’s fed into a Fuso six-speed man­ual gear­box with an air-as­sisted shift, which makes chang­ing gears light work.

The shift is not only light, it’s also pre­cise. The gears re­ally do fall into place eas­ily and with­out any fum­bling.

The Big Wheels test truck had a wheel­base of 5210mm and was fit­ted with a 10-pal­let cur­tain-sider. With­out the body the tare weight is 3520kg, with a GVM of 10.4-tonnes and a GCM of 20-tonnes.

On the road, the Fighter 6 drives re­mark­ably small for what is quite a big truck.

It has plenty of per­for­mance, gets go­ing eas­ily and keeps pace with the traf­fic with­out com­plaint. The ride is com­fort­able and the in­te­rior noise very low.

Brak­ing is air over hy­draulic on the Fighter 6— heav­ier mod­els have full air brakes— and it has anti-lock brak­ing as stan­dard. It also has a pow­er­ful ex­haust brake.

Makeover: new Fuso Fighter has plenty of per­for­mance and a com­fort­able in­te­rior.

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