Fighter’s new punch
Fuso has a new contender, writesGRAHAMSMITH
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.