The aggressive-looking, heavymetal Coronado is built tough, writes James Stanford
THE big, bold Coronado is on a mission to re-establish Freightliner as a serious heavy-duty player in Australia.
The company is hoping it will have more success than the bloke the truck is named after, Spaniard Francisco Vazquez de Coronado. In 1540, he set out to search for fabled Seven Cities of Cibola that were said to be teeming with gold and silver — and found Kansas and Arizona instead.
Freightliner has long sold the Coronado in the US and gave it a significant upgrade a year ago, but this is the first time in has been produced in right-hand drive for Australia.
It will be available as a regular on-highway Coronado or tougher Coronado SD (Severe Duty) model.
Apart from any of its other features, Freightliner feels it is the Coronado’s muscular appearance that will help convince buyers to sign on the dotted line.
‘‘It’s a man’s truck, it doesn’t have a soft look, it is aggressive and it is built tough,’’ says Freightliner’s Australian chief, Carlo Beltrame.
Of course, Freightliner is happy for women to drive the Coronado. It is just trying to point out that it looks masculine. The testosteroneheavy design is likely to appeal to customers of traditional American heavy metal.
Unlike most other American rigs, the Coronado doesn’t have traditional round air-cleaner pods on either side of the bonnet.
Instead it has two pre-filter vents that mimic the air-cleaner pods and feed a massive Donaldson PowerCore air filter on top of the engine and are far more aerodynamic.
‘‘I know that traditional truckies like to see the twin cyclopac air cleaners with the big scoops at the top, but in this day and age when the carbon footprint is so important, as is fuel economy, we are chasing fuel savings,’’ Beltrame says.
The Coronado can pull single trailers, B double and road train with a maximum rating of 140 tonnes for upgraded road trains. Freightliner will also offer a tipper and rigid variants, which it hopes will replace the Sterling 9500, which has dropped out of the Australian market, along with the Sterling brand.
The Coronado is the first Freightliner available with a Cummins engine since 2007. It has the 14.8-litre ISX in-line six running exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), which is available in several ratings: 362kW (485hp), 373kW (500hp), 392kW (525hp), 410kW (550hp) and 448kW (600hp).
The Coronado is also the first model to have the new Detroit Diesel DD engine, which takes over from the elderly Series 60.
It has the 14.8-litre DD15 in-line six cylinder available with three output ratings: 373kW (500hp), 395kW (530hp) and 418kW (560hp).
To keep these new engines running cooler, the Coronado has a massive new radiator that measures 12258 sq cm. It is mounted to the front of the engine, for better efficiency, thanks to the splayed front rails that bend outwards to allow it to sit down low.
Eaton transmissions are available with all engines. Standard fitment is the Roadranger manual, and the AutoShift automated manual with steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles is also available.
The Australian Coronado is different to the US version, and not only because the steering wheel is on the other side of the cabin.
Freightliner is carrying over the cabins from the CST Century Class, but fitting them with different components and using new injection-moulded plastic that provides better fit and finish than the vacuum-moulding plastics of previous versions.
Coronado customers can choose from a day cab or an extensive range of sleepers.
Wabco anti-skid brakes are standard as is a driver’s airbag. Electronic stability control is available.
Masculine: Freightliner believes the testosterone-heavy design will attract buyers who like the look of traditional American trucks.