Ma­cho mean

The ag­gres­sive-look­ing, heavymetal Coron­ado is built tough, writes James Stan­ford

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Big Wheels -

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.

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