It gets a new du­al­clutch au­to­mated trans­mis­sion, writes James Stan­ford

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Big Wheels -

ABRAND-NEW Can­ter has been launched in Ja­pan and is headed for Aus­tralia. The in­no­va­tive light-duty hauler will be pre­sented for the first time to the Aus­tralian pub­lic at the Bris­bane Truck Show in May and go on sale soon af­ter.

De­spite its name sug­gest­ing oth­er­wise, Mit­subishi Fuso is ac­tu­ally owned by the mas­sive Daim­ler group, which also owns Freight­liner, Mercedes Benz and Western Star, and the new Can­ter ben­e­fits from be­ing part of the fam­ily.

Daim­ler has given the Ja­panese brand the re­sources and re­spon­si­bil­ity to lead light-truck devel­op­ment for the en­tire group, which is a ring­ing en­dorse­ment of its tech­ni­cal ca­pa­bil­ity.

Mit­subishi Fuso is also tak­ing ad­van­tage of the mas­sive economies of scale that come with be­ing part of the world’s largest truck­mak­ing op­er­a­tion and will also source up to 50 per cent of the new truck from out­side Ja­pan, which also helps it counter the ef­fect of the ris­ing yen.

The first Can­ter was in­tro­duced in March 1963 be­fore Ja­pan was con­sid­ered a se­ri­ous ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­turer and the truck is now the best-sell­ing prod­uct in the en­tire Daim­ler sta­ble.

The new model brings a fresh new look, but also in­tro­duces new technology to the truck mar­ket.

It has been launched in Ja­pan with a new dual-clutch au­to­mated trans­mis­sion.

The good news is that the au­to­mated shifter, called Duonic, is go­ing to be avail­able on Aus­tralian Can­ters.

It is stan­dard on all Ja­panese

The good news is that the au­to­mated shifter, called Duonic, is go­ing to be avail­able on Aus­tralian Can­ters.

trucks, but Aus­tralian cus­tomers will also be able to se­lect a cheaper man­ual gear­box.

Dual clutch trans­mis­sions are be­ing rolled out through the car in­dus­try and are pop­u­lar be­cause of their rapid gearshifts and im­proved fuel ef­fi­ciency.

A dual clutch sys­tem is an au­to­mated man­ual, but i s more ad­vanced than a tra­di­tional au­to­mated man­ual gear­box with a sin­gle clutch.

This sys­tem can pre-se­lect the next gear (which it guesses us­ing its com­plex elec­tronic brain) so it is ready to go by the time it is time to change from the cur­rent one.

The Duonic uses a non-wear­ing wet clutch, which Mit­subishi Fuso says low­ers main­te­nance costs by do­ing away with the need to re­place worn clutch discs.

Au­to­mated man­u­als, in­clud­ing dual clutch units, can be a pain at low speeds be­cause of clumsy clutch re­lease, which can be a real prob­lem when you are try­ing to park in a load­ing bay.

En­gi­neers fit­ted the trans­mis­sion with a creeper mode so driv­ers can ease back and forth as they would with a reg­u­lar au­to­matic gear­box.

It has six for­ward gears and one re­verse gear and presents as a reg­u­lar au­to­matic trans­mis­sion with a lock­able Park mode.

Driv­ers can leave the trans­mis­sion in reg­u­lar au­to­matic mode and let it do the work or use it man­u­ally with a se­quen­tial shifter.

Mit­subishi Fuso has also done a lot of work in the en­gine lab and has re­placed the ex­ist­ing 4.9-litre diesel en­gine with a new, smaller unit with fuel econ­omy in mind.

The fresh 16 valve 3.0-litre four­cylin­der now adopts piezo in­jec­tors for its com­mon rail fu­elling sys­tem for more ac­cu­rate in­jec­tion.

The Ja­panese Can­ter uses 8-10 per cent less diesel than the last Ja­panese-spec model and Mit­subishi Fuso says is the most ef­fi­cient truck in its class.

Up­grade: a new Can­ter is com­ing to Aus­tralia with an au­to­mated shifter called Duonic.

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