New Fuso really fits the bill
Japan’s truck giant hopes its innovations have a big impact
A LEANER engine and a smart new automated gearbox are the stand-out features of the new Mitsubishi Fuso Canter range.
The Japanese truck maker will introduce its allimportant 2011 Canter in Australia next month. It features fresh technology and the promise of lower running costs, thanks to a more efficient engine and transmission, as well as increased driver comfort.
Fuso will expand its line-up from 17 to 38 models including factory-fitted tippers, crew cabs and a 3500kg gross vehicle mass machine pitched as the next step up from a one-tonne ute for tradies.
The company, which has long played on the width of its cabs using the ‘‘not so squeezy’’ tag-line, has bought seven narrow-cab models into its line-up to give operators more choice, including a six-seater crew cab that can be driven on a car licence.
There are new interiors on all models. Fuso has introduced driver and passenger airbags as standard equipment as well as a driver’s suspension seat in all but narrow-cab models.
Mitsubishi Fuso technical manager Kevin Johnston says: ‘‘It has a little bit less torque but a flat torque curve so the driving experience will be very similar.’’
The new engine is more advanced and runs a variable geometry turbocharger and piezo injection which allows for better fuel control and more efficient combustion. The smaller capacity also brings weight savings and Fuso says the Canter is roughly 200kg lighter than Japanese rivals, allowing operators to carry more within weight limits.
A diesel particulate filter, which burns off soot at super-high temperatures at regular intervals, has been introduced to help meet new emission standards.
Transmissions are a fivespeed manual transmission or a new automated box, a first for trucks. It is effectively a six-speed manual gearbox with two automated clutches to handle the changes. This allows the pre-selection of the next gear which means a far faster shift than the previous automated transmission but it also has a manual over-ride mode.
Fuso says it is based on a regular Fuso manual and can be serviced easily as it doesn’t need to be sent to a third party. It will be a cheaper option than an equivalent automatic gearbox and will be available on all models except 4x4s.
The Canter has independent front suspension for models up to 6000kg using coil-over shock absorbers, which gives the truck a more car-like feel than a rigid front end set-up.
Disc brakes are fitted front and rear and the dual caliper at the front works with the standard anti-lock brake system with electronic brake distribution.
Fuso doesn’t plan to introduce electronic stability control in the short term for Canter.
The interior upgrade includes new-look plastics, fresh instruments and overhead compartments to store documents. The American arm of Fuso said its customers wanted a lockable compartment on the passenger side of the dashboard to store a handgun and this has been included in all models. There is also a new colour information screen to display trip information including average fuel consumption, service intervals and even the state of the diesel particulate filter and when it might require a manual burnoff.
Fuso says the new Canter has class-leading service intervals of 30,000km.
Safety first: ThenewFuso Canter range includes airbags for the driver and passenger