The power of six

Sca­nia comes up with a smart in­line num­ber

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Working Wheels -

CAR buy­ers might be mov­ing away from big six-cylin­der en­gines but they are still a favourite among truck driv­ers.

Sca­nia is prob­a­bly best known for its head­line V8 hero engine but its range of six-pot units gets the bulk of the work done.

The com­pany has just re­leased a mod­u­lar in­line six in Aus­tralia and Cars­guide has man­aged to give it a work­out on a test run.

This new six-cylin­der engine, along with a new five­cylin­der, now cleans up its emis­sions with se­lec­tive cat­alytic re­duc­tion (SCR), us­ing AdBlue diesel ex­haust treat­ment fluid.

Sca­nia be­lieved SCR was only needed for its V8s, which tend to run hot­ter, at high speeds with heavy loads, and felt ex­haust gas re­cir­cu­la­tion (EGR) did the job on its five­and six-cylin­der units. It has con­cluded SCR is the best so­lu­tion for all its en­gines.

The new en­gines get the lat­est SCR tech­nol­ogy, with re­vised AdBlue in­jec­tors for bet­ter con­trol and im­proved re­li­a­bil­ity. The good news for my test drive pas­sen­ger and me is that the new engine is also avail­able with Sca­nia’s twope­dal Op­ti­cruise 14-speed au­to­mated trans­mis­sion, which means no gear crunch­ing on my be­half.

This is the next step along from the three-pedal au­to­mated trans­mis­sion, which would re­quire clutch use only when you get started and come to a halt.

I don’t think I’mthe only one who got caught out by this older sys­tem, as it was easy to for­get the clutch was needed when pulling up at traf­fic lights be­cause it isn’t needed for gear changes.

Our test truck is the small and low-rid­ing P-Se­ries cab, which is send­ing power through one axle. The engine is the 324kW (440hp) ver­sion of the 12.7-litre six with 2300Nm of torque and is the most pow­er­ful engine avail­able for the P-Se­ries cab.

The 12.7L is also avail­able in power out­puts run­ning from 265kW (360hp) through to 353kW (480hp) al­though the high­est rated engine is only avail­able with larger cab mod­els.

Our sin­gle trailer com­bi­na­tion weighs 37 tonnes all up but you wouldn’t think that when it comes to haul­ing up hills. The new SCR en­gines lose noth­ing to the old EGR units and there is plenty of torque low down to ease along, us­ing the least amount of fuel. The gear­box works ex­tremely well left in au­to­matic but switch­ing to man­ual for hilly ter­rain is the best way to keep fuel use down.

Our truck is fit­ted with the driver train­ing ap­pli­ca­tion that rates your changes, an­tic­i­pa­tion and ac­cel­er­a­tor op­er­a­tion. It gives you points for pos­i­tive driv­ing and, though this all sounds a bit silly, it does en­cour­age driv­ers to think about what they are do­ing.

This gear­box runs quite a tall diff ra­tio, which means it chugs along at a rel­a­tively low engine speed of 1400rpm at 100km/h.

Sca­nia has loads of safety gear in­clud­ing the lane de­par­ture warn­ing, a buzzing sound if you move out of your lane. In the­ory it should help a doz­ing driver wake up but if the driver has enough time to avert a crash will need to be seen in the field.

Adap­tive cruise con­trol, which main­tains a safe dis­tance be­tween your truck and ve­hi­cles in front, is avail­able, as is elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol.

There’s cruise con­trol and down­hill cruise con­trol, that brings on the trans­mis­sion re­tarder and engine brake to keep the truck at a set speed down hills with­out us­ing the reg­u­lar brakes.

James Stan­ford

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