Ital­ian stal­lions

Iveco has its eyes firmly on our roads — and off them

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Working Wheels - JAMES STAN­FORD james.stan­ford@cars­guide.com.au

IVECO is pre­par­ing for a big year in 2013. The Ital­ian com­pany, one of the few brands with a pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity in Aus­tralia, in­tro­duced a heavy-duty road-train-ready lo­cally made Pow­er­star 7800 this year.

But Iveco is look­ing to Europe for a big boost next year. It will bring at least two ma­jor Euro­pean trucks to Aus­tralia later in the year, the new Stralis on-high­way cabover and the new Trakker, its go-any­where off-road spe­cial­ist.

Iveco pre­sented both of the trucks for the first time to the pub­lic at Oc­to­ber’s Hanover com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle show.

The tar­mac-friendly Stralis will be the big­gest seller but the off-road Trakker has a cru­cial role to play given the strong de­mand in con­struc­tion and min­ing for a truck not lim­ited to well-made roads.

The new Trakker takes on the new cabin that was first seen when Iveco pre­sented the new­gen­er­a­tion Stralis.

The cab features a more mod­ern de­sign, with a fresh front-end styling that in­cludes re­vised air scoops at each side of the cabin. A chunky new sin­gle-piece grille re­places a two-piece unit and the mid­dle of the top grille edge is re­cessed to give the Iveco badge greater promi­nence. The lead­ing edge of the cab is now made from a sin­gle piece, rather than the two pieces of the pre­vi­ous trucks.

The Trakker re­tains the same door de­sign of the pre­vi­ous truck.

It’s a dif­fer­ent story on the in­side, where sig­nif­i­cant changes have been made.

The new Trakker features new door back­ing, dash­board, fresh seats and also over­head con­soles.

Its dash­board has been re­shaped and the cen­tre now pro­trudes, wrap­ping around the driver. A bank of dash­board switches is far more ac­ces­si­ble and a large flat sec­tion atop the dash­board has a rub­ber mat de­signed to hold a range of items. Iveco says re­designed stor­age com­part­ments will bet­ter hold doc­u­ments, tablet com­put­ers and maps.

A new in­stru­ment clus­ter is not only easy to read but also has a bet­ter qual­ity look— Iveco says the new in­te­rior plas­tics are non-re­flec­tive and are made from a ma­te­rial that is ‘‘ pleas­ant to the touch’’.

It has fit­ted the truck out with ad­vanced seats, in­clud­ing an op­tional pew that has a heat­ing and ven­ti­lat­ing func­tion.

There are two cabs. The Hi­Land is the short day-cab with a low roof and the Hi-Track is the longer sleeper cab with high or low roof.

All Trakkers run Cur­sor six­cylin­der en­gines, 8.0 or 13.0 litres, with out­puts from 224kW (300hp) to 373kW (500hp). A more ad­vanced Euro VI ver­sion of the Cur­sor is avail­able in the Stralis in Europe but the Trakker con­tin­ues with the Euro V ver­sion.

Iveco Aus­tralia was not in­ter­ested in the Euro VI ver­sion— trucks in Aus­tralia will not be re­quired to match the Euro VI stan­dard for sev­eral years.

An ‘‘ in­tarder’’, which uses the trans­mis­sion to slow the truck, saves us­ing the ser­vice brakes.

Four ZF trans­mis­sions are avail­able, nine and 16-speed man­u­als and 12 and 16-speed au­to­mat­ics.

The cab-over Trakker is the sta­ple of Team De Rooy, set to com­pete in Jan­uary’s Dakar Rally. Heav­ily mod­i­fied ver­sions of the Trakker fin­ished sec­ond and sixth in this year’s event and a truck loosely based on an Aus­tralian Pow­er­star bon­neted rig won the gru­elling event.

Dirty and dusty: Trakkers for off-high­way work (top); com­forts of the day cab (left); and Miki Bi­a­sion in this year’s Dakar Rally

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