FORD HAS SEEN its name rise to rare heavy-vehicle heights after winning the International Truck of the Year award at the 67th IAA Commercial Vehicles show with its Otosan F-MAX prime mover.
The IAA Commercial Vehicle Show ran from September 20 to 27 in Hanover, Germany.
Based in Turkey, Ford Otosan is a Ford Motor Company-Koç Holding joint venture. According to IAA, the judges marked the F-MAX up for cost due primarily to the vehicle’s “powerful and efficient” 12.7-litre E6D Ecotorq engine.
The new F-MAX was designed and tested by 500 Ford Otosan engineers over a five-year period.
Tests were carried out in 11 countries on four continents using 233 prototype units. This involved 15,500 hours of lab testing and five million kilometres of road testing.
“Saying ‘sharing the load’ as a brand promise, we commit our self to understand customers’ needs and share all kind of load that they might have,” Ford Otosan CEO Haydar Yenigün says. “We developed our new tractor with Ford’s principles of comfort, power, efficiency and technology at its heart.
“To ensure that the design guarantees the most, in terms of efficiency and practicality, we examined every part and every detail over and over again.”
The joint venture has kept a close eye on driver comfort, which may well have swayed their decision. The 2.5m-wide cab flat floor comes with 2,160mm of floor-to-ceiling height. The company claims is cab offers best-in-class noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and interior quietness “thanks to its best-inclass torsional cab stiffness, lower engine noise and sound absorptive trim design”.
Powered interior lightning controls from the bed area and driver compartment, automatic climate control systems and steering wheel adjustment features all offer comfort in the cabin.
A mini fridge and coffee maker included in some models offer drivers additional comfort.
To keep bones from weariness, drivers get a seat with breathable fabric and ergonomic design, 260mm of seat adjustment along with a 90 degree foldable upper bed, an inclined head frame on the lower bed, comfortable and large mattresses, and a remote control unit in the bed area, which provides an ideal area for drivers to relax when taking a break.
The Ecotorq engine, which the truckmaker says is the “first and only truck engine developed from scratch and made in Turkey”, boasts 2500Nm and 400kW. Technical features include E-APU technology, eco-roll function, and predictive cruise control (Max Cruise). Up to seven per cent is claimed in reduced maintenance costs and long service intervals reduce the total cost of ownership.
Ecotorq is mated with a 12-speed ZF automated transmission and different drive modes such as Eco-Mode and Power-Mode.
The IT is also to the fore in the F-MAX design. Central to this is ConnecTruck, which offers wideranging benefits. These include remote monitoring of the vehicle using remote diagnostic and overthe-air software.
“The special topographic map means that F-MAX is able to analyse road conditions, allowing the vehicle to drive at optimum speeds, thereby reducing fuel consumption by up to four per cent,” the company says. “Fleet management systems integration allows the ConnecTruck Module and Ford Trucks cloud to act as a data gateway for thirdparty fleet management systems to access selected vehicle data,” the company says.
The F-MAX offers driver assistance in the forms of adaptive cruise control, predictive cruise control (max cruise) with speed tolerance choices, advanced emergency brake system, hill launch assist, lane departure warning, adjustable speed limiter device and electronic stability control.
The eight-inch thin-filmtransistor liquid-crystal display colour-wide cluster screen “allows everything from tyre pressure and temperature status to driver evaluation functions to be displayed on the same screen”.
“Control switches on the leather steering wheel allows the driver to navigate between cluster screens. Truck-specific embedded navigation, web link and Apple CarPlay implementation, and Bluetooth connection functions are presented within the 7.2-inch LCD multimedia soft touch screen.”
Also at the show, Ford unveiled the F-Vision Future Truck, a fully electrically-powered concept truck that was a first for Ford Trucks International, and a level 4 autonomous truck prototype. The concept model points to the manufacturer’s direction on electrification, autonomous and connected drive, lightweight manufacture and zero carbon emission products. “It cares about humans’ priorities both inside the cab and on the road, as well as the load being carried, and aims constantly to connect with the environment and users and communicates,” it says.
Above: The Turkish-built Ford Otosan F-MAX prime mover – voted the International Truck of the Year at Hanover, Germany
Below: Ford unveiled its F-Vision Future Truck at IAA Hanover