SHORT HAULS

The Advertiser - Motoring - - BIG WHEELS -

A spe­cial edi­tion Dark La­bel Volk­swa­gen Amarok (pic­tured), based on the lux­u­ri­ous High­line spec ute, adds bi-xenon head­lights with LED run­ning lights, matt black sports bar, side steps, black 18-inch al­loy wheels and darker tail-lights and blacked­out bumper, wing mir­ror hous­ings and door han­dles. Inside, the Dark La­bel gets al­can­tara/cloth-lined heated seats. It comes as a TDI400 man­ual for $56,990 or TDI420 au­to­matic for $59,990. What hap­pens when a truck trav­el­ling at 80km/h hits a ter­ror­ist-proof truck bar­rier? It’s not pretty. The truck is de­stroyed in an in­stant; with noth­ing left of the bon­net or the cabin, and it is stopped ef­fec­tively. That is the task of en­gi­neers at Texas A&M Trans­porta­tion In­sti­tute, which has a con­tract to sup­ply the US gov­ern­ment with bar­ri­ers to pro­tect sen­si­tive sites from truck bomb at­tacks. See the su­per slow-mo footage on YouTube — search for “Texas A&M crash video”. Volvo has re­leased a promo video for its com­ing dual clutch au­to­mated man­ual trans­mis­sion. The new gear­box, avail­able in Aus­tralia in a few years, uses the same tech­nol­ogy as the fast-shift­ing dual-clutch gear­boxes in many pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cles. Volvo will be the first man­u­fac­turer to in­tro­duce the tech­nol­ogy for heavy-duty trucks (Mit­subishi Fuso was first to in­tro­duce a dual-clutch gear­box in its cur­rent Can­ter light duty truck). The video, called The Casino, fol­lows a valet driver left with the lat­est au­to­mated Volvo truck, and is avail­able on the company’s YouTube chan­nel. The best truck of the year is not avail­able in Aus­tralia. Re­nault Trucks is cel­e­brat­ing after its Euro6­com­pli­ant T model was an­nounced the best truck of 2015 at the Hanover truck show. Re­nault Trucks is ac­tu­ally owned by Volvo Trucks now and, as a re­sult, shares much of the company’s tech­nol­ogy. The T is based on the Volvo FH hauler, but is fit­ted out with a unique in­te­rior. En­gine op­tions are 11 or 13 litres. For years, Volk­swa­gen Group has been talk­ing about the two truck com­pa­nies it con­trols, Sca­nia and MAN, shar­ing tech­nol­ogy to save money. Fi­nally, this seems likely to hap­pen. From 2016, the truck mak­ers say, they will work to­gether on new, shared gear­boxes us­ing tech­nol­ogy from ZF. Mean­while, MAN will in­stall Sca­nia gear­boxes in its TGS and TGX mod­els from next year.

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