Big moves

In April 2023, Features13 MinutesBy Gavin MyersMay 19, 2023

Bye-bye, Stralis. Move over, X-Way. Welcome, S-Way (and T-Way). It’s possibly one of the most significant product launches in recent memory for an OEM in New Zealand, and Iveco is determined to make it count.

Fans of Euro trucks rejoice! No.5 of six has arrived! Or course, I’m referring to Iveco’s latest generation of heavy trucks, the S-Way and T-Way. If my maths is right, after Volvo introduced its Series 5 trucks about a year ago and Penske discreetly slipped MAN’s Next Generation onto showroom floors a few months ago, only DAF is left to replace a product that’s been around a while.

But we’re not here to talk about its German, Swedish or Dutch rivals; now, we introduce a new generation of Italy’s finest. Like the new MAN and (new-generation European) DAF, the S-Way replaces a model line-up that can trace its roots back a couple of decades… or so. What’s more, New Zealand has had the honour of hosting the region’s first reveal of the new models.

Rugged T-Way looks ready for action, next to the streamlined S-Way.

So, let’s get straight into it – what’s the latest generation Iveco all about? First off, the S-Way is a direct replacement for the Stralis and, latterly, X-Way. Its rugged T-Way sibling replaces the Trakker. S-Way debuted in Europe in 2019, with the T-Way following a couple of years later.

While it’s not an entirely new platform, says the managing director of Iveco Australia and New Zealand, Michael May, the S-Way (and by inference, the T-Way) combines a new cab with a “tried and tested” driveline with enhanced performance. Added to this is a focus on comfort and safety features. “The combined package brings these trucks up to the next level for us in the market,” adds May.

“Their introduction into the New Zealand market has been a project four years in the making, allowing extensive local pre-launch testing to occur while providing a suitable timeframe to strategically bolster our aftersales dealer support for the model range. S-Way significantly broadens our product offering to existing Iveco customers and will also attract new owners to the brand. We’re extremely excited by its release.”

Pieter Theron, Iveco New Zealand truck sales manager, introduces the new models.

Finely tailored

“Looks like a Scania.”
“Looks like a Volvo.”
“Looks like a Freightliner.”
Um, we’re not sure about that last one, but those views are a taste of the online sentiment levied against the S-Way. Let’s be honest, a truck cab is just a box – and there are only so many ways you can restyle a box. Designers of cabover models probably have a tougher time of it, too, with fewer pronounced features to work with.

Regardless… sure, you may see lines in one manufacturer’s design similar to lines in others, but – trust us on this – the S-Way is far more distinctive in person than its images may lead you to think. It’s a design executed with typical Italian flair and detail, and you only get the full effect in the metal.

The grille is the main event, available in various finishes, such as matte chrome, depending on model. There’s even a customisable fibre-optic version that can be controlled with the MyIveco Easy Way app. The headlights are full LED across the range and feature cornering and bending functions. The new bumper is a three-piece design covered by eight easy-to-replace panels, reducing the cost of repair. Its slim design and upswept wind deflectors on the extreme edges are functional and add real character.

Moving up, the ‘high-efficiency’ A-pillars are impressively slim and, because they’re black, the glasshouse has a neat wrap-around visor look to it. But they’re also functional, designed to improve outward visibility, reduce wind noise and direct dirty air away from the side windows.

Similarly, the new ‘high-efficiency’ mirror housings are designed to minimise air resistance on their forward-facing side while optimising the view provided by their rear-facing side.

It all comes together and sits like a finely tailored suit – sharp but comfortable, not an awkward pinch in sight, a joy for the eye to take in. And, interestingly, the effect is much the same whether you’re talking about the AS or AT sleeper cabs, the AD short cab, or any high-, medium- or low-roof variation of the three. Drivers on the long haul will appreciate the AS high-roof’s 2.15m standing height and double bunks, the upper of which can be adapted as a luggage compartment.

Enhanced efficiency

Most importantly, the new cab design has resulted in a 13.5% aerodynamic improvement. This combines with an enhanced range of Cursor engines and advanced fuel-saving mechanisms to improve fuel efficiency by up to 3%.

The Cursor 9, 11 and 13 all feature in various states of tune. S-Way operators can choose power outputs between 265kW (360hp)/1650Nm, 338kW (460hp)/2150Nm, and 425kW (570hp)/2500Nm. The T-Way, meanwhile, offers up 268kW (360hp), 305kW (410hp), 335kW (450hp) and 380kW (510hp) versions. All are coupled to ZF transmissions, the TraXon 12-speed AMT or 16-speed manual, depending on the model application.

Iveco’s Hi-SCR passively treats exhaust gasses while driving without the need for EGR and allows all drivetrains to meet the Euro-6e emission standard, which requires vehicles to be 100% emissions-compliant from a cold start.

Eco Mode Plus and Eco Fleet allow the vehicle to be locked in its most fuel-efficient mode and prevent manual gear shifts. The Hi-Cruise GPS predictive driving system integrates driving assistance functions such as eco-roll, predictive gear shifting and predictive cruise control using state-of-the-art GPS mapping technology, assessing the road ahead and adapting the drivetrain for optimal fuel consumption. Finally, an anti-idling feature automatically shuts off the engine, avoiding long periods of idling.

The S-Way offers an improved range of versatility and is available in 4×2, 6×2, 6×4, 8×4 and, for the first time, 10×4 with lifting and steering tag axle.

“We’ve kept the range quite simplistic. The combination of driveline configurations is a winner and one we’ve never had before,” says Iveco New Zealand truck sales manager Pieter Theron.

The off-road-biased T-Way range is offered in 4×4, 6×6, 6×4 and 8×4 configurations.

“The Trakker was a winner for us in the South Island. Hopefully, we can gain more market share in the North Island with the T-Way,” says Theron. “The T-Way is suitable for severe off-road applications, and the 410hp model is a benchmark in this sector.”

Comfort and convenience

“It’s all about the driver,” May says. “The range has been designed and built to deliver top performance, comfort and safety.”

Indeed, both the S-Way and T-Way are impressively spec’d out of the box. For example, all models get a standard 50-litre fridge and 50-litre freezer, as well as air-suspended heated seats. Of course, there are myriad standard-fit features available depending on the model – for instance, standard napa leather upholstery on all 570s.

Iveco says connectivity was a key consideration. A 7in infotainment system incorporates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, voice recognition, and in-built Tom Tom satellite navigation. Voice assist powered by Amazon Alexa is optional.

Similarly, Iveco Telematics is standard equipment. Upon subscription, features include MYIVECO Smart report, MYIVECO Web portal and mobile app, MYIVECO vehicle monitoring and remote assistance, and the MYIVECO Easy Way app, a driver-assessment system that can be accessed via the mobile app.

Standard safety and driver-assist equipment comprises ABS with advanced emergency braking system (AEBS), ESP and ASR, adaptive cruise control (ACC), and lane-departure warning system (LDWS).

All models carry ECE-R29 cab-strength certification and are equipped for ECE-R93 front underrun protection.

Iveco offers tailored service and maintenance plans for up to seven years or 1,000,000km on the S-Way. All S-Way models for on-road applications have a 75,000km or 1500-hour/12-month service interval. A shorter interval of 25,000km or 500 hours applies for vehicles for off-road applications. To enable drivers to get the most from the new trucks, TR Master Drive has been contracted to offer driver training.

Good things

Even before we received our invites to the launch of the S-Way and T-Way, we knew these models would be worth the wait. Indeed, they’ve been a long time coming, and the platform isn’t new from headlamp to tail light. But, on first acquaintance, it seems Iveco New Zealand has introduced a well-rounded range that is sure to please brand devotees and pique the interest of others.

“We’re thrilled to have now launched the award-winning Iveco S-Way in New Zealand. The model has proven very successful in global markets and we know the range will deliver Kiwi operators many benefits, including greater productivity, high level safety and technology features, increased comfort and lower total cost of ownership – all wrapped in a visually stunning package,” comments Barry Woods, Iveco New Zealand dealer principal.

*At the same time as this issue went to print, Dave McCoid was over in Melbourne having a drive of the S-Way. Next month, his impressions from behind the wheel.