Then Griff turned up … at last! Scania NTG range is finally here, please form an orderly line at the sales desk

6 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJune 15, 2018

Road Noise News

Unmistakeably Scania but a chunkier look

The opening morning of Fieldays was just as big a day for road transport as it was for the rural sector with the unveiling and official launch of Scania‘s NTG (New Truck Generation) here in New Zealand. The latest of Europe‘s big six to get here, the Scania‘s arrival has been hugely anticipated, due in part to its endless awards and accolades from reviewers overseas, but more so on account of its long and glorious history with operators here in this part of the world.

There‘s no arguing Scania‘s a yardstick brand in New Zealand, and where much was expected even more appears to have been given. The team from CablePrice must be champing at the bit to get it out there, and get in amongst it. By all accounts evaluation units at work here in the hands of dyed in the wool Scania disciples have taken their adoration for the Swedish brand to a new level.

The NTG  trucks are the result of a NZ$3bn cost, and four and half thousand man-years (combined man-hours) worth of development time.

Visually the trucks are an evolution, and certainly unmistakeably Scania to the core. Although more aerodynamic than their predecessor, they present slightly ‘harsher‘ and blockier looks-wise.

G Cab in low varient

The new family comprises S, R, G, P, L, Crew Cab, and XT construction spec. On display were S, R, and G variants, the S cab being the ‘Opulence Prime‘ of the range, with a flat as a pancake floor and a 2070mm standing room. The big cabs are higher than their predecessor but the dash position has been lowered to enhance visibility. On that tangent, there‘s been a huge amount of work around the A pillars and mirrors to afford an unprecedented reduction in the dreaded blind spot that‘s been a real safety concern among the world‘s current line-up of ultra-safe trucks. The driver‘s been moved too: 65mm forward and 20mm closer to the door to be precise, the result of design input from Scania‘s own test driver team. By all accounts the result of this slight repositioning is spectacular.

In regard to fit, finish amenities, material quality and safety, the cabs are typically Scania – meaning nothing needs to be said, apart from reminding people that these trucks have a driver‘s side curtain airbag. Unique to Scania, it deploys from the side, a more than significant safety feature considering Scania representatives told guests that 45% of truck accident fatalities occur in rollover events.

The dash in the opulent S Cab. The completely flat floor allows the pull-out  drawer and fridge combo, although like others in the current Euro genre the fridge is still on the left

Engine-wise there‘s a new 7-litre unit for the P-cab trucks in the 164 to 206kW (220 to 280hp) bracket, pitched more at metro duties, as well as the 9-litre at 206 to 265kW (280 to 360hp); a 13-litre at 302 to 368kW (410 to 500hp); and yes, everyone, the mighty V8 has survived to tell another tale in the annals of trucking history, coming in at 382 to 537kW (520 to 730hp).

Incidentally the 13-litre also has plenty to torque about, producing 2550Nm (1881lb/ft) in the highest power variant. All that can be said about this hugely future-relevant bracket of engines is, let the mouth-watering battle among OEMs begin. Currently all engines in the New Zealand release meet Euro 5 emissions standards, with the V8 offered at Euro 6 also.

There have also been tweaks on the Opticruise AMT with a braking system on the layshaft to enhance upshift times. This allows for quicker and smoother shifts and significantly more opportunity to regain speed following a loaded incline lift-off.

In other directions, Scania is providing air and electrical junctions for ancillary equipment suppliers to tap into, obviating the need to hack into the truck‘s networks to install vocational equipment. Likewise there‘s significant pre-wiring and switchgear for things like rear of cab spotlights. A full suite of deck mount brackets – perfectly matched to pre-drilled chassis holes – is also available to body builders, and this includes draw beams. Each truck has a blueprint available to body builders via a web portal, available upon completion of an online Scania course.