INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana. Seeking to capitalize on a trend among medium-duty truck owners, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America, a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks, has introduced a gasoline-powered Class 5 cabover truck to the North American market. It is the first gas-powered Class 5 cabover, the company said, and is in response to customer demands seeking simplified vehicle solutions.
“As we see it, the gas truck is becoming the new standard in Classes 3 to 5,” said Bryan Allen manager of marketing and communications for Mitsubishi Fuso.
The truck, a model FE180, features General Motor’s (NYSE: GM) 6-liter, V8 engine producing 297 horsepower and 361-lbs.-ft. of torque with Allison (NYSE: ALSN) 1000 transmission. The Allison transmission features FuelSense 2.0 technology, which utilizes DynActive shifting for a fuel economy improvement of between 2 percent and 6 percent. The transmission is PTO-capable.
Fuso offers gasoline-powered cabover trucks in Classes 3 and 4. Like the Class 4 product introduced last year, the FE180 features a free year of Verizon Connect telematics.
Standard elements on the truck include electro-coated frame rails to increase the overall durability of the frame and 19.5-inch tires standard.
Payload capacity is 11,885 pounds.
“We understand from our research that many diesel Class 5 truck owners want increased power allowing for more payload,” said Justin Palmer, president and CEO, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America. “Later this year, customers will have this option when our new FE180 gas comes to dealerships.”
The truck will be built at Daimler sister company Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation’s plant in Gaffney, South Carolina.
Bill Lyons, vice president of sales and operations, said that more medium-duty customers are turning to gas due to the complexity of diesel systems that require aftertreatment systems.
“Our customers are not truck drivers,” he said, and they see diesel as overly complicated.
Palmer said Fuso’s product trajectory is the correct one, noting the eCanter all-electric truck that is now in three global markets. This year marks the fourth year in a row Mitsubishi Fuso has shown an electric truck at the Work Truck Show.
“I walked the floor yesterday and I have to say, Fuso is going in the right direction,” he said. “The proof of this is that others are now doing the things … we started doing some time ago.”
He then pointed to Fuso’s electric truck innovations and the introduction of gas models.
“Why are we doing it?,” he asked. “Because the customers are asking for it, and now others are starting to copy us.”
The 2020 model-year FE180 will be available in the fourth quarter of this year.