I may well get shot down in flames by some truck manufacturers for saying this but if you want a benchmark against which to measure superior cab features and driver comfort, you need look no further than Scania cabs. The good news is that from April this year, things got a whole lot better with the R Series taking on a new look both inside and out.
From the outside, the new ‘˜R’ range has a more aerodynamic cab profile with a bigger front grill area that increases fuel efficiency and also directs 25% more airflow around the engine for better cooling. It also has a larger logo, new bumper design and lowdrag side-skirts. Also new on the ‘˜R’ is LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL).
Let’s now pop inside the cab to the driver station which features a new centre storage console, new steering wheel switches and layout and both doors now have large storage bins, red night reflectors and a step illuminator light. The ‘˜R’ also has new audio and navigation options, driver’s side sunvisor and an intuitive central locking remote. The cab interior also features a new, super-comfortable, extendable 90cm-wide main bed with 15cmhigh pocket springs. The upper bed is lightweight and 70cm wide. There’s also a new fold-out table and stowable coffee maker. The interior ceiling lights now include low-intensity ‘˜red glow’ nightdriving lighting to illuminate the cab interior without affecting the driver’s night vision. The new interior design features new styling with a soft-touch dashboard and a choice of material and colour combinations in sand, brown and grey for upholstery, textiles, trim panels, dashboard, steering wheel and mats. Apart from all this, the ‘˜R’s new onboard Driver Support System is capable of providing a continuous and pro-active assessment of a driver out on the road, rating fuel consumption, driving efficiency and overall ‘˜road craft’ with a simple star rating system which encourages a driver to excel.
Making driving easier is the revamped Opticruise automated gear-shifting system which offers faster, smoother and more intelligent shifting for both 2-pedal (150% faster) ‘˜automatic’ and 3-pedal (80% faster) ‘˜manual’ versions of the new R-Series. It also features an inclinometer that analyses road topography to anticipate optimum gear-change timing both up and downhill. (See FleetWatch September 2010 edition for more on the Opti-Cruise). In addition to the standard models, Scania also launched the new R580 V8 6×4 Highline tractor in a stunning Limited Edition ‘˜bling’ version to customers , and this one really takes the cake. “Scania’s V8 truck customers fall into three groups: Power, Passion or Performance and our Limited Edition R580 V8 6×4 tractor is firmly aimed at those with passion. This is the ultimate Scania V8 for all our diehard V8 customers,’ says Alec Mack, Scania southern Africa’s national sales director. Without going into all the features, suffice to say that the interior is truly spectacular with a two-tone leather covered steering wheel, leather seats with embossed griffin logos and integral armrests as well as threeleather and fabric upholstery with leather window sill elbow pads. Eieesh! Bring it on!