NEW RENAULT TRUCKS RANGE T: LOWER FUEL CONSUMPTION WITH HIGHER PAYLOAD
Renault Trucks Range T is undergoing a major upgrade to help it be even more cost efficient for operators.
Less than three years after its launch and the extremely positive feedback from customers, the Renault Trucks Range T is undergoing a major upgrade to help it be even more cost efficient for operators. The new Range T launched this week will benefit from improvements to the chassis and driveline, enabling it to reduce its fuel consumption by a further 2%, whilst increasing the payload by up to 114 kgs. It is also introducing Optivision, a predictive cruise control system with GPS.
In 2013, Renault Trucks’ Range T began a new age in the history of Renault Trucks. Voted International Truck of the Year 2015, it rapidly asserted itself among customers for the quality of its build and its energy efficiency. Far from resting on its laurels, Renault Trucks is now taking it to another level.
“Customer feedback shows us that the Range T offers unrivalled performance in terms of fuel consumption and driving quality,” explains Nigel Butler, Commercial Director at Renault Trucks UK. “We have been working along three tracks to make our customers even more cost efficient: improve the aerodynamics to reduce fuel consumption, reduce the weight to increase payload and encourage eco-driving by means of a predictive GPS navigation system.”
Improving the aerodynamics involved Renault Trucks drawing upon its most recent work carried out with the experimental Optifuel Lab 2 vehicle. This has led to the new Range T featuring an optional built-in spoiler under the bumper.
“This spoiler can better direct the flow of air passing beneath the truck and considerably reduce aerodynamic disturbance, a potential source of increased consumption,” explains Mike Stringer, Senior Sales Engineer at Renault Trucks UK. “Furthermore, the new Range T introduces a new, lighter roof deflector without any metal framework, enabling the truck to penetrate the air more easily.” Now, depending on the version, customers can now save a further 2% in fuel.
As far as the chassis is concerned, weight saving has become a major priority. Several components have been redesigned or lightened, so that payload can be increased as much as possible to benefit operators. For example, a new drive axle and improvements in the air suspension have reduced vehicle weight by several kilos. Customers now also have the possibility of having their tractors fitted with an aluminium fifth wheel.
“Our approach concerning weight is very similar to the one we have adopted for aerodynamics,” explains Mike Stringer. “Weight reduction is achieved a little at a time, resulting in a significant overall result. In the end, this adds up to customers being able to increase their payload by as much as 114 kgs !”
The DTI 11 and DTI 13 engines have also benefited from an upgrade, enabling them to further improve their combustion and thereby reduce fuel consumption. They all comply with the upcoming Euro-6 Step C standard, which will become mandatory on 31st December 2016.
The most important new feature of these engines is the introduction of the common rail injection system on the DTI 13. “The system’s reliability and efficiency on the 11-litre in terms of fuel savings convinced us that it would be interesting to also apply it to the 13-litre model,” Mike Stringer adds. “Already delivering good performance, the DTI 13 asserts itself as a highly economic solution for operators who operate particularly on undulating roads or carry heavy loads.” The engines are coupled to a new generation of the Optidriver automated manual gearbox.
Apart from the improvements made to the truck itself, Renault Trucks is also launching a range of new services which are also designed to reduce fuel consumption. These include the Optivision predictive cruise control system, which works with the built-in GPS. This makes it possible to adopt a gearshift, acceleration and vehicle speed strategy corresponding to the route being followed.
“When you reach a downhill stretch, for example, the system will make the most out of the vehicle’s inertia,” explains Mike Stringer. “Then, when at the top of the hill, it will stay in the highest and most economic gear as it ‘knows’ the downhill stretch is coming up.”
During each journey, the system records the route, not only that of the truck in question, but also that of all trucks equipped with Optivision that have followed a similar itinerary. Fuel savings can therefore be achieved the very first time a vehicle takes a particular route if another truck using the system has already travelled along it. With the Fuel Eco+ pack, which combines the Fuel Eco pack (inhibited power mode, eco-cruise control with Optiroll freewheel mode control, disengageable air compressor, variable flow steering pump and automatic engine cut-off) and Optivision, operators can reduce their fuel consumption by as much as 5%.
With the new Range T, Renault Trucks is expanding its transport solution offering. With improved payload and more efficient engines as well as services benefiting from the latest innovations in fuel consumption, Renault Trucks is taking a new step forward in its desire to supply its customers with a truck that is a genuine profit centre.