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Renault upgrades heavy-duty Trucks T for lower fuel consumption, higher payload

Less than three years after its launch and positive feedback from customers, Renault is upgrading the heavy-duty Trucks T to help it be even more cost efficient for its users. The 2016 version of the T benefits from improvements to the chassis and driveline, enabling it to reduce its consumption by up to a further 2%, while at the same time increasing the payload by up to 114 kg (251 lbs). It is also introducing Optivision, a predictive cruise control system with GPS.

Renault pursued three main tracks in the upgrade, in addition to basic engine efficiency improvements: improving the aerodynamics to reduce fuel consumption; reducing the weight to increase payload; and encouraging eco-driving by means of a predictive GPS navigation system, said Sophie Rivière, the Long Haul segment manager at Renault Trucks

Improving the aerodynamics involved Renault Trucks drawing upon its most recent work carried out with the experimental Optifuel Lab 2 vehicle. (Earlier post.) This has led to the T 2016, 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. Furthermore, this new T introduces a new, lighter roof deflector without any metal framework, enabling the truck to penetrate the air more easily.

—Sophie Rivière

Depending on the version, customers can save a further 2% of fuel compared with the current vehicle.

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. 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 kg.

—Sophie Rivière

The DTI 11 and DTI 13 engines have also benefited from an upgrade, enabling them to further improve their combustion and thereby reduce consumption. They all comply with the upcoming Euro 6 step C standard, which becomes mandatory on 31 December 2016.

These engines’ most important new feature is the introduction of the common rail injection system on the DTI 13. The system’s reliability and efficiency on the 11 L in terms of fuel savings convinced Renault us that it would be interesting to also apply it to the 13 L model, Rivière said.

The engines are coupled to a new generation of the Optidriver automated manual gearbox.

Apart from the improvements made to the truck itself, at the same time Renault Trucks is launching a range of new services which are also designed to reduce fuel consumption.

These include the Optivision predictive cruise control system, now connected with a GPS. This makes it possible to adopt a gearshift, acceleration and vehicle speed strategy corresponding to the route being followed.

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, hauliers can reduce these vehicles’ consumption by as much as 5%.


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