Heavy Duty Trucking

NOV 2014

The Fleet Business Authority

Issue link: https://heavydutytrucking.epubxp.com/i/413586

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Page 47 of 125

46 HDT • NOVEMBER 2014 www.truckinginfo.com fleets looking for a unique look and brand, along with fleets looking for a premium reward truck for their drivers as the target market for the 5700XE. "We won't sell a lot of these trucks to fleets looking for a low-cost, cookie-cutter truck," she says. "We're positioning this as a truck that will set the customer off from the competition while delivering top fuel efficiency and outstanding total cost of ownership." The design phase was an interesting exercise. Designers had an iconic brand and distinctive style to work with, which generally demands a light touch with the brush. The 5700XE's chief designer, Don Vena, held many design clinics with top customers to ensure they'd be satisfied with the result, but he certainly left a bold stroke of his own on the truck. "Western Star has always been unique, so I never wanted to deviate from that," he says. "With the push for aerodynamics there comes the thought that it needs to look like a jelly bean. I just don't see Western Star ever having that kind of vehicle." He says the design priority was maintaining the traditional Western Star proportions; the cycle fenders, the rectangular headlights, the raised center section on the hood, and, of course, the vertical grille bars and the sun visor. Vena incorporated all those elements in the 5700XE, but pulled them forward with more contemporary styling. The rectangular headlights are still there, but now they are projector-beam lamps with LED brows and a three- piece modular design for lower replace- ment costs. Two particular design elements con- tribute further to the styling, but also the aero performance, Vena says. The bumper end caps, he says, are absolutely necessary to the aero performance, routing the air around the front wheel well and over the top of the fender. "Without the end caps, the aerody- namics just fall apart," he says. The sun visor, an essential part of the classic look, is also highly func- tional. It was designed to help channel air flow up and over the cab roof. It's also aero neutral, which means the air doesn't see it. "It contributes no drag at all," Vena says. And the truck is loaded with bright work and stainless steel trim, including the grille surround and the grille bars. Vena says that was non-negotiable in the design process. "It's a pride of ownership for these folks," he says. "They love to have the bright work on the vehicle. While we were designing the side fairings and body molding we made provisions to be able to dress it up." test drive I suppose if aerodynamics was the 100% prime focus of this design — or any truck design for that matter — you'd have a truck that looked like a jelly bean or an egg. That may be the optimum aero shape, but who'd really want to own a truck that looked like an egg? If the aero work on this truck is effective as its designers say it is, it'll earn its keep. But when it comes to fuel efficiency, the aero package gets a lot of help from the proven Detroit powertrain. Powertrain & safety features Since the 5700EX will only be offered with a Detroit engine, a high degree of chassis and powertrain optimization was possible. Custom- ers will have their choice of DD13, DD15 or DD16 engines and a choice of DT12 automated manual or several Eaton Fuller manual trans- missions. The really fuel-economy conscious customer can opt for the integrated Detroit Powertrain with a feature set called Intelligent Pow- ertrain Management. This has a downsped DD15 engine rated at 400 hp and 1,750 lb-ft mated to a DT12 direct-drive transmission with IPM and either Detroit 6x4 drive axles with a 2.41:1 ratio, or a Detroit 6x2 setup with a 2.28:1 ratio. The 5700XE is unmistakably Western Star, with contemporary automotive styling. The engine-mounted air filter canister draws air from two hood- mounted intakes. Gone are the fuel-sucking external canisters.

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