Mitsubishi Fuso rolls out Canter Class 3-5 cabover line

INDIANAPOLIS. Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America, Inc. (MFTA) debuted its all-new Fuso Canter FE/FG Series trucks here at the NTEA Work Truck Show. The new trucks bring Mitsubishi’s Canter name to its North American trucks for the first time. The OEM noted that applying its long-standing global branding to these 2012MY trucks reflects its view that the new Class 3-5 cabover models “represent the future of transport technology in North America

INDIANAPOLIS. Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America, Inc. (MFTA) debuted its all-new Fuso Canter FE/FG Series trucks here at the NTEA Work Truck Show. The new trucks bring Mitsubishi’s Canter name to its North American trucks for the first time. The OEM noted that applying its long-standing global branding to these 2012 MY trucks reflects its view that the new Class 3-5 cabover models “represent the future of transport technology in North America.”

Even more emphatic, Todd Bloom, MFTA president & CEO, told Fleet Owner that the Canter line is a “game-changer—we’re using a smaller displacement [3.0-liter diesel] engine in Class 3-5 that’s matched to an AMT [automated manual transmission] to deliver both better fuel efficiency and longer service intervals…[With these trucks] we’re positioning ourselves clearly for cost-conscious owners.”

Bloom said that across the board, the new cabover lineup boasts enhancements and upgrades and the five models, which span Class 3 through 5, “address virtually every vocational need from dry freight, refrigerated delivery, landscaping and delicate cargo transport to auto recovery, municipal roadwork and snow plowing.”

The line’s standard chassis designs for Class 3-5 are designated the Canter FE125, Canter FE160 and Canter FE180. There is also a seven-passenger crew cab model, the Canter FE160CC, as well as “the only 4WD medium duty cabover in the industry, the FG4X4.”

Bloom stated that the rollout reflects the “most extensive redesign we’ve undertaken in seven years. We had to develop new drivetrains to meet EPA 2010 regulations, of course. But we asked our designers and engineers to go beyond that, and to put everything they’ve learned about powertrain technology and efficiency into the new Canter FE/FG series. The resulting trucks don't just represent an incremental improvement over our previous models. The 2012 models represent a new approach to the technology of transporting goods by truck, and they are specifically designed to deliver lower cost of ownership."

See photos from the NTEA Work Truck Show.

The complete new Canter model lineup by GVW Class and GVWR:

Weight Class

Model

GVWR ( lbs)

Class 3

Canter FE125

12,500

Class 4

Canter FE160

15,995

Class 4

Canter FE160 Crew Cab

15,995

Class 4

Canter FG4X4

14,050

Class 5

Canter FE180

17,995

According to Bloom, key features of the Canter models include:

Advanced 4P10 turbocharged diesel engine, Exclusive Duonic 6-speed transmission, Daimler BlueTec emissions-control [SCR] echnology, “Refine” frame that makes body attachment easier while increasing available payload, Improved handling, durability, comfort, and aesthetics, Extended service intervals (18,000 miles) Best-in-class payloads (as much as 2,200 lbs better than competitive models) Continuation of “the industry’s best” 5-year/175,000-mile powertrain limited warranty

Of particular note, the OEM’s new 4P10 dual-overhead-cam, dual-balance-shaft, turbocharged and intercooled 4-cylinder diesel is mated to a Mitsubishi Fuso Duonic 6-speed, dual-clutch automated manual transmission, which the company stated is the only dual-clutch transmission available in a commercial truck. Bloom said this spec combo both helps contribute to the Canter’s higher fuel economy as well as its easy operation for drivers.

“Our goal has been to maximize efficiency and lower the cost of ownership for our trucks as much as practical,” said Leighton Good, MFTA manager, product & applications. “With the combination of the 4P10 engine, Duonic transmission and BlueTec emissions control, these new Fusos are the smoothest-running, easiest-to-drive cabovers we’ve ever offered, and they boast the highest operating efficiency, as well. A 300% increase in the length of the service interval also contributes significantly to lower cost of ownership.”

Good also pointed out that the Canter’s standard-width 33.5-in. straight ladder frame has been designed with patterned holes at regular intervals along its length and height to make body mounting easier and to save weight without loss of strength. Made with 56,565 psi-yield-strength steel, this new frame provides comparable chassis stiffness and body-fitting ease as the previous FE models, at a substantially lighter weight, he noted, adding that the frame’s high strength-to-weight ratio “helps give the new FE series the highest payload capability among Class 3-5 cabovers.”

Wind -tunnel testing is credited with improving the aesthetic profile of the 2012 models and reducing aerodynamic drag as well as improving stability. Also according to MFTA, compact halogen headlamps allow for sculpted corner profiles, which enhance aesthetic appeal while the lamps themselves improve nighttime visibility and boost the potential for improved driver safety. It was also noted that “smooth frontal surfaces, combined with faired character lines around the doors, not only lend an air of refined styling but also help to reduce wind noise, so the cabin is quieter, which may help to reduce driver fatigue.”

MFTA pointed out the Canters feature “roomy, fully trimmed cabs that provide ample space for the driver plus two passengers to ride in comfort.” The parking brake is located between the driver’s seat and the adjacent passenger seat to keep it handy but out of the way. The transmission shifter is mounted on the dash, with a simple, well-defined shift pattern label, and the FG4X4’s transfer case range-selector lever is mounted at dashboard height, to the left of the steering wheel, so the floor area is clear of obstructions. This allows the driver and passengers to easily exit the vehicle on the curb side, generally the safer location, the company noted.

In addition, Mitsubishi Fuso’s unique offset door hinges open to 70 deg., than push forward several inches to provide full access for driver and passengers, while limiting the extension of the doors into traffic or curbside obstructions.

Turning diameter for the Canter FE models with the 110.2-in. wheelbase is 34.1 ft — which the OEM noted is tighter than that of a Mini Cooper (35.1 ft.) making it easy to maneuver through both crowded job sites and narrow urban streets.

The Canter FEs are equipped with dual-caliper hydraulic disc service brakes with vacuum servo assist and ABS on all four wheels, while the FG4X4 uses hydraulic drum service brakes with ABS all around. All models include an electronic brake override system for added safety.

All of the 2012 models boast instrumentation “that’s easy to read, day or night, with the information panel conveniently located in direct line of sight.” Cycling through the panel’s digital displays “provides the driver with up-to-the-minute status on a wide variety of truck systems, fluid levels, and performance parameters.”

Power windows and door locks are standard, with one-touch up and down on the driver-side window. The window drive mechanism immediately stops the window’s upward travel if it encounters an obstacle. Doors also include a crush bar, to help increase frontal impact protection. The collapsible steering column both tilts and telescopes via one easy-to-use control. The center and right-hand seats fold down to form a work area for the driver and extra storage compartments have been added in the cab area.

The full line of Canter FEs and FGs carry a 3-year/unlimited mileage bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 4-year/unlimited mileage rust-through warranty, and an exclusive 5-year/175,000-mile powertrain limited warranty. The OEM noted that the 5-year warranty “includes most bolt-on components as well as wetted driveline components.”

According to Bloom, the full line of new trucks will be available from dealers starting in April.

Headquartered in Logan Township, NJ, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America, Inc. is a subsidiary of Kawasaki, Japan’s Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp., which is integral with the Daimler Trucks Div. of Daimler AG.

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