Detroit Diesel Corporation, in collaboration with Freightliner LLC, has been on an aggressive development and testing schedule for 2007, according to Tim Tindall, program director for Detroit Diesel’s EPA 2007, and the companies “are right on track for where we want to be,” he noted at a recent briefing. Since May of 2005, Tindall said that development team has logged more than five million test miles on Detroit Diesel’s Series 60 engine and exhaust aftertreatment system and expects to have more than 14.8 million total test miles on that engine by January 2007, including 6.7 million miles of customer fleet testing.
In addition to the new Series 60, DDC will launch two other redeveloped engines in 2007, the MBE 4000 and the medium-duty MBE 900. “The launch of these three engines represents our largest investment ever,” said Tindall. “Our test program for EPA 2007 is the most comprehensive in our history. It sets the standard for the future quality of our engines.” By the 2007 launch date, testing of all three engines is expected to exceed 24 million miles.
Tindall attributes much of the 2007 program’s success to the close collaboration with Freightliner LLC, an opinion seconded by Larry Dutko, EPA 2007 program manager for Freightliner LLC and Tindall’s counterpart on the truck side. “Given all the required changes to the engine, including the addition of the particulate filter, it really puts us in a position to leverage our relationship with Detroit Diesel to the fullest extent so that we provide the best engines possible come 2007,” Dutko explained. “As two business units of Daimler Chrysler’s Truck Group…we are always looking at how we can collaborate more closely in how we approach truck and engine development.”
According to Tindall, “readiness” has been the watchword for the 2007 program from the very beginning, which has progressed according to a series of four carefully defined steps or stages, including initial design concept, prototype design and testing, development of a revised design incorporating solutions to any issues identified during prototype testing, and the production intent final stage, which will begin in April.