Photo: Josh Fisher/ Fleet Owner
Mitsubishi Fuso FE160 gasoline version, on display at the 2018 Work Truck Show at the Indiana Convention Center, will be available later this year.

Fuso adds gas-powered Class 4 and 5 trucks to its lineup

March 13, 2018
Adding to its diesel and electric FE trucks, Mitsubishi Fuso will manufacture new gas trucks in South Carolina.

INDIANAPOLIS. Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America introduced its new gasoline-powered Class 4 and Class 5 FE Series cabover work trucks to go with its diesel and electric-powered FE trucks. The third powertrain option gives the OEM the broadest option among medium-duty trucks today.

The new gas-powered trucks feature a GM 6.0L V8 engine and Allison 1000 automatic transmission. The company is touting its new cab interior that it says is designed to improve driver comfort and efficiency and will also find a home in the FE diesel models.

The V8 gasoline engine will be initially available in two Fuso Class 4 models — the FE140 (14,500 lb. GVWR) and FE160 (15,995 lb. GVWR). It will soon be available in Fuso’s Class 5 FE180 (17,995 lb. GVWR) model, making it the first Class 5 cabover with an available gasoline-fueled engine.

In all models, the PSI-GM V8 engine provides 297 HP and 361 lb-ft of torque. It has a broad torque curve and engine management calibration developed specifically to integrate seamlessly into FUSO’s FE models using the Allison 1000 transmission.

In future models, the engine could be equipped to use compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as fuels, for those fleets looking to reduce their emissions footprint.

 “The truck demonstrates our ability to leverage the resources of our parent company Daimler,” Bill Lyons, Fuso’s vice president of sales operations, said at the Work Truck Show last week. “The entire project is a collaborative effort between Fuso and Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. These will be the first Fuso vehicles assembled in the United States in Gaffney, SC. The truck will be produced using engines and transmissions built in the United States and chassis and cabs sourced from both Fuso in Europe and Japan.”

The gasoline models, while not priced yet, will be several thousand dollars cheaper than their diesel counterparts, according to Lyons. The Class 4 trucks will be available later this year; the Class 5 trucks will start production in 2019.

Along with the new V8 gasoline engine, the new Fusos are equiped with the Allison 1000 heavy-duty automatic transmission, which makes FUSO the first cabover manufacturer to offer a commercial truck transmission in a medium-duty cabover, according to Lyons. The Allison transmission was designed from the ground up for use in commercial trucks, according to the OEM, and includes a provision for an optional power take-off (PTO) that can drive a wide range of vocational-truck accessories, like lift bodies or dispensing pumps.

The Allison transmission also takes advantage of Allison-exclusive Fuel Sense 2.0 transmission management software—with DynActive shifting technology. Instead of shifting gears based on a data table of fixed shift points, DynActive technology continually refines shifts via a proprietary learning algorithm, to provide a balance between performance and fuel economy for each operator’s specific duty cycle. The results yield a 2% to 6% improvement in fuel economy. In addition, Fuel Sense 2.0 management provides a “Neutral-at-Stop” feature that further reduces fuel consumption.

To provide increased operating range and fewer fuel stops per shift, the new Fuso FE Gas models also include a 40-gallon, rear-mounted fuel tank, complemented by streamlined fuel line and wiring harness routing and securement. The latter improve serviceability for the lifetime of the truck while protecting sensitive fuel and wiring lines from rubbing and chafing damage, for enhanced durability and reliability. The clean frame rails that result also provide additional space for toolboxes and side-mounted vocational equipment.

“We’re extremely happy to be able to offer these new gasoline-powered trucks to our customers,” said Justin Palmer, Fuso’s president and CEO. “While much of the medium-duty market still relies on diesel power, gasoline engines are increasing in popularity, and now occupy about a 40% market share, so development of a gas-engine option for our customers was a no-brainer...

“We’re also proud of the fact that, by adding our new gas-engine line to our existing diesel FEs and eCanter all-electric trucks, our dealers can offer their customers the broadest range of powertrain choices in the marketplace,” Palmer said. “No other truck manufacturer, in any GVWR class, currently offers all three of these powertrain options.”

Cab Enhancements

In addition to the new powertrain, the FE Gas trucks will introduce a new cab interior design. Most notably, the driver seat bolstering and support is improved to provide all-day comfort, the seat cushion covering has been extended for durability, and the seatbelts are now high-visibility Fuso red.

The instrument cluster colors were revised to improve visibility under all lighting conditions, and an LED cabin light has been added. Storage space, too, has been enhanced, with a new driver-side overhead console, floor tray and sun-visor pocket.

Finally, for aesthetics, a new black-on-black color scheme has been implemented marked by silver trim accents throughout the cab interior, including the stereo frame, the shifter panel and the steering wheel emblem.

All of the cab improvements noted above will be transferred to the FUSO FE Series diesel models, as well.

“Our new Class 4 FE140 GAS and FE160 GAS models will be on dealer lots by the middle of this year,” Palmer said. “With this great addition to our line, we look forward to a very successful year in the medium-duty market.”

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