Mack rolls out new 'bad ass' Anthem highway truck

Sept. 14, 2017
ALLENTOWN, PA. With a bold new grille sporting vertical accents like two fangs in a bulldog's underbite, Mack Trucks' new Anthem highway tractor drew multinational press and plenty of fanfare at its launch here Wednesday evening.

ALLENTOWN, PA. With a bold new grille sporting vertical accents like two fangs in a bulldog's underbite, Mack Trucks' new Anthem highway tractor drew multinational press and plenty of fanfare at its launch here Wednesday evening.

That included video of the truck's development, where designers and Mack execs touted the Anthem's brawny look and aero-functional design as "bad ass" and destined to become a classic looking back in the years to come, as the OEM's big trucks of decades past have.

"In terms of powertrain, in terms of connectivity, in terms of comfort, uptime, productivity, durability, and application excellence, it's a platform that we provide all the things that we need in order to move forward," said Martin Lundstedt, president and CEO of Volvo Group, Mack's parent.

He promised a "high pace and high frequency" of continued investment in Mack's products, production facilities and service network, acknowledging Mack dealers' own investments in facilities and technician training.

Denny Slagle, executive vice president of Volvo Group and president of Mack trucks, highlighted Mack's latest powertrains featuring engines compliant with 2017 fuel efficiency/ greenhouse gas emissions requirements and mDRIVE automated manual transmission as "frankly, producing a drive that can't be matched by the competition."

The Anthem — which features an engraved American flag in its badging — is "the right highway truck for North America" and "captures everything that has made Mack great," contended John Walsh, Mack's vice president of global marketing and brand management. He said the new truck was designed to be "unmistakably Mack," offer superior aerodynamics and fuel efficiency without looking "like a jelly bean," and deliver "revolutionary" driver comfort.

"We are proud to be the only heavy-duty truck manufacturer who can still say that every truck we sell in America is built here in America," Walsh added. He highlighted a list of new exterior, driver environment and sleeper/ living environment features and options.  


—New grille, with a bridge across the front bearing the "big, bold" Mack word moniker;

—Three configurations: day cab, 48-in. flat-top sleeper, and 70-in. stand-up sleeper designed to allow even taller drivers ample room to stand freely in the rear;

—Available aero-enhancing roof fairing;

—Better visibility than current Pinnacle highway models;

—Improved aerodynamics that provide up to a 3% fuel efficiency gain with the 70-in. stand-up sleeper model and 1.5% gain with the day cab model in addition to 2017 powertrain fuel efficiency gains;

—Two trim packages, "Bold Black" and "Mirror Chrome Bright," incorporated into the grille, bumper, headlamp and fog lamp bezels, and air intakes;

—Three-piece bumper designed for improved serviceability and lower repair costs in case of damage;

—LED headlamps, turn signals, fog lights and marker lights are longer-lasting, use less energy and are up to 66% brighter than incandescents;

 —New three-piece hood that can be replaced in sections if damaged, features an automotive-style release latch in the grille, and requires 50% less effort to tilt open;

—Aerodynamic hood mirrors that reduce drag, deliver an improved field of view/ reduced blind spots, and fold away on impact;

—Breakaway side mirrors feature stronger materials, hinges and spring-loaded mounts; and

—Grab handles made of thick, extruded aluminum and tactile, contoured surface.


—Three available trim levels: standard, premium and ultra;

—New driver environment featuring automotive-inspired controls in the instrument panel, digitally displayed analog gauges, and 5.5-in. color Copilot display;

—Flat-bottom steering wheel designed for solid grip and easier entry and exit;

—Steering wheel can be spec'd with "smart' features including illuminated controls for cruise, Bluetooth and infotainment;

—Redesigned steering column stalks: right manages engine brake and Copilot display, left manages high beams, turn signals and windshield wipers;

—Optional 7-in. infotainment display in console can display tools like Sirius XM, truck navigation, Apple Carplay and backup cameras;

—New rocker switches in dash with laser-etched labels that won't fade or rub off, with standardized key switch placements across models but additional slots available for customization;

—Non-slip-surfaced mobile phone charging station on top of dash;

—Power windows, locks and mirrors;

—Lights managed through automotive-inspired control module;

—Seats designed in partnership with Sears for comfort and durability, offering 30 feature-function combinations; and

—Redesigned "doghouse" over the engine to provide easier access/ serviceability.


—70-in. stand-up model allows driver to stand up next to driver's seat and walk into sleeper, which provides 35% more space;

—Improved accommodation for driver's gear with up to 27 cu. ft. of space in 70-in. sleeper model, with more work surfaces, wardrobes and shelving;

—All-LED interior lighting, including "ambient," "task" and "background" lights;

—Prep kits available with wiring for refrigerator, flat-screen TV and microwave;

—Multiple electrical and USB outlets;

—Tilt-open sleeper windows with built-in shades and screens that allow ventilation but keep rain out;

—Sleeper curtain that darkens living space; and

—Available single or double bunk beds.

About the Author

Aaron Marsh

Before computerization had fully taken hold and automotive work took someone who speaks engine, Aaron grew up in Upstate New York taking cars apart and fixing and rewiring them, keeping more than a few great jalopies (classics) on the road that probably didn't deserve to be. He spent a decade inside the Beltway covering Congress and the intricacies of the health care system before a stint in local New England news, picking up awards for both pen and camera.

He wrote about you-name-it, from transportation and law and the courts to events of all kinds and telecommunications, and landed in trucking when he joined FleetOwner in July 2015. Long an editorial leader, he was a keeper of knowledge at FleetOwner ready to dive in on the technical and the topical inside and all-around trucking—and still turned a wrench or two. Or three. 

Aaron previously wrote for FleetOwner. 

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Report: The 2024 State of Heavy-Duty Repair

From capitalizing on the latest revenue trends to implementing strategic financial planning—this report serves as a roadmap for navigating the challenges and opportunities of ...

Fleet Industry Benchmarks: How does your fleet stack up?

Discover how your fleet compares to industry benchmarks and gain insights from a 2024 Benchmarking Report on maintenance spend, turnaround time, and more. Join us to identify ...

Build a Tolling Program to Manage Toll Fees and Risks

Fleets looking to effectively manage their operational costs should consider their tolling costs. Download the PrePass whitepaper, “Build a Tolling Program to Manage Toll Fees...

Reducing CSA Violations & Increasing Safety With Advanced Trailer Telematics

Keep the roads safer with advanced trailer telematics. In this whitepaper, see how you can gain insights that lead to increased safety and reduced roadside incidents—keeping drivers...