Trucker 5648 Mackanthem1

Mack Trucks unveils new Anthem tractor

Sept. 15, 2017
With a bold grille and prominent wordmark, the new Anthem highway tractor features an all-new exterior design with optimized aerodynamics for improved fuel efficiency, according to the OEM.

The new Anthem highway tractor unveiled by Mack Trucks during the OEM’s Global Dealer Summit in Allentown, PA, this week is a “re-engineered, re-designed and re-imagined interpretation” of what a highway truck should be, according to Dennis Slagle, Mack’s president: aerodynamic, comfortable and connected, and with a “distinctively bold” look.

“As one of the most significant new trucks in Mack’s 117-year history, the Anthem combines our latest innovations with more than a century of truck-building know-how,” Slagle said during the event.

Available for order now, with full production beginning in the first quarter of 2018, the Anthem is available in several configurations, including a day cab, all-new 48-in. flat top sleeper, and all-new 70-in. “stand-up” sleeper models.

“Every detail on the Anthem was designed with purpose,” said Jonathan Randall, senior vice president, sales, Mack Trucks North America. “We surveyed thousands of drivers and incorporated their feedback to deliver a functional, strong, efficient highway truck with an authentic design unlike anything on the road today.”

Powertrain options for the Anthem start with the 13-liter Mack MP8 engine producing up to 505 hp and 1,860 lb.-ft. of torque, depending on the spec. The 11-liter Mack MP7 is also available as an option on the Anthem for weight-conscious applications, such as tanker fleets, offering up to 425 hp and 1,560 lb.-ft. of torque.

Mack’s “Super Econodyne” downspeeding packages are available for both Mack MP7 and MP8 engines and available exclusively for the “Super Econodyne” option is the Mack MP8-TC or “turbo compounding” engine that captures and converts waste energy from the exhaust into mechanical energy that is fed back to the engine. The turbo compounding system feeds up to an additional 50 hp back to the crankshaft, enabling additional performance while improving fuel efficiency. Combined with the Anthem’s aerodynamic improvements, the Mack MP8-TC engines provide up to an 11.8% improvement in fuel efficiency compared previous Mack models equipped with 2014-era engines.

Mack’s 12-speed mDRIVE automated mechanical transmission (AMT) is standard on all Anthem models, with the “reinforced and ruggedized” mDRIVE HD heavy-duty AMT available as an option on all Anthem models as well. Additionally, mDRIVE HD 13- and 14-speed variants are available, which add one or two low-ratio “creeper gears,” depending on the spec.

Also available on mDRIVE-equipped models is Mack Predictive Cruise, an intelligent system that memorizes route to help improve fuel efficiency by up to 1%. When cruise control is on, Mack Predictive Cruise learns the topography of the route and stores up to 4,500 hills in its memory, the OEM said.

John Walsh, Mack’s vice president of global marketing and brand management, noted the OEM’s engineers redesigned the roof and chassis fairings, mirror covers, and front bumper and air dam on the Anthem to more easily cut through the wind and thus save fuel.

“It’s incredibly aerodynamic,” he said about the new Anthem. “Using advanced computer modeling together with coast-down testing at Kennedy Space Center, our designers and engineers developed an extremely efficient design that cuts drag and saves fuel, helping boost customers’ bottom lines.”

The Anthem’s redesigned hood and bumper not only improve aerodynamics, they also help cut service time, he pointed out, with both featuring three-piece construction for improved serviceability in the event of damage.

A new hood latch and release system also saves drivers’ time during pre-trip inspections, Mack noted, with a central latch release below the grille eliminates the need for drivers to walk from side to side to tilt the hood. The hood also requires 50% less effort to raise than before, the OEM said.

All the exterior lighting on the Anthem is now exclusively produced by light emitting diodes or “LEDs,” which offers brighter, longer-lasting lights that draw less energy.

The change to LED is most noticeable on the Anthem’s headlights, the company said, which are 66% brighter than today’s incandescent bulbs while casting a wider beam down the road and producing a whiter light to better illuminate objects during nighttime operations.

Other new features on the Anthem include:

  • A new “flat-bottom” steering wheel inspired by race car controls, which provides improved dash visibility as well as easier truck cab ingress and egress for drivers. The new steering wheel also contains illuminated controls for cruise control, Bluetooth and the audio system.
  • New Mack-exclusive seats, designed in partnership with Sears Seating, that offer more than 30 feature and fabric combinations, including an optional swivel base.
  • The interior volume of the all-new 70-in. sleeper is 35% larger than previous models and is available in single or double bunk configuration.
  • Redesigned back wall and side cabinets within Mack’s new sleepers are available in multiple configurations, providing up to 27 cubic feet of storage space for drivers.
  • A Mack-exclusive under-bunk storage system offers three additional illuminated storage trays which lift for access to a luggage compartment.
  • Optional comfort features include a television prep kit that can accommodate up to a 24-in. flat screen and a drawer-style refrigerator mounted on the passenger side.
  • Bendix Wingman Fusion, a camera- and radar-based driver assistance solution, comes standard on all Anthem models. Fusion provides collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning, assisting drivers in staying safe on the highway.
  • Mack Connect is also available and will serve as the reference for Mack’s growing connectivity and uptime service offers. With Mack Connect, current and future services will be structured under connected support, connected business and connected driving.
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American Trucker staff

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