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Scania launches its 4-series – the truck for the 21st century

Beginning in October, Scania is introducing a new generation of trucks for the twenty-first century. Two heavy trucks for long-distance haulage are the first vehicles in the 4-series to make their debut. Achieving the best possible transport economy, reliability and environmental performance are key con- cepts behind this SEK 3,500 million development project. A completely new 12-litre Scania engine and a new cab series with aerodynamic refinements help make the 4-series substantially more efficient to operate.

“Scania is entering a very exciting era,” says Leif Östling, President and CEO of Scania. “Our aim is to further strengthen Scania's market position and corporate image worldwide.” 

“We have the world’s most demanding customers. They expect our trucks to be a profitable investment. With the 4-series, we have created products that will live up to customer demands in terms of quality, transport economy and environmental per- formance for a long time to come.” 

Innovative thinking improves environment The innovative aerodynamic design of the 4-series gives it a characteristic look that helps improve fuel economy and reduce its impact on the environment. The wedge shape of the cab, featuring an upright windscreen and dramatically rounded corners, provides ample interior space and a very high standard of comfort. The crowning glory is the Topline version, an extra tall cab with full standing room inside. 

With a completely new 12-litre six-cylinder Scania engine that employs four-valve technology, and with extensive improvements to Scania's well-known 14-litre V8, the new trucks offer very good fuel economy and fine environmental performance. A new electrical system and new electronic controls enable these vehicles to fulfil the communication and service workshop requirements of the future. A new frame and suspension design ensure a very stable ride. 

The 4-series vehicles now being unveiled are part of a new class of Scania trucks, the L-class, which are specially adapted for heavy long-distance traffic on normal roads. One of these models is called the Scania R144 L and features a 14-litre V8. The other is the Scania R124 L, with its six-cylinder 12-litre engine. 

In the 4-series, Scania is adding further refinements to its modularised concept – a “building block” principle that has formed the basis of the company's specification and production systems for decades. Vehicles can now be adapted even more closely than before to a customer's specific applications and individual wishes. They can also be delivered ready for the road ex-factory to a greater extent. 

The environmental impact of a vehicle during operation is directly connected to its efficiency. The engines in the new generation of Scania trucks are more efficient, while offering improved performance and driveability. The engines have the potential to keep pace with changes in emission regulations for many years to come. The shape of the 4-series cab also greatly contributes to operating efficiency. 

Today's electronics offer new opportunities for advanced control systems in the en- gine, gearbox, brakes and elsewhere. One such example of applied cutting-edge technology is the Scania Opticruise – a completely computerised control system for the engine, gearbox and hydraulic retarder. This powertrain management system changes the gears automatically and adapts itself in many respects to the personal style of each driver. ***

High-level technological innovation 

Minimal environmental impact 

For many years, caring for the environment and improving environmental perform- ance have been among the highest priorities of Scania's design work. The task of designers has been to minimise the environmental impact of the company's products in all stages: from pre-production engineering and manufacturing via their utilisation, maintenance and repairs through dismmantling, recycling and reuse. This environ- mental philosophy also extends to Scania's suppliers, which have received similar design directives. 

Higher output and efficiency rating A six-cylinder 12-litre engine of a completely new design, rated at 400 hp, is Sca- nia's new power plant for European long-haul traffic. Simplicity and a maintenance- friendly configuration have been guiding principles. Scania therefore chose a con- ventional layout combined with individual cylinder heads and four-valve technology. This improves accessibility during both maintenance and repairs, ensuring custom- ers the shortest possible downtime. 

Aided by four-valve technology, the combustion process in the cylinder has been optimised from the beginning, with the most favourable gas flow and combustion possible. This gives Scania's new 12-litre engine a very high efficiency rating com- pared to most diesel engines currently being produced for heavy trucks: 189 g/kWh. It is also designed from the start to fulfil future environmental standards for heavy vehicles. 

Scania's 14-litre V8 engine has an advanced electronic fuel injection system that ensures favourable fuel consumption and good emission control. The basic engine has been completely revamped and uprated. Today's 14-litre engine develops 460 and 530 hp and is intended for the highest output segment, mainly in countries that allow high gross vehicle weights. 

Scania Opticruise

Opticruise is Scania's system for computer control of the engine, the transmission and Scania’s hydraulic retarder, if fitted. It is characterised by simple, intuitive han- dling and the use of standard clutch and gearbox components. The system is gentle on the transmission, and mechanical losses are low compared to traditional auto- matic gearboxes. 

This computer control system is entirely integrated and changes the gears automati- cally without the use of the clutch pedal, except when starting and stopping. Exten- sive testing has shown that at these times, and while shunting or manoeuvring their vehicle in narrow spaces, drivers prefer to use the clutch pedal themselves. The system also controls the Scania retarder – a gearbox-mounted hydraulic auxiliary brake. The wheel brakes thus only need to be used during a fraction (usually fewer than 25 percent) of normal brake applications. A downshifting programme automati- cally coordinates with the retarder, yielding maximum braking effect. 

New aerodynamic principles and generous dimensions The design of the 4-series cabs is based on new aerodynamic principles. To achieve favourable air flow around the cab and body superstructures, while adding more in- terior space, Scania has deviated from its previous design with a steeply angled windscreen. 

Instead, the windscreen is comparatively upright, but rounded off at the sides. The front corners of the cab are also gently curved. The cab is wedge-shaped – with a 20 cm difference between the width of the front and rear edges – so that it reaches full width only at the rear edge. An external sunvisor and an air deflector on the cab roof combine to direct air over the bodywork. The overall result is a gentle stream- lined shape, with a smooth air flow around the superstructure or trailer. A number of external design features help reduce air resistance even more. Examples are flush- mounted side windows, encapsulated rear-view mirrors and a bottom step that folds flush when not in use. 

The cabs are built using the latest production methods, including automated press- ing, welding, painting and assembly processes. They are made entirely of steel and fulfil both Swedish and expected European safety standards. For environmental reasons, primer painting is done using powder paint. 

Generous interior room and a front-mounted bunk in the tall cab Measuring 250 cm wide along its rear edge, the cab has room for a wardrobe behind the driver's seat and a bunk measuring 70x200 cm. The cushion has three parts, making the storage lockers under the bunk more easily accessible. An upper bunk measuring 62x195 cm is an option in the ordinary sleeper cab. 

The new tall cab is called the Topline. It has an extra-high roof which allows full standing room inside, even above the engine tunnel. In the new Topline, the upper bunk has been mounted at the front of the cab, above the windscreen. As a result, it measures a full 90 cm wide. Next to the upper bunk are remote controls for lighting, central locking, the radio and the parking heater. 

All models have a new range of seats, with integrated seat belts as standard equip- ment. They provide greater safety than cab-mounted belts, since the belt is in the right position across the body. An integrated belt is also more comfortable, since it follows the movements of the seat and the driver. All the new 4-series cabs feature air suspension. 

Refined roadholding

The new 4-series frame is made of a higher-strength steel than previous Scanias and is thus more rugged in relation to its weight. The frame is V-shaped at the front. The engine, radiator and transmission can thus be mounted lower in the chassis. Behind the cab, no components protrude above the frame, so cargo space can be maximised. 

Both wheel and cab suspensions have been designed to provide a very stable ride, smooth handling and a higher standard of comfort on the road. The 4-series trucks are available with air suspension, either on the rear axle or on all the wheels. Sus- pension and self-levelling are controlled electronically. Chassis are painted using powder technology, which minimises solvent discharges during production.