Styling has played a major role in Scania’s history. In the mid 1960s, Scania entrusted British design engineer Lionel Sherrow with the task of designing a forward-control truck range with a tilting cab.
Sherrow enjoyed a long career as an industrial designer, working on projects such as washing machines, cars, wheel excavators and the classic Swedish Addo-X adding machine, but he said he counted his years with Scania as a highpoint.
Lionel Sherrow came up with the horizontal bars in the grille that still dominate the front of a Scania truck.
“The bars made the styling start to sing,” Sherrow said in an interview in 2007. “I am very proud that the horizontal bars of the LB110 truck have survived in Scania’s styling.”
Scania’s styling history from the 1950s
The legendary L75 range launched in 1958 mirrored the post-war Scania-Vabis styling with vertical radiator bars, but the wings and bonnet were given a timeless, smooth and distinctive look by Swedish stylist Björn Karlström. It remained in production virtually unchanged until replaced by the first T-series in 1981.
Scania-Vabis’ first modern forward-control truck, the LB76 launched in 1963, opened the door to some new markets, e.g. Great Britain. Although based on the L75/76 cab structure, it was given a unique identity, reminiscent of the company’s bus range at that time. Styled by jointly by the designers at Scania-Vabis and the Be-Ge cab factory in Oskarshamn (owned by Scania from 1968), the shape remained smooth and coherent throughout the winter, but in hot summer weather, the front hatch was often removed to improve cooling.
The highly successful styling concept with the front dominated by horizontal bars was launched on the LB80/110 forward-control cabs in 1968. The purposeful presence of this cab helped build the image of the V8 range through the 1970s, represented by the 350 hp LB140 launched in 1969 and the LB141 from 1977. The Scania badge was now a prominent part of the frontal styling.
Scania’s first fully modular trucks formed the GPRT range introduced in 1980. All cabs were now based on the same structure and similar chassis were used independent of the type of cab fitted. The Giugiaro styling with its purposeful grille and careful detailing along the cab sides produced a uniquely attractive truck for its time, with good aerodynamics thanks to the inclined windscreen. The basic styling remained unchanged for the 3-series launched in 1988 and until the arrival of the 4-series in 1995.
The refined aerodynamics are evident on the Streamline version of the cab range, which was launched in conjunction with Scania’s 100th anniversary in 1991. Minute attention to detail made this model a new benchmark in terms of air drag for the industry and the shape stays fresh and attractive to this day.
The 4-series product line-up from 1995 paved the way for Scania into the 2000s. The clean, bulging lines of the trucks were meant to signal “powerful but not aggressive”, while continuing the wind-cheating tradition of the Streamline.
The launch of the R-series in 2004 was the start of an era with a clearer identity for the different cab models. New model designations contained the cab type and then the horsepower rating. The R-series (big forward-control cab) was followed by the P-series (smaller forward-control) and the T-series (bonneted, since discontinued). The G-series launched in 2007 introduced an intermediate step between the P-series and the R-series. In 2009, a new version of Scania’s top-of-the-line R-series is introduced. A few months later the model is awarded Truck of the Year 2010. The new R-series features a new and more dynamic frontal treatment as well as other external styling touches.
In 2010, Scania’s entire V8 truck range receives both exterior and interior upgrades in order to emphasise and amplify the special V8 feel. At the same time, Scania launched what was then the most powerful truck engine in the world – a new V8 with a torque level of 3,500 Nm and 730 horsepower.
In 2013, Scania relaunches the Streamline concept, now designating Scania’s aerodynamically-optimised long-haulage trucks, which boast numerous aerodynamic improvements and fuel savings of up to 8 percent.