Mercedes-Benz makes a brave claim that the only rival for the new Actros would be its predecessor. All versions of the new Actros are uncompromisingly designed for long-distance transport. It now covers all long-distance applications, whereas previously this domain was served by two truck series, namely the Actros and the Axor.
The Actros’ modular system with a choice of seven different cabs is groundbreaking. The cabs have a width of 2.3 or 2.5 metres, four roof variants and, a maximum length of 2.3 metres. A flat cab floor was previously only for exclusive flagship models but the new Actros has five variants featuring a flat floor.
The GigaSpace cab has a volume of 11.6 cubic metres, a flat floor, 2.13 metres of headroom and more than 900 litres of stowage space. The cockpit area and the living are are visually distinguished by the use of different colours and gerometric form. The functional area of the cockpit is finished in practical anthracite whilst the rear, ceiling and area around the co‑driver’s seat are appointed in a light almond beige colour. High-quality surfaces, the luxurious driver’s seat with optional massage function (from 2012), beds offering the comfort of home, a multifunction steering wheel, informative and attractive instruments, and asymmetrical roof stowage boxes are just some of the many aspects developed specifically for the new Actros.
Unique features include the new, optionally available SoloStar Concept for the new Actros, which creates an all-new calm zone and ensures maximum recuperation. This comfortable relaxation area on the co-driver’s side is shaped like a corner sofa unit and is set back against the rear wall.
Mercedes Benz says the unmistakable design of the new Mercedes-Benz Actros is as exceptional as the truck as a whole and its look, developed specifically for a long-distance truck, is powerful, masculine and dynamic. The objectives for the design team was simple, rid the Actros of all its straight lines and flat surfaces. Having worked toward the same, the curves along with contrasting concave and convex lines lend the new Actros it’s own unique character.
This fluidic ( it’s not trademarked, is it?) merging of different surfaces, especially visible between the front section and the side flanks is what Mercedes-Benz designers are calling the “flow”. The bumper, corner panelling and entrance form a single unit. Fluid lines are a hallmark feature of the new Actros – which is why designers often talk about “flow”.
Much of the development work was focussed on aerodynamics. The new Actros spent some 2600 hours in the wind tunnel – never before has a truck been developed and tested so intensively in a wind tunnel. Its aerodynamic design is one of major factors behind the reduction in fuel consumption compared to its already highly economical predecessor.
Regarding the powertrain, here’s the info straight from the Press Release.
Four valves per cylinder control the two overhead camshafts. These are “composite” or “assembled” camshafts – a first for engines of this size. Another premiere arrives in the shape of the common-rail injection system with X-PULSE pressure booster. The maximum pressure in the rail, around 900 bar, is boosted to up to 2100 bar in the injectors and can be fully varied on the engine map. Charging is performed courtesy of a turbocharger with an asymmetric turbine housing, which improves response. The engine brake, a charged decompression brake, is designed to deliver maximum efficiency. This three-stage brake achieves a maximum braking power of 400 kW.
To meet the stringent requirements imposed by the Euro VI emissions standard, Mercedes-Benz has developed a complex emission-control system consisting of SCR technology with AdBlue injection without compressed air, cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and a particulate filter. Factors behind the engine’s outstanding economy include its exceptional robustness and longevity as well as maintenance intervals of up to 150,000 kilometres.
In all models, the power is sent to the wheels through a third-generation Mercedes PowerShift fully-automated transmission featuring highly sensitive shift sensors for even faster and more precise response. Rear axles with longer ratios reduce the engine speed and, therefore, fuel consumption.
Long before production started, the new Actros experienced the Arctic Circle in winter and the searing heat of Spain’s Sierra Nevada in summer. It negotiated all kinds of roads in Turkey and got a taste of desert sand in South Africa. Mercedes-Benz proudly claims to have clocked more than 20 million miles over the past five years of testing, and a recent 10000 km trial run, over regular east-west transport operations on the Rotterdam – Stettin – Rotterdam route, has given the Actros a couple of more reasons to ahem.. stand tall.
- 4.5 percent cut in fuel consumption combined with ultra-clean Euro VI emissions standard
- 7.6 percent less fuel consumption for new Euro V truck
- Absolute fuel consumption for the new Actros between 25.1 and 25.9 l per 100 km
Now if only we could lay our hands on one of these. We might even seriously consider dressing up for the occasion!