OEMs see benefits to ’04 engines

Medium-duty truck makers Hino Diesel Truck and General Motors Isuzu Commercial Truck think fleet fears about the drawbacks of low-emission diesel engines due to be introduced next year may be overblown – and that there may be some key advantages to those new engines. “The market is understandably a little on edge because both raw engine prices and operating costs will increase,” Hino spokesman Derek Kaufman said. “But there are a lot of benefits, too, to the new engine systems we’re using that customers need to look at.” He said Hino’s new convention medium-duty truck, to be introduced later this year, will feature engines equipped with variable geometry turbochargers, a common rail fuel injection system, and water-cooled EGR. Kaufman said fuel economy losses will be minimal and that customers should experience equal performance or better because of the new turbocharger and fuel injection system. Dan Cutler, director of low-cab-forward product development at GM Isuzu, told Fleet Owner that the benefits ’04 engines offer fleets could outweigh price concerns in the long run.“All most fleets have heard is that they’ll lose fuel economy and performance with these engines,” he said. “In actuality, GM Isuzu has improved engine performance and that’s why fuel economy may suffer a little, because we’re increasing horsepower and toque in our ’04 engines.” Cutler explained that GM Isuzu’s new 6-cylinder ’04 engine features a variable geometry turbocharger, high-pressure common rail fuel injection system and water-cooled EGR. The engine also has 16 valves versus the eight valves on previous models, boosting power and performance. “In our case, you’re getting a lot more than just emission reduction with these ‘04 engines,” he said. “The upcharge shouldn’t be a hindrance because you’re getting more power and thus more capability from the engine, without sacrificing durability or reliability.”

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