Freightliner Trucks took full advantage of the Great American Trucking Show (GATS) to introduce the new retro designed Coronado, a truck aimed squarely at the independent trucker. Freightliner introduced the long hood Coronado to the more than 45,000 attendees filling the Dallas Convention Center in Dallas, Texas, November 16-18.
"The Coronado will offer superb value to the independent trucker who desires both styling and weight savings," said Jim Hebe, president and chief executive officer of Freightliner Trucks.
The Coronado is Freightliner's new heavy-duty truck model designed primarily for owner-operator truckers. Styled to please traditionalists, the Coronado incorporates many of the styling qualities that owner-operator truckers want, according to Hebe. "This truck delivers the latest features for performance and comfort for independent truckers while bringing traditional truck design into the 21st century with content and features never before seen in this style of truck."
According to Hebe, independent truckers seeking a distinctively-styled Class 8 truck often are forced to choose from older designs that lack the latest vehicle innovations. Coronado delivers the sought-after styling while incorporating advancements in comfort, style, handling, fuel efficiency, productivity, uptime, and safety.
"Independents should not have to settle for antiquated technology just because they desire a traditional-looking truck," Hebe said. "The Coronado is intended for operators who will not make such a compromise."
Retro Styling According to Hebe, Coronado is "the best-looking truck Freightliner has ever built." Bringing together owner-operator truck styling from the past several decades, Freightliner engineers have added several new touches to create the retro styling that Coronado boasts.
The Coronado caters to traditionalists who desire the long hood and set-forward front axle position look to their vehicles. The cab sports fully chromed and muscular dual cab-mounted stacks. A polished aluminum grille and chrome bumper are set off by Euro-styled chrome air intakes. Integrated running boards on both sides of the cab incorporate the polished aluminum fuel tanks. A chrome visor dresses the top windshield area.
The Coronado's retro styling is completed with the addition of bolt-on fenders, along with several other styling accents that conjure up images of the earliest days of trucking in North America. A package of teardrop-shaped marker lights runs across the top of the cab and along the sides of the chassis.
The aluminum grille's design allows for maximum air flow for optimized cooling with high-horsepower engines. The chrome bumper is also designed to add to the overall front air intake capacity, allowing for more engine cooling. "Coronado provides excellent air flow over the cab and hood without giving up the brawny features that some independent truckers prefer," Hebe said.
Interior Comfort Coronado's owner-operator styling continues with Freightliner's Chaparral interior package. This package includes the use of fabrics and coverings to provide a rustic interior appearance. All interior hard trim is available in tan or gray with five coordinated carpet colors. Adding to the designed look is Oregon burl-wood grain accents on the dashboard, doors, overhead consoles, and modular cabinetry in the sleeper. Coronado's chromed, two-spoke steering wheel is wrapped in leather and trimmed with dark burl-wood highlights at the top and bottom.
The truck comes standard with Freightliner's proprietary EzyRider seat. Taller and wider than Freightliner's previous standard truck seat and featuring an advanced suspension, EzyRider is designed for maximum comfort, adjustability, and performance.
The truck is engineered with Freightliner's AirLiner rear suspension. Also standard is a leaf-and-a-half front spring suspension. Freightliner offers the optional Hendrickson-developed AirTek front air suspension, which provides increased weight savings and improved stability, according to Hebe.
The Coronado attempts to bring a quiet interior to the owner-operator by engineering a noise abatement package into the first designs of the Coronado. Freightliner engineers have placed additional insulation in the hood, doors, cab floor, sleeper wall, bunk floor, storage bins, and other critical areas.
Another feature that adds interior comfort to the Coronado is an advanced HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) system, which maintains constant outlet air temperature and continually filters and freshens the air. For further enhancement to the livability of the Coronado is an optional, factory-installed AC power inverter, which converts the truck's direct current to AC power for sleeper appliances. With the AC power inverter, owner-operators can use televisions, VCRs, stereos, microwave ovens, coffee makers, and other sleeper appliances with greater convenience.
Powertrain Combinations Coronado offers a range of power choices from Detroit Diesel, Caterpillar, and Cummins, up to 600 hp. A 500-hp DDC Series 60 is standard. Coronado's 1,500-square-inch radiator can cool the majority of large Class 8 engines.
The truck is available with SmartShift, Freightliner's proprietary steering-column-mounted shift device. SmartShift allows hands-on-the-wheel shifting of Eaton and ArvinMeritor automated transmissions.
SmartShift's gear position is displayed on the standard Driver Message Center, an in-dash, 40-character, LED display. The Driver Message Center lets the driver monitor trip mileage, fuel economy, and vehicle status, among other information.
Another standard feature contributing to intelligent operation is the Equiflow fuel system. Equiflow ensures an equal level of fuel in both tanks and provides better mixing of fuel between the outboard tanks. The Equiflow system improves ground clearance by eliminating cross-over lines and bottom fittings.
Coronado is loaded with low or no-maintenance components like long-stroke brake chambers, a self-adjusting clutch, durable coolant hoses, and front and rear aluminum hubs with preset bearings and oil seals.
Optional features include permanently lubricated RPL drivelines and CamLaster brakes. CamLaster brakes are designed to provide highway performance for 500,000 miles before reline, further cutting service demands. Long-stroke brake chambers enhance safety while adding up to 1/2-inch reserve stroke to help reduce the effect of brake fade.
"Owner-operators don't have time for frequent service, and they certainly don't have time for breakdowns," Hebe said. "This truck is designed to keep its operator up and running down the road."
Owner-Operator Safety The Coronado is designed for highway and operator safety, says Hebe. A large windshield gives greater visibility of the road and other vehicles. The truck also features slip-resistant grab handles for safer entry and exit into the truck, as well as a first aid kit and fire extinguisher for on-road emergencies.
In the event of an accident, an optional driver-side airbag provides added protection. The Coronado SleeperCab also meets or exceeds the stringent European ECE R-29 and Swedish crashworthiness test standards.
"Coronado's marriage of traditional styling and engineering innovation put this truck in a class by itself," Hebe said. "Likewise, we believe Coronado owners will be distinct among their peers."
The new Coronado will be available with Freightliner's spacious 70-Inch Raised Roof SleeperCab, the 70-Inch Mid-Roof XT (Extra Tall) SleeperCab, and a Day Cab. Freightliner will begin taking orders for Coronado immediately. Production is scheduled to begin in January.