Kevin Jones
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Navistar launches new truck with its ‘last’ internal combustion engine

Aug. 16, 2022
Updated International LT, ‘clean sheet’-designed S13 integrated powertrain—set to enter production in July 2023—to deliver diesel power for customers through transition to zero emissions

LAS VEGAS—Navistar on Tuesday revealed its thoroughly updated International LT Series tractor and all-new S13 Integrated Powertrain, which Navistar president and CEO Mathias Carlbaum said includes the last internal combustion engine (ICE) the company will develop as it moves toward a zero-emissions future.

Navistar is targeting 50% zero-emission vehicles sales by 2030—and 100% by 2040.

“The internal combustion engine will be required for many years, until the electric vehicle can be fully adopted when we have an available cross-country infrastructure,” Carlbaum said during an exclusive launch  event for customers, dealers, and industry media at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. “So as we do, we designed the S13 integrated powertrain to ensure it’s as sustainable as possible without every compromising anything on performance.

Customer-centric tractor

The manufacturer’s “next-generation” Class 8 truck offers multiple updates intended to improve performance and safety, including an improved aerodynamic package, and the option to specify the S13 Integrated Powertrain—developed for North America in a five-year collaboration with Navistar parent the Traton Group—in a package Navistar says can deliver up to a 15% gain in fuel efficiency compared to its first-generation International A26 engine.

“The new International LT Series updates will deliver superior operating economy and optimal value to our customers,” said Chet Ciesielski, vice president of on-highway heavy duty truck business.

“This latest LT Series update is a proof point of listening to our customers, ensuring they can maximize their fleet vehicles’ efficiency and performance.”

The updated aerodynamics package for the LT Series includes: 

  • Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) and fuel fill closeouts allow air to flow smoothly over the chassis skirts.
  • Steer wheel closeouts and a modified lower skirt trim improves underbody air flow by restricting air flow through the wheel opening. 
  • A new roof extender improves air flow between the tractor and trailer gap.

The updated front-end includes a new bumper and grille that aligns with recent updates to other International truck models. A new premium 9-inch sleeper mattress and flip-up bunk help maximize cab space for over-the-road drivers when they’re not operating the vehicle. Driver safety enhancements to braking and collision mitigation systems include electronic parking brake technology that automatically engages vehicle and trailer parking brakes if the driver forgets.

“In terms of vehicle design updates, the main focus was to offer a simple, sturdy, and strong design that will appeal to fleets and reduce their total cost of ownership,” Ciesielski said.

The new LT Series can be specified with the S13 powertrain, which is comprised of the 13-liter S13 engine, T14 14-speed automated manual transmission, and Dual Stage Aftertreatment system. The S13 powertrain is designed to provide “superior operating economy, stellar performance, and simplicity and serviceability to the North American commercial vehicle market,” the company said.

‘Clean-sheet’ powertrain

The S13 powertrain features a “clean-sheet” design, with the engine, transmission, and aftertreatment developed and integrated concurrently. In comparison to the A26 engine specified with the 12-speed overdrive Eaton Endurant HD automated transmission, the S13 powertrain also is the lightest weight powertrain on the market, Navistar said.

The S13 Integrated Powertrain advances Navistar’s vision for accelerating the impact of sustainability “by setting new standards for efficient, profitable, and sustainable transport solutions,” Carlbaum said. “It’s not only the most efficient powertrain we’ve ever produced, it’s also a milestone on our journey to zero emissions.”

The S13 powertrain, which will be produced at Navistar's plant in Huntsville, Alabama, was designed using a “modular” approach, which allows for mass customization of a variety of offerings, equating to faster time to market and lower production costs. The system enables efficient cross-brand development and production, while allowing for regional adaptation and validation of the powertrain for the North American market.

“The S13 Integrated Powertrain is the catalyst for us to provide a simple, comprehensive ownership solution,” said Göran Nyberg, executive vice president of commercial operations at Navistar.

“Our new optimized powertrain paired with a comprehensive ownership solution has a long-expected product life with excellent residual value, truly resetting the standard for total operating economy in our industry.”

Check back soon for more coverage of Navistar's new International LT Series truck and the S13 Integrated Powertrain here and on Bulk Transporter's sister publications.