Mack highlights integration, fuel efficiency benefits of 2017 powertrain

Oct. 12, 2016

Emphasizing fuel efficiency, power and its pioneering tradition of integration, Mack Trucks highlighted its 2017 Mack powertrain, including its MP-series engines, mDRIVE HD 13- and 14-speed automated manual transmissions, ClearTech One single package exhaust aftertreatment system (EATS), and Mack Predictive Cruise.

Mack made the announcement at the American Trucking Associations’ 2016 Management Conference & Exhibition, which was held October 1-4 in Las Vegas NV.

“Our customers want to reduce fuel consumption without sacrificing power and receive a better return on their investment,” said Jonathan Randall, Mack Trucks senior vice-president of sales. “This newest evolution of the Mack powertrain meets those needs, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Several upgrades and enhancements to Mack’s 11-liter MP7 and 13-liter MP8 boosted fuel efficiency from 2.1% to 8.8% compared with prior model year engines.

Both engines feature an updated wave piston design that raises the compression ratio and enables more complete combustion of fuel. The new common-rail fuel system also more precisely injects fuel. Combined with a two-speed coolant pump, these features help increase MP7 fuel efficiency by up to 5.1% and MP8 fuel efficiency by up to 5%.

A new two-piece valve cover, shimless rockers and a low-pressure fuel system with an enhanced, integrated aftertreatment dosing module to reduce maintenance needs were also added to both engines. An updated, double-walled EGR flow sensor helps reduce condensation and soot buildup in cold weather, while a new intake throttle enables a faster warmup when the engine is started.

The 2017 MP7 also delivers more power with a new 425 horsepower rating. “The 425 horsepower rating enables Mack to give customers 13-liter power in an 11-liter engine,” said Roy Horton, Mack director of product strategy. “The power that customers associate with a Mack engine is now improved and in a lighter weight design.”

Mack also will offer the 2017 MP8 engine with a turbo compounding system--available exclusively with Mack’s SuperEconodyne downspeeding package--engineered to give customers in highway applications increased power and efficiency. Turbo compounding converts wasted energy from the exhaust into mechanical energy that is fed back to the engine. The system adds up to 50 additional horsepower, increasing fuel efficiency by up to 8.8%.

The additional power generated by the turbo compounding system allows the engine to maintain full torque as low as 900 rpm. This enables a broader operating range in top gear and also allows a truck to hold top gear longer when overtaking a hill, even with falling engine rpm.

The 2017 Mack MP8 and 2017 MP7 are available for order. The Mack MP8 with turbo compounding will be available for order in October.

The updated 2017 Mack MP series engines complement Mack’s recently launched Mack mDRIVE HD 13- and 14-speed automated manual transmissions. With up to two low-ratio creeper gears, the new mDRIVE HD variants provide improved startability for heavy loads, while maintaining proper gearing for fuel efficiency at speed.

Available in direct or overdrive configurations, the new Mack mDRIVE HD 13-speed offers a low reduction gear ratio designed for easier startability on steep grades or when the truck is hauling a heavy load. The Mack mDRIVE HD 14-speed, available only in an overdrive configuration, adds a second ultra-low-speed reduction gear designed for curb pouring applications or low-speed, heavy-haul maneuvering. Both transmissions offer up to four reverse gear ratios.

The new Mack mDRIVE HD models share their architecture with the standard mDRIVE HD, including reinforced internal components and the same gear ratios for the 12 forward speeds. The addition of the low reduction and multispeed reverse gears is made possible by a short extension added to the front of the transmission case. Despite the additional capabilities, the new mDRIVE HD models are less than five inches longer and only 90 pounds heavier than the standard mDRIVE HD, maintaining a weight advantage of nearly 150 pounds compared with automatic transmissions.

The mDRIVE HD 13-speed is now standard on the Mack Granite. The mDRIVE HD 13- and 14-speeds are available in Pinnacle, Granite, and Titan by Mack models.

Also new for 2017 is ClearTech One, which is more compact than a two-component system, allowing for a shorter wheelbase for improved maneuverability. The smaller package also is about 17 pounds lighter than the current two-unit EATS.

ClearTech One is optimized for passive regeneration and SCR performance. The SCR catalyst is mounted downstream of the DPF, preventing hydrocarbon, ash or soot from entering the system. There is also no need for a second Diesel Oxidation Catalyst to be located before the SCR system. The single package unit enables more framerail space, allowing customer flexibility and the ability to have more room for chassis-mounted equipment.

ClearTech One is available for order in Mack’s Pinnacle and Granite models. Mack also will continue to offer the two-unit ClearTech EATS for specific applications such as tandem steering.       

Yet another fuel savings offering in Mack’s suite of powertrain solutions is Mack Predictive Cruise, an intelligent system that memorizes a route when cruise control is on, storing up to 4,500 hills in its memory. When the driver next travels the same route, Mack Predictive Cruise engages mDRIVE to choose the most fuel-efficient gear. Predictive Cruise will be available for order in January 2017.

Mack Trucks also announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Geotab, a leading global provider of end-to-end telematics technology, enabling connectivity for older Mack vehicles not currently equipped with Mack® GuardDog Connect, Mack’s integrated telematics solution. The addition of Geotab will help all Mack customers to benefit from telematics technology.

Geotab offers intuitive, full-featured solutions to help businesses better manage their drivers and vehicles by extracting accurate and actionable intelligence. Using this business intelligence and benchmarking data fleets can improve productivity, reduce fuel consumption, enhance driver safety and achieve stronger compliance to regulatory channels.

Details regarding the new service offerings through Mack connected vehicle services have not yet been finalized. Geotab will be available for older vehicles and will not replace GuardDog Connect.

A new Mack ASIST mobile app that allows customers to manage service and unplanned events from wherever they may be located has been introduced. Mack ASIST is a cloud-based service relationship management tool that keeps fleet customers, dealers and service providers, Mack field staff and Mack Uptime Center agents connected during service and repair events.

The ASIST app will be free and will feature a quick link to the Mack Uptime Center for quick repairs. The Uptime Center, based in Greensboro NC, houses personnel from all customer support functions and connects them to customers and dealers through the latest vehicle communications technology and case management tools.

Mack ASIST is a key part of the closed loop communication process around fault codes identified by Mack GuardDog Connect. Through its partnership with Decisiv, Mack is currently piloting the app with select customers for Android and iOS operating systems.