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Isuzu returns to U.S. Class 6 segment for 2018

Isuzu Commercial Truck of America highlighted key specifications of its all-new Class 6 medium-duty truck, the 2018 Isuzu FTR, following a series of “whistle stops” at several dealerships the OEM made while taking the vehicle on a nationwide tour over the last two weeks.

Isuzu originally unveiled the 2018 FT model at the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) Work Truck Show back in March of this year.

Some of the specs being announced for the dock-height 2018 Isuzu FTR include:

• A 25,950 pounds gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR).

• Eight wheelbase lengths ranging from 152 to 248 inches, accommodating bodies from 14 to 30 feet long.

• The 2018 FTR will come standard with an 4-cylinder Isuzu 5.2-liter 4HK1-TC engine that generates 215 hp and 520 lbs.-ft. of torque, mated to an Allison six-speed automatic transmission with power take-off (PTO) capability.

• The truck’s Dana-supplied axles will have capacities of 12,000 lbs. up front with a 19,000 lbs. rear suspension.

• Bridgestone or Continental 11R22.5 tires will be the standard offering on the 2018 FTR; fitted onto 22.5-in. × 8.25-in. steel wheels.

Isuzu added that FTR is slated to go into production at a new manufacturing facility in Charlotte, Michigan in mid-2017 [i.e. contract assembler Spartan Motors].

Isuzu FTR website - http://www.isuzucv.com/en/fseries/models

Isuzu FTR brochure - http://www.isuzucv.com/en/app/site/pdf?file=ftr_brochure.pdf

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Almost every medium duty Cabover I see in Florida is an Isuzu, if they are built as well as my 92p.u I can see why! One of my gearheads buddies in Pa said the reason the little Japanese mini p.u are so bulletproof is they are built for third world conditions! Makes sense.

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Isuzu ought to consider a gasoline option for the FTR.  I say this because of the high percentage of gasoline fueled NPR's I see.  I think a tandem axle version would have a limited market, and I can't see the 4HK1-TC having enough power for a 50,000#+ GVW truck.  6HK1-TC perhaps?

Wonder if Chevy dealers will get a version of the FTR?

 

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16 hours ago, RoadwayR said:

Isuzu ought to consider a gasoline option for the FTR.  I say this because of the high percentage of gasoline fueled NPR's I see.  I think a tandem axle version would have a limited market, and I can't see the 4HK1-TC having enough power for a 50,000#+ GVW truck.  6HK1-TC perhaps?

Wonder if Chevy dealers will get a version of the FTR?

The 4x2 FTR has a GVW of 25,950lb, not 50,000lb. The 215hp/520lb/ft 4HK1-TC will be fine, much like the 5.1-liter Detroit DD5 (Mercedes-Benz OM934). Remember, the MIDR 06.02.12 engine in the MS200P and MS250P Mid-Liners was rated at 175hp/395 lb/ft horsepower (165hp/385 lb/ft in California) and it was a spirited performer.

I question whether GM's small block 6.0-liter LQ4 gasoline engine would be appropriate for the 4x2 FTR.

Ford has a monopoly on such an engine, the 6.8-liter V-10. But even though we think volumes are strong for gasoline F-650s, Ford's accountants think V-10 production numbers are impractically small (spoiled by light vehicle engine volumes). Chevrolet sold the big block to PSI (http://www.psiengines.com/) who now offers it as an 8.8-liter for natural gas or propane.

With the upcoming tandem, if it's a standard duty FV-Series, it'll have a 7.79-liter 296 horsepower 6HK1-DCS.

If the tandem is a heavy-duty FX-Series for vocational applications, it'll have a 9.84-liter 345 horsepower 6UZ1-TCN.

I'm guessing that GM doesn't see a large medium-duty COE market, even though COE is superior to a conventional cab, particularly in medium duty applications. They see Paccar isn't selling a lot of US market DAF LFs, and they have the all-new Navistar-built conventional cab medium duties coming on line in 2018. It's easy for GM since production will be at Navistar's Springfield, Ohio plant. All GM has to do is sell them, which they will. Of course if the US medium-duty market trend ever shifts to COE, GM could sign an additional deal with Isuzu overnight.

Funny you ask if Chevrolet commercial truck dealers will get a rebadged version of the medium-duty Isuzu FTR. As a result of the new cooperation with VW Group, Navistar has had preliminary talks with VW Brazil on bringing medium-duty versions of the COE Constellation to the US market (https://www.man-la.com/produtos-volkswagen/modelos/constellation-7/chassi-rigido-7). Terrific truck. Paccar of course sold the "Worker" in the US years ago, but the company and its dealers were clueless on selling medium-duty, where as Mack dealers sold thousands and thousands of Mid-Liners to the point that it became the number one selling medium-duty COE in America. Ryder and Penske loved them.

 

 

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No, I was supposing the 4H would be used in the tandem.  That engine will indeed be fine for the FTR.  

GM still makes an 8.0L V-8.  This engine is distributed through Powertrain Integration, and is the engine used by Freightliner in their propane fuels school bus chassis and medium truck.  It is adaptable for CNG, LNG, and gasoline.  I think it's a more durable platform then Ford's V-10.  The 8.0L might be a good fit in the FTR.  

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BTW- Clarification on Chevy big blocks:  The 8.1L design was sold to Powertrain Solutions Inc. (PSI), who improved and enlarged the basic design.  Manufactured by PSI, it is sold as an 8.8L and a 10.4L.  The gasoline version of the 8.8L did receive certification for 2017, and will be offered in International's IC conventional school bus:

https://www.schoolbusweb.com/home.html/front_page_blog/ic-bus-adds-gasoline-engine-to-ce-series-r92/

Would not at all be surprised if this engine makes it into the DuraStar eventually.

The 8.0L is a version of the older 'Mark VI' 7.4L.  It is manufactured by GM and distributed through Powertrain Integration (PI):

http://powertrainintegration.com/pi-thon-8-0l-v8-lpg/

Currently the 8.0L is offered only as a propane engine, but GM Powertrain lists it as gasoline capable.  Of course that doesn't mean that it is currently EPA certified for installation in new vehicles.  

http://www.gmpowertrain.com/engines/8l-lfi.html

Further complicating matters is the fact that PSI recently purchased PI!

So, maybe a PSI 8.8L gasoline fueled Isuzu FTR.

 

  

 

 

 

   

Edited by RoadwayR
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Isuzu Sets Production, Ordering for Class 6 Cabover

Heavy Duty Trucking  /  March 14, 2017

Isuzu Commercial Truck of America (ICTA) will begin production of its 2018 FTR Class 6 cabover in May and start taking orders for the medium-duty truck in April, the company announced at the Work Truck Show in Indianapolis.

Spartan Motors is assembling the 2018 FTR at its Charlotte, Mich., assembly plant that spans 85,000 square feet. The vehicle will retail for $82,180, the manufacturer announced.

"This truck's combination of low-cab-forward design and Class 6 GVWR gives it fantastic maneuverability and visibility along with the ability to carry more cargo than a conventional Class 6 truck," said Shaun Skinner, president of ICTA. "Its four-cylinder diesel engine is environmentally friendly and gives the truck outstanding fuel efficiency. Its class-leading warranty gives its owners peace of mind."

The FTR is powered by Isuzu's 4HK1-TC 5.2L turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine that now carries a B-10 durability rating of 375,000 miles, meaning that 90% of engines should reach that odometer reading before needing an overhaul. When fitted in the FTR, the engine makes 215 hp and 520 lb.-ft. of torque at peak operation.

Isuzu pairs the engine with an Allison 2550 RDS 6-speed automatic transmission with power take-off (PTO) capability.

The front axle can take 12,000 pounds of capacity, while the rear axle is rated at 19,000 pounds. The GVWR is 25,950 pounds. The 11R22.5 tires are fitted to 22.5-inch steel wheels.

Users can add an available 50- or 100-gallon fuel tank depending on which wheelbase they choose. The truck is available in eight wheelbase lenghts from 152 to 248 inches. It can accommodate bodies from 14 to 30 feet.

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Isuzu Begins Production of Class 6 FTR

Heavy Duty Trucking  /  May 10, 2017

Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc., distributor of low cab forward trucks, has announced that production of its all-new entry in the Class 6 medium-duty truck segment — the 2018 Isuzu FTR — began May 8, 2017.

The truck is being produced at a new 80,000-square-foot Spartan Motors facility in Charlotte, Mich.

“We believe that the all-new FTR is the truck of the future,” said Shaun Skinner, president of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America. “This truck’s combination of low-cab-forward design, Class 6 GVWR, and four-cylinder diesel engine gives it fantastic maneuverability, the ability to carry more cargo than a conventional Class 6 truck, and outstanding fuel efficiency."

The FTR is powered by Isuzu’s 4HK1-TC 5.2L turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine — a first in the segment, according to the truckmaker. It generates 520 lb.-ft. of torque and 215 hp and carries a B10 durability rating of 375,000 miles — meaning that 90% of engines should reach that mileage before requiring an overhaul. The truck has a gross vehicle weight rating of 25,950 pounds.

"We’re also thrilled to be working with Spartan Motors in Michigan,” Skinner added. “Much of the engineering for this truck was done at the Isuzu Technical Center of America in Plymouth, Michigan, and many of the parts for it are U.S.-sourced. This is a true medium-duty Class 6 truck designed and built for this market, in this market.”

Eight wheelbase lengths, ranging from 152 to 248 inches, accommodate bodies from 14 feet to 30 feet, allowing for a wide variety of body applications.

The new truck assembly plant where the FTR is being produced represents a $6.5 million investment and has already brought new jobs to the Michigan workforce.

Steve Guillaume, President of Spartan Specialty Vehicles, said, “We value our business relationship with Isuzu, and we’re excited to help bring this groundbreaking new product to the market.”

More information can be found at www.isuzucv.com and at www.spartanmotors.com.

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They may have something there.  It's priced a bit on the high side, but I suspect operating and overall cost-of-ownership will be quite low.  And if it's anything like an NPR, it will be very reliable.

Question about Spartan Motors:  Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't Spartan formed by some guys from Diamond Reo and Dodge's heavy truck operation after those truck lines went under in 1975?  I seem to remember a Chrysler engineer named Sztykiel that ran Spartan for many years.  

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Isuzu FTR Test Drive Addresses 4-Cylinder Engine Questions

Heavy Duty Trucking  /  June 8, 2017

This week, Isuzu Commercial Truck of America offered the 2018 Isuzu FTR Class 6 cabover for limited driving at an event at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Similar events, attended by dealer sales, service, and parts staff; fleet customers, and media, were held in Chicago and New York.

The redesigned Isuzu FTR is available for the first time since the model line was discontinued in 2009.

The event, attended by Bobit editors of Work Truck Magazine, Heavy Duty Trucking, and Business Fleet Magazine, included a business briefing and product demonstration followed by closed-track test drives of the 2018 Isuzu FTR against competitive trucks. The tests included a cone course designed to exhibit the FTR’s handling and maneuverability and a timed “drag race” with competitive vehicles at maximum GVWR. 

The 2018 Isuzu FTR, rated at 25,950 lbs. GVWR, is available in one powerplant configuration, a 5.2L four-cylinder engine with an Allison six-speed transmission. The FTR is rated at 215 standard horsepower and 520 lbs-ft. standard torque.

At the business briefing, Shaun Skinner, president of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, highlighted the expected sales growth of the medium-duty segment in conjunction with U.S. population growth that will concentrate on urban centers. “The FTR is designed to meet the needs of moving cargo in urban centers,” Skinner said.

Isuzu also unveiled results of comparative road tests conducted by Flexible Force LLC, an independent automotive testing and training company, in December 2016. The “blind comparative” tests,  certified by the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), measured the FTR’s performance in acceleration, braking, turning radius, and fuel economy.

The FTR was tested against current models of Kenworth K270, Navistar 4300, Hino 268A, Freightliner M2, and Ford F-650.

All vehicles were loaded to exactly 25,975 lbs., according to Roger Johnson, owner of Flexible Force LLC. The tests were conducted on a city route of 120.7 miles with 24 stops and a mountain route with a 6.5% grade and climbs from 1,500 ft. to 4,500 ft.

Of the six vehicles, the FTR placed third and fourth in acceleration tests of varying miles-per-hour limits. In two braking tests, the FTR placed fourth and tied for third place. The FTR placed first in turning radius. Measuring fuel economy, the FTR won first place in both the mountain and city routes. In the city route, the FTR beat the next competitor by 16.1% and 22.3% over the last place finisher.

“People that spend time in (medium-duty) trucks, their expectations have traditionally been that they’re going to run a six cylinder,” Johnson said. “You didn’t expect to run a four-cylinder; the technology just wasn’t there.”

Johnson said the industry has seen incremental improvements in performance, emissions, and fuel economy with six-cylinder engines. “The next step in that improvement is displacement,” he said. “I believe in six to eight years a four-cylinder engine will be standard in Class 6. There is no comparative decrease in performance in a four-cylinder diesel truck engine today.”

Production of the 2018 Isuzu FTR began May 8 at Isuzu’s Charlotte, Michigan, plant. Isuzu expects to ship orders in mid-June.

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A fellow I know bought a Hino hotshot tractor, his dad worked for GM s Packard Electric div. In Warren Ohio,and dad forced the son to replace the Hino badges with GMC ones so he could park it in their driveway! I'm not surprised that Isuzu avoided the deadly 26000 gvw rating by 50 lbs LoL

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I think the point is the FTR was first in fuel economy, and by a considerable margin.  I personally could care less about acceleration, as long as the truck can safely keep up with traffic.  Since if the Isuzu placed mid-pack in the acceleration comparison, it is probably acceptable.

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Isuzu: New Class 6 is right truck at right time

Fleet Owner  /  June 22, 2017

QUEENS, NY. The rapid shift from traditional retail store shopping to the purchase of products over the internet is driving major changes to delivery networks as well – including changes to the capabilities of the trucks tasked with making those deliveries.

During a ride and drive event held in the shadow of New York City’s Citi Field, Isuzu Commercial Truck of America and Canada showed off its brand-new Class 6 FTR medium-duty cabover truck model, which the company believes is positioned perfectly to benefit from e-commerce driven growth in the delivery of goods to residential areas.

“When you look at where a lot of packaged goods are now being delivered, places of business or home, versus going to retail outlets, this is an outstanding vehicle,” Shaun Skinner, Isuzu’s president, told Fleet Owner.

“There’s a couple of things advantageous that it [the FTR] brings to the marketplace,” he stressed. “The first is its cab-forward [cabover] design and really from the outset is for urban delivery. A cab-forward product allows not only for a crowded environment, it allows for great visibility and better maneuverability.”

Skinner noted that the FTR’s four-cylinder diesel engine gives it a unique advantage as well, as Freightliner is the only other truck maker in the market offering a four-cylinder diesel engine in a Class 6 product.

“We believe that brings with it a number of advantages, number one being fuel economy,” he pointed out. “Our vehicle has outstanding fuel economy … and that drives down the cost of ownership.”

The FTR is powered by a turbocharged 4HK1-TC engine four-cylinder diesel engine that offers “B10 life” of 375,000 miles, meaning that 90% of those engines should reach that mileage before requiring an overhaul.

“Some people could look at that [a four-cylinder engine] as a perceived weakness,” added Skinner. “We look at it as a strength [because] we’re not looking to put it into highly vocationalized areas where you have this robust use of the vehicle from a standpoint of horsepower and torque requirements. This is going to be more of a delivery and pick-up vehicle. From an ownership standpoint, the four-cylinder engine will really be an advantage.”

The New York event at Citi Filed is one of several Isuzu held in recent weeks across the country to help familiarize its fleet customers and dealers with its new Class 6 FTR cabover.

“A lot of the design work [for the FTR] was done in the U.S. at the Isuzu Technical Center of America in Plymouth, MI,” Skinner said. “Usually for trucks in this market a great deal of the design [by Isuzu] is done in Japan. It’s assembled at the same campus as our gas truck is, with our partner Spartan Motors in Charlotte, MI.”

Isuzu expects to begin shipping the FTR by early July. “There’s still a few things we have to make sure of, but so far zero defects have been found,” Skinner noted.

“We’ve been out of the Class 6 product since 2009, so this is the first chance we’ve had to reintroduce it in the U.S. and Canada markets,” he added.

“That’s because our original strategy was attached to our alliance with General Motors,” Skinner explained. “When they declared bankruptcy, one of the things that went away was the medium duty, their commercial truck part of the medium duty. So when we lost that alliance we had to reformulate how to get back to the U.S. and Canada markets with a Class 6 product.”

But once Isuzu found itself able to re-enter the Class 6 market on its own, “we got very excited, because there are about 40,000 Class 6 cab-forward customers out there with not a lot of options,” Skinner emphasized. “We have a high level of U.I.O’s, units in operation, that haven’t had anything since 2009. It’s exciting for us that we now have a product we can bring to market for these people.”

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