This month will see the launch of the complete Renault Trucks product range. There are preview pictures here for those readers good at looking through the camouflage manufacturers use these days to hide the appearance of the new trucks.
This launch leaves just Isuzu still to reveal their new Euro 6 line up, although the management team at the top of the Japanese manufacturer appear relaxed and confident that the factory can come up with the goods in time.
In contrast, Scania and Mercedes-Benz have been making (small numbers) of trucks at Euro 6 for some while. Scania has already announced their Mk2 version of their Euro 6 engines before others have even announced their first!
There is little doubt that the last few years have been the busiest ever for the renewal of truck ranges. Cabs have had to be reshaped to accommodate the extra cooling needed to support Euro 6 and manufactures have taken the opportunity presented to give their trucks a facelift.
Demonstrating the speed of the new product introduction, in this issue we cover the total renewal of the Volvo Trucks range, which took place inside of eight months. Demonstrating a supreme lack of joined up thinking from our political masters, however, sees legislation on the way that would free up European truck designers in the overall appearance of their heavy truck cabs. The maximum overall length of truck and trailer combinations can be extended if the additional length is used to improve aerodynamic efficiency and/or frontal safety.
Great benefits are promised from this technology with significant CO2 reductions offered as the holy grail. It is unlikely that, after years of development, the truck manufacturers are going to confine their new designs to the waste bin in favour of bonneted, streamlined shapes any time soon.Perhaps the 2020 CV show will have some streamlined specials, but a little more consideration of the timing of these legislative changes could have seen a different breed of tractor unit on the road already.Still, expecting a single government to take a broad view is wishful thinking – so expecting our European masters to do so is pie in the sky.