New Mack Anthem launched in US

YOU can hear the dogs barking up Queensland way at Mack Trucks Australian HQ.

Excitement is widespread with what the marketing people call the "next generation Highway hero, the Mack Anthem".

The Anthem with all-new cab and body design was launched on September 13 during the Global Dealer Summit in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Early blurb suggests that the "Mack Anthem is a re-engineered, redesigned and re-imagined interpretation of what today's highway truck should be."

Coming back to earth and leaving behind the tizz of the launch, on first appearances, through both the images supplied by Mack Trucks and a promotional YouTube production this is the truck that Mack dealers the world over have been waiting for.

Vice President of Mack Trucks Australia, Dean Bestwick, sounds as he is doing backward somersaults with the supplied quote on today's media release:

"It's a really exciting time for Mack Trucks. The Mack Anthem is an insight into the future direction for Mack Trucks; and what a great looking future that is!

"Mack went to unprecedented lengths to get driver input during the development of the Mack Anthem and the result is unlike anything on the road today.

"The engineers and designers at Mack have done an amazing job retaining the iconic bold chisel looks while improving aerodynamic properties resulting in increased fuel economy."

The Anthem was launched on September 13 and was described at Allentown as "one of the most significant new trucks in Mack's 117 year history. The Anthem combines our latest innovations with more than a century of truck building know-how," said Dennis Slagle, president of Mack trucks globally.

The aerodynamic architecture and the new cab seem to be the major innovations with the new truck.

At first glance the aerodynamics make the Anthem look like many truck designs spawned from the wind tunnel, but looking at the nose-cone in a drive-by on the YouTube promotion, it reminds me of the front of a World War II bomber - which is by no means a bad thing.

The aerodynamics sweep back under the front of the truck and will present bull bar manufacturers a problem or two to make a snug fit in this country.

And that course leads to the big question, with the trumpets blowing and the dogs barking, will this truck come to Australia?

Absolutely seems to be the message coming from Australian management.

Dean Bestwick says, "We are committed to making the Mack Anthem a reality for Australian and new Zealand operators. Particularly exciting is the inclusion of a fully integrated stand-up sleeper with potential in the Australian and New Zealand markets. While the North American Mack Anthem is primarily a serious on-highway truck, we feel there would certainly be a demand Down Under for a rigid version in vocational applications."

Bestwick goes on to warn that it could be some time before the new truck is launched in Australia, "not until we've extensively validated it in the unique and challenging conditions of Australia and New Zealand."

The streamlined new look of the Mack seems to have a major focus of fuel efficiency, up to 3% is being claimed. There is the new aerodynamic architecture as well as a new hood and grill, a redesigned roof and chassis fairings, mirror covers, front bumper and air dam to easily cut the wind.

John Walsh, Mack Vice President of global marketing and brand management, who some of us met during the Brisbane Truck Show, again focuses on the aerodynamics.

"Using advanced computer modelling together with coast-down testing at Kennedy Space Centre, our designers and engineers developed an extremely efficient design that cuts drag and saves fuel, helping to boost customers bottom lines."

At this time the Anthem will be available with a 13 litre MP8 engine and the 11 litre MP7 is also available as an option. The mDrive automated manual transmission is apparently standard on all models.

With the ageing cab design with Mack Trucks in Australia, it will be interesting to see where the new Anthem models are placed and if there will be a move away from the Australian standards of Titan and Super-Liner with the bigger MP10 engine.

There appears to be an indication that the Anthem will be released in Australia, however the new cab will no doubt find its way across the Titan, Super-Liner range.Wil

When Australia's marketing team gets back from Pennsylvania, I guess there will be many questions to be answered. Bottom line is that Mack Trucks is singing a new Anthem!

Big Rigs

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