Western Star rounds out X-Series line with redesigned highway tractor

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This 12 months marks the 55th anniversary of the Western Star model, however by no means has a truck by that title been so lavishly dressed with driver comforts and superior applied sciences as the brand new 57X.

The alternative to the uniquely styled 5700XE is greater than a product refresh; it’s a redesign that brings Western Star’s freeway providing to the entrance of the pack technologically whereas providing drivers an expensive on-road expertise.

“That is probably the most superior and modern on-highway Western Star truck ever,” mentioned Anthony Pires, model supervisor for Western Star Vans, when providing journalists a sneak peek close to Detroit, Mich., final week.

Added Anthony Mignardi, vice-president – on-highway market growth, “We listened to our prospects and constructed the truck from the bottom up.”

The 57X is the third and ultimate product to make up the household, becoming a member of the beforehand launched 47X and 49X, every with a extra vocational taste. The truck maker dubs these three vehicles as: “The trilogy of powerful.”

The aim, Mignardi defined, was to fuse in the very best of Daimler’s over-the-road truck applied sciences to create a greater driver expertise. However there have been additionally loads of adjustments made to the styling.

red western star
(Picture: James Menzies)

57X exterior

The bumper to again of cab (BBC) has been prolonged to 129 inches to supply an extended, extra aerodynamic hood, defined Ryan Main, product advertising and marketing supervisor – on-highway. Configurations will embrace: day cab; 60-inch mid-roof; 72-inch mid-roof; and a 72-inch Stratosphere sleeper.

Gone is the 82-inch sleeper supplied on the 5700XE, however Main mentioned the brand new 72-inch alternative truly provides 22% extra inside house due to extra peak and width. The shorter sleeper and X-Collection aluminum cab with metal reinforcements shaved about 1,000 lb. off a 5700XE with 82-inch sleeper, Main mentioned.

The entrance of the truck reveals a brand new two-piece aerodynamic bumper with air ducts to assist direct air round obstructions and to the place it may be used to offer extra cooling. Heated LED headlamps are commonplace, as is a three-piece hood.

The air consumption and C-loop mirrors are carried over from the opposite X-Collection vehicles, and a brand new one-piece windshield is 28% bigger than the two-piece discovered on the 5700XE. Body rails have been splayed so the engine can experience decrease for improved aerodynamics and visibility. A stainless-steel solar visor – optimized for aerodynamics – is a non-deletable characteristic. You’re getting one whether or not you prefer it or not, however few Western Star purists would complain.

For operators who take the truck onto gravel roads or rugged jobsites, a brand new ‘powerful glass’ windshield that resists cracking and chipping could be spec’d. New chassis fairings have been added to the truck to enhance its gasoline economic system. Aerodynamics, when mixed with powertrain enhancements, will give operators a 5.8% gasoline economic system enchancment over the 5700XE, Main mentioned.

(Picture: Western Star)

Contained in the cab

A brand new e-vault homes all of the truck’s CPUs and fuses behind a straightforward to take away panel on the passenger’s facet of the sprint. Drivers or technicians can simply entry them from contained in the cab for a fast analysis or alternative.

“The secret’s, they’re multi functional location,” mentioned Main. “If that you must service something, it’s all just about proper there within the sprint.”

The whole lot contained in the 57X is new apart from the middle part of the steering wheel. A ‘good’ wheel comes loaded with buttons to manage every thing from the music and 12-inch driver show, to the cruise management settings.

Along with the colourful, info-loaded 12-inch driver show, is a 10-inch touchscreen show on the B-panel, able to working Apple CarPlay. Presently, that show isn’t suitable with any third-party digital logging gadgets (ELDs) – a Ram mount can be utilized for these – however I’m informed it’s one thing Western Star is trying into. Info on each screens could be displayed in French.

The steering wheel is now infinitely adjustable for improved consolation. Laredo leather-based seats with trendy cross-stitching could be ordered ventilated to offer heating and cooling, or to swivel.

The sleeper compartment is spacious and comfy. Two seats and a desk provide a snug place to work or eat. When it’s bedtime, these fold down and a Murphy mattress could be lowered from the rear wall. The complete course of takes seconds. Double bunks can be found, but when just one is required, there’s tons of space for storing the place the higher bunk could be. If double bunks are wanted, a telescoping ladder makes it protected and straightforward to entry the higher bunk.

Airline-inspired storage compartments provide extra storage choices. A 2.5 cu.-ft. fridge comes commonplace with bigger choices accessible by way of the aftermarket, and there’s room for a microwave as much as 1 cu.-ft. All inside lighting is LED and infinitely adjustable.

Western Star 57X
(Picture: Western Star)

The tech

When the primary Western Star vehicles had been inbuilt Kelowna, B.C., in 1967 for loggers requiring a extra rugged rig, the applied sciences accessible on the 57X would’ve been unimaginable. The truck can solely be spec’d with a Detroit powertrain, together with the DT12 automated handbook transmission mated to a Detroit DD13, DD15, or DD15 engine.

New to the 57X is the Detroit Assurance 5.0 suite of energetic security programs. Lively Brake Help 5 makes use of cameras and radar to detect hazards on the street and apply full braking if the motive force doesn’t reply in time.

Adaptive Cruise Management maintains following distance and may convey the truck to a whole cease in visitors. Non-compulsory Lively Lane Help helps hold the truck centered in its lane. When it detects the motive force has eliminated their arms from the wheel, it provides a sequence of warnings earlier than it brings the truck to a whole cease after a minute of hands-free driving. This might be a lifesaver within the occasion a driver falls asleep or turns into incapacitated.

Lively Aspect Guard Help reveals objects – together with pedestrians and cyclists – alongside the truck and/or trailer’s blind facet. This characteristic will assist save lives (and lightweight posts) in city areas, however may even warn drivers of smaller autos of their blind spot on the freeway after they try a lane change.

Assurance 5.0 additionally provides pace restrict signal recognition, and can warn a driver when they’re 10 mph above the posted pace restrict. In the event that they don’t reply, the cruise pace could be reset to the posted restrict. At 20 mph above the restrict, cruise will disengage altogether. It is a characteristic the protection division will love, however many drivers hate. It may be overridden by the pedal, nevertheless, and fleets who discover the interventions to be heavy handed can program it in order that warnings are displayed however punitive measures aren’t taken.

The brand new Western Star 57X marks the completion of an entire product revamp for Western Star. The 5700XE that the 57X will exchange, hasn’t been produced for the reason that finish of 2021. Meaning Western Star consumers on the lookout for a freeway tractor this 12 months could have strayed.

“We actually labored with our sellers to remain in contact with these prospects,” mentioned Main. “At the moment, we couldn’t inform them [about the 57X]. You all the time need to go for the large bang if you launch these, however we had been sort of main them on. ‘There’s one thing coming.’ ‘Grasp tight.’ To this point, in all our pre-series discussions with prospects we’ve given them little snippets and sneak peeks to indicate them what it might appear to be. They’re very excited.”

Of the three fashions that comprise the X Household, it’s the 57X that take the largest leap ahead by way of styling and applied sciences. It’s a dramatic departure from the 5700XE and that truck’s distinctive laborious edges have been smoothed out within the curiosity of gasoline economic system. They needed to be. With gasoline costs being what they’re, and the price of a brand new truck being what it’s, aerodynamics and gasoline economic system simply should be a precedence for a freeway truck.

But, regardless of its extra rounded kind, the truck stays distinctive. It stays a Western Star. Only a markedly extra snug and technologically superior Western Star.  

Western Star is now taking orders for the 57X, and manufacturing is about to start in early 2023.

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