Kenworth Shows Aerodynamic, Comfortable T680 Tractor
March 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature
LOUISVILLE, KY -- Kenworth unveiled a new T680 highway tractor that claims superior aerodynamics and in-cab comfort and convenience features. Unveiled at the 2012 Mid-America Trucking Show, the new model will complement existing tractors and is the most aerodynamic Kenworth ever, executives said.
Kenworth's new T680 will come with a 73-inch-long sleeper or a day cab. Paccar's 12.9-liter MX diesel is standard while Cummins' ISX15 is optional.
The T680 is the result of two years of intense research with owners and drivers and more than 800 interviews, said Preston Feight, Kenworth's chief engineer. It will have the lowest total cost of ownership, uses lightweight aluminum construction, is designed for 1.5 million miles of life, has 10% better aerodynamics and is 5% more fuel efficient than previous models, and is designed for easy servicing.
For drivers, the T680 has bright bi-xenon headlamps; 30% larger, wide-opening doors; a 50% larger windshield, and a 40% quieter cab with a carefully designed interior that includes 65% more interior storage than previous KWs, he said. A work station uses a wide table that rotates 90 degrees for convenient positioning. It can be used from the bunk or from the passenger seat, and a nearby mount in the sleeper can accommodate up to 23-inch thin-screen TVs.
The newly designed T680 cab is made of stamped aluminum panels joined to the framework with Henrob fasteners, which help ensure excellent fit and finish while providing a durable structure more resistant to water, noise and vibration. Triple door seals and acoustic treatments in the floor and firewall help block out airborne noise.
A new instrument panel has attractive and legible instruments, and the dashboard has an available navigation and vehicle status screen that can display much information to speed servicing. Automatic temperature control is used for the first time in a Kenworth, Feight said.
The cab is 83 inches wide, 10 inches more than a T660's, allowing 23 inches of room between the seats for easy movement to the sleeper. The T680 offers the premium Diamond VIT and Vantage trim levels and two interior colors, "sandstone tan" and "slate gray."
The T680's smooth, stylish body shape includes a sculpted full-height roof, optimized bumper and hood, full-height side extenders, cab/sleeper-to-fairings "closeout" panels, chassis fairing extenders and flush-mounted lighting.
The aerodynamic hood is made of sheet molding compound, a lightweight, durable composite material that enables high paint quality. With the advanced hood assist system, lifting the hood requires just 35 pounds of opening force. The three-piece hood and two-piece bumper are designed for quick and economical collision repairs.
The Kenworth T680 is aimed at line-haul, pickup and delivery, and regional hauling operations. Available with a new 76-inch sleeper or as a day cab, the T680 is standard with the 12.9-liter Paccar MX diesel, while the Cummins ISX15 is optional, Feight said.
As much thought went into manufacturing the T680 as its design, executives said. Special materials, equipment and processes will be employed at KW's plant in Chillicothe, Ohio, which will build the new model starting later this year.
Watch the unveiling for the trucking press: