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.”