International Trucks will be rolling into the inaugural North American Commercial Vehicle Show later this month with a seriously-overhauled LoneStar. In a teleconference Monday morning to outline the various enhancements and new features on retro-styled Class 8 tractor, Dave Majors, vice president, product development, Navistar, said the new LoneStar is yet another signal to the industry that International Truck is focused on uptime and delivering the best trucks in the industry that drivers want to drive.
According to Majors, the Lonestar’s “striking” aerodynamic appearance and “breakthrough” functional innovations inside and out are the results of International DriverFirst and Advanced Classics design philosophies, in which technology and innovative styling converge with next-generation aerodynamic design to deliver superior fuel efficiency. Majors said the new LoneStar also sets a higher standard for comfort through improved driver ergonomics and a quieter cab.
"Over the past decade drivers have come to love the iconic status of the LoneStar tractor's exterior styling and appearance with the distinctive grille and sloped hood that were inspired by International's D-Series trucks," said Majors. "Based on this feedback, we wanted to incorporate much of what we've recently learned from drivers and focus our engineering on an all new driver-centric interior while maintaining the iconic exterior look of the truck. As a result, we've made major improvements to the LoneStar in vehicle uptime performance and multiple new and improved features that enhance driver appeal."
Among the new features that International has added to the LoneStar are:
- A new, single-canister aftertreatment system, Majors said is now 60% smaller and 40% lighter than its predecessor and has also been simplified for quicker servicing.
- All new cab wiring and an in-cab power distribution module that is inside the truck, for better protection from the elements.
- International has moved all key service points under the hood, inside the cab, and around the vehicle are ergonomically designed for easy access and servicing, and many components have been engineered with longer intervals between required maintenance.
- A completely revamped HVAC system, that Majors said now delivers outstanding comfort and visibility. It is not only more robust and reliable, drivers will be impressed by the quick defrost functionality. During testing at a frigid 0°F, Majors said the LoneStar's bMAX defrost cleared 100% of the windshield in under 30 minutes from start-up time.
Additionally, Majors noted, International’s DriverFirst design philosophy actively asked for driver input on how to improve the interior design of our trucks. As a result, the LoneStar features an all new, ergonomically designed interior with new digital information display, a new integrated stalk shifter integrating transmission and engine brake functionality, durable and easy to clean soft touch vinyl interior, and stylish diamond interior is standard. Majors said drivers will notice that the doors, side glass, and cab mirrors have all been redesigned to enhance visibility and ultimately helping to reduce neck strain and fatigue over the long haul. Additionally, International redesigned the fuse panel in the passenger-side dash. “Drivers told us they needed a flat area to write on,” Majors said. “This redesign does just that. But we also added deep channeling around the electronics to keep any spilled drinks out of the electronic components housed in that compartment.”
Other in-cab improvements, Majors said, focused on safety and reducing driver fatigue. These include vastly reduced sound levels inside the cab, improved front, and side, visibility, redesigned and repositioned pedestal mirrors and an all-new instrument cluster with improved graphics and easier-to-read dial faces.
Another major upgrade is the addition of the Cummins X15 engine as an option with ratings ranging from 485 to 605 horsepower. When combined with the Lonestar’s contoured hood, fenders and new aerodynamic pedestal mirrors, Majors said the new X15 option is up to 3% more fuel efficient than the previous generation of the tractor, and noted that the truck will be offered in specialized ratings that will allow customers to dial in the ideal balance of performance and efficiency required for any on-highway operation.
International will unveil upgraded Lonestar tractor later this month at the NACV Show in Atlanta. The new models will begin appearing at International dealerships nationwide in early January.