Freightliner Trucks has introduced the 2014 Cascadia Evolution powered by Detroit and featuring some of the most advanced aerodynamic enhancements in the industry. The Evolution is the most recent addition to Freightliner's line-up of fully compliant GHG14 vehicles.
Cascadia Evolution achieved 9.31 mpg on a  2,400-mile cross country trip on real Interstate highways between San Diego, Calif., and Gastonia, NC.,
Cascadia Evolution achieved 9.31 mpg on a 2,400-mile cross country trip on real Interstate highways between San Diego, Calif., and Gastonia, NC.,

Freightliner says the Cascadia Evolution delivers up to a 7% improvement in fuel economy over an EPA 2010-compliant Cascadia equipped with a first generation aerodynamic package, and up to a 5% improvement compared to a MY 2013 Cascadia equipped with the latest aerodynamic upgrades.

The optimized aerodynamic features on the new Cascadia Evolution were developed using Daimler Trucks North America's proprietary, state-of-the-art wind tunnel. In addition, the truck was extensively tested on highways throughout the United States, and underwent almost three million miles in combined reliability and fuel economy testing.

Freightliner will begin production of the Cascadia Evolution in 2013.

Achievements in Aerodynamics

The Cascadia Evolution incorporates several frontal area updates designed to improve airflow and aerodynamics including a new air dam, bumper closure and a hood-to-bumper fill. Additional design enhancements includes an improved windshield seal, elliptical-shaped aerodynamic mirrors and an integrated antenna. New wheel covers on the rear tandem axles, chassis side fairings and 20-inch side extenders further contribute to the truck's efficiency.

Cooling enhancements include a 1,400 square-inch radiator, which features a revised baffling system and new radiator mounting design that contribute to improved cooling capacity and increased durability.

Now standard with the Cascadia Evolution is Freightliner's proprietary Run Smart Predictive Cruise system, which evaluates the road profile more than one mile in advance, determines the most efficient vehicle speed, and then adjusts the actual speed of the truck for maximum fuel efficiency.

"We examined every detail to ensure that no stone was left unturned when developing the Cascadia Evolution," said TJ Reed, director of product marketing for Freightliner Trucks. "The result is a truck that will immediately benefit fuel economy performance and overall cost of ownership."

The Detroit Difference

Available only in the Cascadia Evolution, the newly designed DD15 engine features a proprietary asymmetric turbocharger with a next-generation amplified common rail system (ACRS). The asymmetric turbocharger is less complex than variable geometry turbos and, because it is proprietary, is optimally matched to the DD15's EGR system for best real world fuel consumption.

The new engine is more than 100 lbs. lighter than its predecessor and includes an improved fuel filter module with two filters that deliver lower maintenance costs with an industry-leading 100,000 mile filter change interval. The engine also features a variable speed water pump with lower impeller speeds that produces less parasitic load, improved DDEC electronics for better engine and aftertreatment system management, and an optimized piston design for less friction and oil consumption.

"Detroit is once again challenging the norm by exceeding expectations and optimizing performance," said Brad Williamson, manager, engine and component marketing, Daimler Trucks North America. "We're changing the way the industry looks at diesel engines."

The Detroit Virtual Technician system - standard on the Cascadia Evolution - helps reduce downtime and decrease maintenance costs by providing real-time engine diagnostics, enabling drivers and fleet managers to quickly and accurately evaluate events, and in many cases allowing them to remain driving when others would have to stop to evaluate the event. It also minimizes time in the shop by almost eliminating the diagnostic time since it is completed when the truck arrives by the Detroit customer support center.

Track and Tour Tested

In carefully controlled, closed-course testing during the final stages of product development, a production model Cascadia Evolution demonstrated a fuel consumption rate of 10.67 mpg.

An "optimally spec'd" Cascadia Evolution was tested at the Continental Proving Grounds in Uvalde, Texas, where the truck traveled 1,000 miles nonstop at an average speed of 60 mph around the 8.5-mile closed-course track with a GCW of 76,000 pounds. Fuel consumption was measured at the completion of the demonstration by Automotive Testing and Development Services (ATDS), an independent, third-party auditor using high-accuracy fuel flow meters.

"The optimally spec'd Cascadia Evolution truly showcases the depth of our aerodynamic and powertrain solutions," said TJ Reed, director of product marketing for Freightliner Trucks. "We are excited about what these significant fuel savings results can mean for our customers, and towards our overall objective of lowering cost of operation and improving our customers' bottom lines."

In addition to the standard offerings on the new Cascadia Evolution, the test truck was equipped with several fuel squeezing options, including the new Detroit DT12 automated manual transmission, wide-base single tires, a 6x2 drivetrain configuration, and Daimler-designed aerodynamic trailer enhancements which were included to represent the current state of trailer aerodynamics available in the aftermarket.

"The closed-track demonstration enabled us to eliminate interfering elements of a typical on-highway fuel economy test such as traffic, construction and speed variations," said Al Pearson, chief engineer, Product Validation Engineering for Daimler Trucks North America. "The use of a closed test track allows us to demonstrate pure fuel economy potential with ambient weather conditions being the only uncontrollable factor."

9.31 mpg on a Real World Run

Achieving 10.67 mpg in a controlled test is one thing -- and no small accomplishment -- but when run 2,400 miles cross country on real Interstate highways from San Diego, Calif., to Gastonia, NC., the optimally spec'd Cascadia Evolution achieved 9.31 mpg.

To ensure consistent and standard test parameters, two trucks were used. Both were set at a 62 mph cruise speed and were loaded to 76,000 lb GCW. At the end of each day, fuel consumption was calculated by ATDS. To further ensure consistency, drivers and trailers were swapped between tractors at the mid-point each day, and the vehicles were fueled at the end of each day using a fuel tanker carrying a consistent blend of fuel.

"DTNA allocates a major part of our engineering research, design and testing resources solely to fuel economy improvement projects. We conduct all of our final fuel economy validations of new product features using enhanced, over-the-road testing to better predict what our customers will experience," said Pearson. "The coupling of this with closed-track testing helps us understand the maximum range of benefits a package will provide. The Evolution of Efficiency Tour and accompanying closed track demonstration are a great example of our rigorous approach to fuel economy validation."

The two Freightliner Cascadia trucks used on The Evolution of Efficiency Tour were an EPA 2010-compliant Cascadia 125-inch BBC tractor with a 72-inch raised roof and first-generation aerodynamic package. It was equipped with a Detroit DD15 engine, an Eaton UltraShift Plus AMT and Detroit tandem rear axles.

The production model 2014 Cascadia Evolution was a 125-inch BBC tractor with a 72-inch raised roof and Evolution aerodynamic package, equipped with a newly designed Detroit DD15 engine, an Eaton UltraShift Plus and Detroit tandem rear axles.

The final measured results published by ATDS report a 7.01 percent benefit in fuel consumption of the Cascadia Evolution relative to a similarly spec'd EPA 2010-compliant Cascadia.

"We are excited not only about what the Cascadia Evolution achieved, but