The limited edition Mack Black Anthem on the NACV show floor. 
 -  Photo by Deborah Lockridge

The limited edition Mack Black Anthem on the NACV show floor.

Photo by Deborah Lockridge

The Mack Anthem, introduced two years ago, is not only proving itself to be super fuel efficient, but a new limited-edition model is more “badass” than ever, said Mack officials at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show Oct. 28 in Atlanta.

Six months ago, Mack launched the #Mackonomics social media campaign, featuring two customers operating Mack Anthems with integrated Mack HE (high efficiency) integrated powertrains and liftable 6x2 axles who are tracking their fuel savings efforts and sharing their experiences online.

At the NACV show, officials shared a six-month progress report. Jamie Hagen, owner of Stratford, South Dakota-based Hell Bent Xpress, and Joel Morrow, senior driver and vice president for fleet equipment procurement at Ploger Transportation based in Norwalk, Ohio, are seeing impressive results so far.

“Mission accomplished, and the #Mackonomics look damn good,” Morrow said. “A personal goal of mine has been to see 10 mpg lifetime average while pulling mostly non-aero trailers. Currently, my 30-day average of pulling 100% non-aero trailers is 10.75 mpg.”

As each Anthem adds up the miles and the MP8HE engines are broken in, fuel efficiency has further improved. “With 64,000 miles on the Mack Anthem, I’m starting to see daily double digits for economy,” Hagen said.

(Mack provided Hagen and Morrow their Mack Anthem models in exchange for their endorsement and promotion of their fuel efficiency efforts, but both are well known in the industry for their focus on fuel-efficient specs and driving techniques. Read past HDT interviews with Hagen and Morrow.)

Back in Black

The Anthem also has received attention for its bold appearance. Now, with Mack’s new limited edition Mack Black Anthem, “The most bad ass truck on the road just got even badder,” said John Walsh, vice president of marketing.

Featuring a blacked-out exterior trim package and additional interior features, the Mack Black Anthem gives customers the opportunity to make a bold statement while still realizing the business benefits that come from partnering with Mack. 

 -  Photo courtesy Mack Trucks

Photo courtesy Mack Trucks

In developing the Mack Black Anthem, designers started with a 70-inch stand-up sleeper model painted Mack Black and spec’d with Mack’s black exterior trim package.  They then added a number of unique styling features, including a bold black Mack wordmark across the grille. Cab steps and deck plates are powder-coated in black, and flat black trim stripes are added to the air intakes on each side of the hood. Black mudflap brackets, black aluminum fuel tanks, Alcoa Dura-Black aluminum wheels, and a limited edition Anthem doorplate add to the distinctive look.

 -  Photo courtesy Mack Trucks

Photo courtesy Mack Trucks

Completing the exterior transformation of the Mack Black Anthem is a unique black Mack Bulldog hood ornament.

“We showed a blacked-out concept at the launch of the Anthem in 2017 and received incredible feedback from drivers,” said Roy Horton, Mack Trucks director of product strategy. “We took their feedback, combined the unique exterior treatments with special interior features and created the Mack Black Anthem you see today.”

Inside, there’s a blacked-out version of Mack’s Ultra interior trim level, plus special black wood accents on the dash and door panels, along with black-painted gauge bezels in the instrument cluster. The flat-bottomed black leather-wrapped steering wheel gets black spokes and gray stitching. The Sears Seating-developed seats are covered in black ultra-leather in a unique diamond-stitched pattern and also include an embroidered black Mack Bulldog logo on the headrest. The same diamond-stitched ultra-leather is also found on each door panel, as well as the sleeper cab’s side and rear wall trims. A limited edition Anthem dash plate is included as well.

Each Mack Black Anthem also comes with a Yeti cooler packed with commemorative memorabilia. The new limited edition Mack Black Anthem is available for order now and limited to just 500 units.

New Wingman Fusion Advanced Safety System Available

Mack also announced that Bendix Wingman Fusion with enhanced features is now available on the Anthem and Pinnacle models. The camera- and radar-based driving assistance solution, now in its second generation, offers collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning. The enhanced version improves Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), lane-keeping support, multi-lane continuation of AEB and driver awareness support.

According to Bendix, the improved Wingman Fusion system is an active safety feature that offers audible warnings and AEB to help maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of the truck. AEB in the new Wingman Fusion system can now reduce traveling speeds from up to 50 mph instead of 35 mph being the limit. Using a radar sensor inset into the front bumper to detect the angle, distance and speed of the front object, along with a windshield-mounted camera, the system monitors large metallic objects and can detect them from a range of 22 degrees wide and about 500 feet in front of the truck.

Also with Bendix Wingman Fusion, audible and visual warnings are enacted if a stationary metallic object is detected ahead. Brakes will be applied if the truck’s speed is above 15 mph, whether or not cruise control is engaged. The driver will be notified up to 3.5 seconds before impact, and if the driver doesn’t take action, brakes will engage.

New multi-lane continuation of AEB enables the driver to change to an adjacent lane to avoid a potential forward collision, and as long as AEB is active, the system will apply the brakes if another vehicle is detected.

Lane departure assistance alerts the driver during unintentional lane deviation. The enhanced version continues with audible warnings if the driver does not take corrective action.

About the author
Deborah Lockridge

Deborah Lockridge

Editor and Associate Publisher

Reporting on trucking since 1990, Deborah is known for her award-winning magazine editorials and in-depth features on diverse issues, from the driver shortage to maintenance to rapidly changing technology.

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