Transforming trucks: Mitsubishi’s Fuso concepts
Mitsubishi Trucks presents a trio of concepts at the Tokyo Motor Show
WHILE passenger cars are still very much the superstars of the Tokyo Motor Show, commercial vehicles—including trucks—have increasingly been featured in recent years.
Mitsubishi’s truck division under the Fuso brand, specifically its electric cars and plug-in hybrids, shared the stand at the Tokyo Motor Show. The diamond star’s Fuso theme for the Tokyo Motor Show was “Running ahead—for the drivers of our tomorrow.”
Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp. (MFTBC) is a leading commercial vehicle manufacturer in Asia. Fuso displayed three vehicles at the Tokyo Motor show.
The Super Great V Spider may sound like the star of a super robot anime, but it is really a multitasking truck for intensive customer operations on a 24/7 basis.
The Super Great V Spider is a concept model displayed at the Tokyo Motor Show. It is equipped with an Eco-Drive package that boasts of a 5-percent improvement in real-world fuel economy versus the previous model. This helps customers cut their total cost of operations.
It is powered by a 12.8-liter diesel engine with an output of 453.70 horsepower and 2500 Newton-meters, and mated to a 12-speed mechanical automatic transmission. Looking like it could star in its own “Transformers” movie, the Spider concept is equipped with four knuckle boom cranes and outriggers.
Fuso intends the truck to be a multifunctional and powerful work vehicle suitable for a variety of tasks.
Another model on display was the heavy-duty Super Great V 2016 model truck. The flagship model for Fuso, this truck carries the Eco-Drive package that achieves better real-world fuel economy. With a 12.8-liter diesel engine, the Super Great V packs 374.79 HP and 1810 Nm, matching its nearly 25-ton gross vehicle weight rating.
The engine is mated to a 12-speed mechanical automatic transmission. The Eco-Drive system includes the automatic drivetrain cut-off system, where the transmission power can be cut off and switched to an inertial drive mode when the truck is operating in D transmission mode and when the driver does not operate the accelerator, brake or auxiliary brake. The 12-speed transmission has been modified to optimize transmission timing.
It also has optimized auto-cruise control whereby the truck’s speed decreases during uphill climbs, and the vehicle applies engine power immediately to maintain speed. This autocruise control feature increases drive torque gradually to improve fuel economy.
The Super Great V 2016 truck with the wing-type body measures approximately 12 meters long and 2.5 meters wide.
The third commercial vehicle on display is more familiar to Philippine customers. This is the light-duty Canter truck.
The Canter here is a concept model equipped as a power supply vehicle. The concept truck is based on the Canter Eco Hybrid truck. It can use its hybrid motor as a generator, acting as a power supply in emergency situations.
It can be particularly useful during natural disasters, as it can supply the same amount of power consumed by a standard home in one day. The Canter power supply vehicle measures 4.8 meters in length, and is powered by a 3-liter diesel engine with 128.22-HP and 300-Nm output. It is equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission and hybrid motor.
At the Tokyo Motor Show, Fuso also had its Aero VR theater. This allowed visitors to experience a tour of Mitsubishi’s safety technology using virtual reality headsets, and go around a mock-up Fuso Aero Queen large bus.
Marc Llistosella, MFTBC CEO and president as well as Daimler Trucks Asia head, said: “Our exhibition shows both—our leadership position in fuel efficiency with our current products as well as our ability to think out of the box to create answers for the questions of tomorrow. And those are exactly what we need to reach our ambitious target of selling 300,000 vehicles in 2020 at Daimler Trucks Asia. Best ideas, best products and best customer service are what will help us achieve it.”
Tameo Miwa, Mitsubishi Fuso Sales Japan head and MFTBC vice president, said: “We are constantly improving our support, not only for the business managers of our customers by providing best total cost of ownership but also for the drivers by providing the safest and most comfortable trucks. With this, our clear aim is to become No. 1 in the Japanese market by 2020.”
MFTBC is based in Kawasaki, Japan. It sold 174,595 vehicles in 2014. Fuso is majority owned by Daimler AG with 89.29-percent share and is an integral part of the Daimler Trucks division.
Mitsubishi group of companies own 10.71 percent of shares. Fuso has existing alliances with other truck companies such as Daimler Trucks Asia. Thus, the Fuso booth was located next to that of Mercedes-Benz Japan.