Hino Trucks has extended its conventional-cab line into Class 7 and entered Class 8 with a new XL series, to be built in a new plant in West Virginia as part of a $500 million expansion in the U.S. It took the wraps off the vehicles on Wednesday at the Work Truck Show in Indianapolis.
“Considering our remarkable success in Class 4-7 in North America, and our growing global presence in the Class 8 market, entering the North American heavy duty segment makes for the next logical step,” said Yoshinori Noguchi, president and CEO of Hino Trucks North America. “Not to mention our customers and our dealer network have been asking for this for some time.”
Both the XL7 and XL8 models will be offered as straight trucks and tractors, and use Hino’s 8.9-liter A09 inline 6-cylinder diesel, said Glen Ellis, vice president for customer experience. Their gross vehicle weight ratings will range from 33,000 to 60,000 pounds and gross combination weights go to 66,000 pounds.
The A09 will have three ratings: 300, 330 and 360 horsepower with toque of 900, 1,000 and 1,150 lb-ft., Ellis said. The engine has been in use in Europe and Asia for several years and has amassed 15 billion miles of service. Its B10 life is 1 million miles, meaning 90 percent of all engines will still be operating with minimal repairs at that point.
As with other Hino conventionals, cabs and engines will come from Japan and chassis components will be sourced from North America. They will include Dana axles, Hendrickson suspensions, and Allison transmissions. Available wheelbases for the XL8 go to 304 inches with tandem axles.
The XL series will have active safety devices including electronic stability control – standard on tractors – and collision mitigation systems, payload management suspension options and a chassis designed with input from body builders.
Ellis said driver amenities include attractive styling, well thought-out ergonomics, wide doorss for easy access and “automotive-grade finished interior.” XLs will also feature air-ride cab and driver’s seat, hands-free Bluetooth audio/calling, steering wheel controls, LED headlights, cruise control, and air conditioning as standard equipment on every 2020 model year XL7 and XL8.
Production of the XL7 and XL8 will start in early 2019 at a fully renovated 1 million square-foot plant it acquired in Mineral Wells, W.Va., last year. It recently broke ground on a new headquarters building in Novi, Mich., where all corporate functions, including customer support and remote monitoring of operating data, will be concentrated.