Kenworth’s traditionally styled W900, in production with steady modernizations since 1961, has met a new companion in the lineup: The W990 touts a wide cab; up-to-date interior; long, sculpted hood, and a slightly tilted-back but flat-faced grille that still identifies the truck as a “W9.”
The new driver-oriented model was rolled out amid pounding music, flashing lights, and smoke-and-flame special effects for an audience of customers, dealers, and reporters in late September at the Las Vegas Speedway in Nevada. Several units built and lettered for customers rolled into the viewing area at the climax of the presentation.
KW officials said design work aimed to retain the classic style and feel of the venerable W9, one of the most popular trucks for road and vocational duties Kenworth has ever made, while providing modern amenities that will make drivers proud to operate it.
“We are passionate about our products, our customers that depend on them, and the drivers that operate them,” said Mike Dozier, the builder’s general manager. “We know that there are many customers and drivers out there who share our passion. The Kenworth W990 represents the pride, image, and freedom of trucking, and captures the spirit of what trucking is all about.”
The W990 has the 2.1-meter-wide cab currently used in KW’s T680 road tractor and T880 vocational model. It measures 131.5 inches from bumper to back-of-cab, and is designed for line haul, pickup and delivery, regional haul, and heavy haul operations, he said. As with the W900 and its latest version, the W900L Icon, the W990 has a forward-set steer axle, but its wheels cut several degrees farther for a tighter wheel cut and a shorter turning circle.
The new model is available as a daycab, and with 40-inch flat top, and 52-inch and 76-inch mid-roof sleeper configurations. The W990 is standard with a proprietary Paccar powertrain consisting of the MX-13 engine rated up to 510 horsepower and 1,850 lb.-ft. of torque, a 12-speed Eaton-Paccar automated transmission, and Paccar 40,000-pound tandem rear axles. Cummins’ X15 diesel and an array of Eaton manual and automated transmissions and vendor axles are optional.
The W990 is standard with Kenworth TruckTech+ remote diagnostics system. NAV+HD 7-inch, color in-dash display provides access to features such as truck-specific navigation, roadside assistance, vehicle data, hands-free calling, audio controls, blind-spot camera inputs, and the Internet.
“The Kenworth W990’s excellent performance, classical styling, premium finishes, and lifestyle amenities underscore a sense of driver achievement and pride,” said Dozier. “We are driven to provide the best equipment in the industry to get the job done.”
The W990 will enter full production at Kenworth’s plant in Chillicothe, Ohio, in early 2019. Officials said the older-style W900 will be offered for the foreseeable future, meaning as long as customers want it.