Mack Anthem Class 8 Truck

By Tom Berg, Truck Editor | September 14, 2017
Mack Anthem Class 8 Truck

Following executives’ team-building speeches and amid loud rock music, bright lights and applause from enthusiastic dealers, Mack Trucks this week introduced the Anthem, its latest highway tractor. The unveiling was at a hall in downtown Allentown, once Mack’s headquarters city and still close to its Macungie manufacturing operations in northeast Pennsylvania.

Above: Looking like a streamlined Granite, the Mack Anthem will be the builder’s main highway tractor.

Mack also announced new interiors for the Granite vocational and Pinnacle highway models, with designs mirroring that of the new Anthem. The goal is to help owners attract and retain drivers, and improve the productivity and profitability of their operations in general.

Mack introduced Anthem and the updated models during a Global Dealer Summit in Allentown.  Along with the interior changes, Mack announcced new LED headlights and grille for its Pinnacle model that echoes the design of the Anthem.

Named for its American roots – Mack is now in its 112th year in the region, following five years in New York City – the Anthem sports visual cues supporting the brand’s claim of having helped build the nation. Anthem will be available as a daycab for local and regional service and with several sleepers to facilitate over-the-road duties.

The vocational Granite and current Pinnacle highway model will share a new interior with the Anthem.Though not a vocational model, Anthem nonetheless appears to take styling inspiration from the Granite, Mack’s popular vocational series, with blocky details inside and out. Executives, led by President Denny Slagle, named durability, longevity and driver comfort as its principal attributes.

The truck is designed for easy servicing and repairs, including a three-piece hood and fenders whose parts can be replaced individually. Breakaway mounts on large door-hung and optional hood-positioned mirrors minimize damage and enhance a driver’s view to the sides and rear. LED headlamps are said to be 66 percent brighter and last longer than previous designs.

New interiors (right) for Granite, Pinnacle and now the Anthem are pleasing to the eye and easy to use, executives said. Three trim levels offer increasing levels of luxury, and have laser-etched markings on switches to resist fading and rubbing away. New gauge clusters are easy to see, and controls are ergonomically placed and illuminated for quick access and identification.

A flat-bottom steering wheel adds room for large drivers; in two wide spokes, block-themed trim pieces surround switches for phone, audio systems, cruise control and other functions. High-back seats from Sears offer multiple adjustments for proper support of the driver’s and passenger’s backs and posteriors. They are available with swivel bases that, along with the flat-bottom steering wheel, ease entry and exit.

 During presentations on the Anthem, executives emphasized Mack’s 12.8-liter MP diesel and mDrive automated manual transmission as the best combination of power, performance and economy. Further details on powertrain components, production plans and other details will be presented to dealers and trade press reporters at the Mack Customer Center on Thursday.

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