Everyday commuters may complain about rising fuel prices, long haul truckers are even more susceptible to increases in fuel prices. A few extra cents per gallon can cost an individual owner-operator thousands, with figures rising into the millions for larger fleet operators. To help address the ever-present concern over fuel economy, Freightliner announced that its forthcoming 2014 Cascadia Evolution Class 8 truck achieved a significant 10.67 mpg in controlled testing and a still-impressive 9.31 mpg in on-road observed economy. According to Freightliner, those figures represent a 7 percent improvement over the 2010 Cascadia model and an additional 5 percent improvement over the 2013 model.
To achieve those figures, the 2014 Cascadia Evolution employs several efficiency-enhancing measures. One of these is the Run Smart Predictive Cruise system. It evaluates the road profile up to one mile ahead,and adjusts the speed of the truck accordingly to achieve optimal fuel efficiency. Powering the truck is an updated version of Detroit Diesel's DD15 engine equipped with an asymmetric turbocharger, high-pressure common rail fuel injection system, variable-speed water pump, and enhanced engine management electronics. The test truck also utilized the Detroit DT12 automated manual transmission.
To replicate real-world operating conditions, the truck was loaded to a GCW of 76,000 pounds, and fitted with a Daimler-designed aerodynamically-optimized trailer. The controlled test was conducted at Continental Proving Grounds in Uvalde, Texas for 1000 miles non-stop at an average speed of 60 mph. The over-the-road results, gathered from the 2400-mile trek from San Diego, California to Gastonia, North Carolina, averaged 62 mph.