In with the new, while SA remains stuck with the old
Mercedes has revealed the new Actros in the year that Mercedes SA launched the ongoing Actros, writes Mark Smyth
In 2012 we attended the unveiling of the new Mercedes-Benz Actros. Then we waited. And we waited. Eventually in 2018 it was launched in SA, a full six years after its reveal.
It took so long to arrive in fact that Mercedes has now revealed the new Actros. That will not be great news for companies that have just invested in the not-so-new Actros, but then it could be another six years until the proper new Actros arrives.
We requested clarification from Mercedes-Benz SA on when the new Actros will arrive here, but at the time of going to print we had still received no official response except to point out that they have only just launched the outgoing model.
"With more than 60 innovations, the new Actros brings the future of heavy-duty trucks to the roads today," says Stefan Buchner, member of the divisional board of Daimler Trucks and head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks.
Possibly waiting years for the new generation to arrive will mean you miss out on these innovations. It might look similar in the design department but look closer, beyond the redesigned LED daytime running lights. The wing mirrors have gone, replaced by MirrorCam, a series of cameras linked to wing mirror style screens inside the cab, including clever blind spot displays.
The dashboard components are more car-like than ever, including a similar multifunction steering wheel design to the one you will find in a C-Class and digital instrumentation.
This includes the Multimedia Cockpit with a digital instrument cluster screen the same as that on the new A-Class and a digital infotainment screen that includes features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, navigation and all the telematics information through the brand’s Truck Data Centre software which can connect the truck and driver to the cloud.
"Our new Actros is even more connected and intuitive to operate due to its Multimedia Cockpit," says Uwe Baake, head of development at the brand. "Thanks to its fully overhauled human-machine interface, our flagship model offers drivers a workspace of the future.
The unique level of operational convenience and display comfort is compelling. With two interactive screens as standard, all the relevant information is displayed at a glance and the visualisation of our new assistance systems is further enhanced."
Tech continues with the introduction of Active Drive Assist, a level of semi-autonomous driving that enables the truck to brake, accelerate and steer at any speed. It’s not fully autonomous, but having experienced the full system in the company’s Future Truck 2025 a few years ago, it is impressive. Active Brake Assist 5 can bring the truck to a stop faster than ever before.
Fuel consumption is claimed to have been cut by 5%, in part due to the inclusion of Predictive Powertrain Control, an intelligent cruise control system, and aerodynamic enhancements.
In essence, the new Actros is smarter, safer, more fuel efficient, more comfortable and more productive. Given the current economic stresses, the market will be hoping that Mercedes does not take six years to bring it to SA.