A restyled front end will offer better cooling capacity and improved headlamp performance for Freightliner Trucks' 2004 Century Class S/T Class 8 tractor. Shown to dealers at their annual meeting here, the styling update is the first since the Century Class was first introduced in 1995, according to company officials.

A new chrome grille increases the frontal opening for cooling by over 50% while visibility over the hood and aerodynamic drag is said to be unchanged. The Century's three-piece bumper has also been restyled with optional chrome inset and accent and fog lamps.

A new composite headlamp design replaces the current 7-in. round lamps, providing better light distribution. Bulbs can be replaced without tools and are protected by a polycarbonate lens.

The 2004 Century Class S/T will also get a new one-piece sun visor in Sleeper-Cab configurations that is said to reduce aerodynamic drag while also reducing weight compared to the current three-piece visor.

Inside, the Century Class, as well as Freightliner's Columbia model, will get a new Signature interior package.

The OEM also unveiled enhancements to its Classic and Classic XL truck models. The Class 8 vehicles are using a new chassis design now in production, and the upgrade will usher in new benefits in ride, maneuverability and handling for the driver-oriented trucks.

The new chassis design provides for a smoother ride, quieter performance, enhanced maneuverability and a stronger frame, Freightliner said.