MT. VERNON, WA. With production set to begin next month, Kenworth Truck Co. rolled out two new 2011 T700 tractors for a press and customer ride-and-drive event at the Paccar Tech Center here. The small fleet of vehicles assembled for the event also included another new KW, the 2011 T440 in an extended cab tractor configuration, as well as a hybrid T370 P&D tractor, T660 day cab and sleeper tractors, a T800 heavy-haul, and a T370 fuel hauler with a new heavier front axle.

The new T700s, said to be Kenworth’s most aerodynamic highway design yet, were both configured with the new 75-in. Aerodyne integrated high sleeper and spec’ed for premium on-highway fleet application. One was powered by the all new Paccar MX 13-liter diesel rated at 485 HP , and the other a Cummins ISX15 15-liter rated at 425 HP, both meeting the 2010 EPA emissions standards with SCR and DPF aftertreatment systems. With the T700 positioned as KW’s premium on-highway tractor, both were also fitted with new Eaton Fuller UltraShift Plus automated mechanical transmissions, front and rear air disc brakes, front and real air ride suspensions, and Bendix electronic stability control.

In both configurations, the integration of the 2010 diesels and the automated Eaton Fuller transmission was seamless, providing plenty of power pulling fully loaded trailers over the northern Washington grades without losing road speed, while also maximizing fuel economy by keeping the engines within their individual sweet spots. The engine brakes on both the ISX and Paccar MX were also seamlessly integrated with the automated transmission and smart cruise control, easily keeping downgrade speeds at set points.

The interior of the new cab offers a broad view over a steeply sloping hood for excellent forward visibility. The new multiplex dash offers a mix of traditional 2-in. analog gauges and two digital displays. The demonstration trucks had a driver information center over the speedometer to provide instantaneous fuel consumption and gear selection, as well as diagnostic information.

A second 7-in. color display for the new KW NavPlus System wasn’t ready for installation, but according to KW officials it will provide a full range of communications functions, including Internet access, spoken navigation, Bluetooth connectivity for handsfree cell phone use, rearward video views, and even WiFi access for a laptop.

The Aerodyne sleeper package provides 8-ft. height with plenty of headroom even in the top bunk, ample work space and lighting, an optional draw-style refrigerator, and even mounts for a 16-in. flat panel TV display with computer hook up. The two demo T700s also carried ThermoKing TriPac auxiliary power units to provide no-idle AC power and hotel services.

While most truck makers have introduced hybrid medium-duty trucks, the KW T370 on hand for the Tech Center event showed how the Eaton diesel-electric system can work in a P&D tractor application. Using a 2010 Paccar PX-6 diesel rated at 280 HP as its main power supply, the electrically powered hybrid motor is able to provide an additional 200 lbs.ft. of torque for takeoff and low-speed power, reducing fuel consumption up to 30% by allowing the use of a smaller diesel without compromising drivability or productivity.

The hybrid also showed off Kenworth’s compact SCR/DPF installation, which fits completely under the passenger side step, allowing for shorter wheelbase applications and providing a clear back of cab for simplified body mounting.