YOUNTVILLE, CA.  Daimler Trucks North America has officially entered the medium-duty truck engine business with the launch of the Detroit DD5, a 4-cylinder diesel based on a new engine platform first introduced in Europe in 2013. 

The first North American engines will be installed in Freightliner M2 106 van body models limited to rental/leasing and pickup and delivery applications. Available at the end of 2016, the initial DD5s will be rated at 210 HP and 575 ft.-lbs. peak torque.  A 230 HP/660 ft.-lbs. rating will be added in 2017, followed in 2018 by the DD8, a 6-cyl. diesel with ratings ranging from 260HP/660 ft.-lbs. to 350 HP/1050 ft.-lbs.

Read our First Impressions: DD5 Test Drive

DTNA chose to lead with the 5.1L 4-cyl. version “because it can do the job and then some,” said Kary Schaefer, general manager for marketing and strategy. With ratings comparable to 6-cyl. diesels currently on the market, the DD5 has a durability B10 life of 410,000 mi. and will come with a 3-yr./250,000-mi. warranty for both the engine and aftertreatment systems. DTNA has also conducted over 3 million mi. of durability testing on the new MD engine and has some trucks in the test fleet that have run over 250,000 mi., according to Schaefer.

Although the broad range of applications in the medium-duty truck segment makes it difficult to make comparisons, the DD5 should deliver 3% better fuel economy than competitive engines, Schaefer said during a press conference. Even anticipating competitive improvements to meet future greenhouse gas regulations, the new Detroit MD engine should maintain that 3% advantage, she added. The DD5 has already been certified to meet the EPA’s 2017 greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards, as well as the new onboard diagnostics and near-zero emissions requirements.


Watch: Kary Schaefer, from Daimler Trucks North America, talks about the new Detroit DD5 medium-duty engine that will be available in the Freightliner M2


Design highlights for the DD5 include dual-stage fixed geometry turbocharges with an electronically controlled waste gate, variable camshaft phasing to improve aftertreatment efficiency in low-load conditions, a high-pressure common rail fuel system, and an integrated engine brake that delivers up to 220 bhp.

Oil/fuel filter service intervals are 45,000 mi., which is two to three times longer than competitive MD diesels, according to Schaefer. 

Like Detroit’s heavy-duty engines, the new medium-duties will draw on the Detroit Connect Virtual Technician telematics for remote diagnotics and use the same Detroit diagnostic systems and tools.

Initial DD5 engines will be built at Daimler Trucks’ Mannheim, Germany engine plant. Production will shift to Detroit’s powertrain plant in Redford, MI, in 2018 as part of a $375 million expansion in that facility.

The M2’s current engine, the Cummins ISB, will continue to be offered along side the new proprietary diesel, according to Richard Howard, DTNA sr. VP of sales and marketing.  The company has a 39% market share in Classes 6/7 through the end of June. 

While overall truck sales are off from their peaks in 2014 and 2015, the medium-duty market in general is described as “dynamic” by Howard, who points out that it is currently up 14% year-to-date over. “So the timing is great to be bringing this product into the market,” he said.