LAS VEGAS. Powertrain changes for 2017 will bring increased fuel economy and power, more vocational flexibility and advanced electronics to Mack Trucks, according to company officials.

Leading its announcements at the American Trucking Assns.’ annual management conference were upgrades for the proprietary Mack 11-liter MP7 and 13-liter MP8 that will bring 2.1% to 8.8% better fuel economy than current versions, according to Jonathan Randall, sr. VP of sales. Changes for 2017 include increased compression ratios with revised wave piston designs, a new common-rail fuel system and a two-speed coolant pump.

Specific to the MP7 is a new 425-HP rating, giving the Mack 11-liter the power of a 13-liter, but in a lighter package, according to Randall. The MP8 also gets a 50-HP boost from a new turbo compounding design that is also capable of delivering full torque at just 900 RPM while also increasing fuel efficiency. Both revised 2017 Mack engines are available for order this month.

Moving back down the powertrain, Mack’s vocational version of its mDrive automated mechanical transmission gets two additional gear options for 2017.  The Mack 12-speed mDrive HD, which was introduced just last year, is now available in 13- and 14-speed versions with crawler gears for greater startability with heavy loads and ultra-low speed reduction for applications like concrete curb pouring. Both also offer up to four reverse gear ratios.

The mDrive HD 13-speed is now standard on 2017 Mack Granite models and optional on Pinnacle and Titan Macks.  The 14-speed is also available as an option on all three Mack vocational trucks.

Also new for all Mack models with its proprietary engines and automated transmissions is predicative cruise control. This advanced electronic system can memorize routes and then anticipate road conditions to control gear selection, engine speed and braking for maximum fuel economy. Mack estimates the predictive system, which does not require constant GPS connections, will improve fuel efficiency by up to 1%.  It will be available for order in January.

The 2017 model year will also see Mack moving to a single aftertreatment unit that integrates both SCR and DPF systems in a compact package. Dubbed ClearTech One, the new integrated emissions control system is 17 lbs. lighter than the two-unit system it replaces and also accommodates shorter wheelbases or chassis-mounted equipment with its smaller packaging.