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Award-winning Mercedes-Benz to debut at THE Expo

22 Jan 2009


The new Acros III will head up the Mercedes-Benz displa at THE Expo at Hamilton's Mystery Creek in March.


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Fresh from winning “International Truck of the Year 2009” in Hanover, the new Mercedes-Benz Actros will make its New Zealand debut at THE Expo in Hamilton in March.

“Anticipation is building for the arrival of Actros III and we will be making sure that as many people as possible will have the opportunity to get up close to the new model at THE Expo and see why we are so excited about it,” says Ian Walker, General Manager Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles New Zealand.

The Actros III will feature among a full lineup of Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner commercial vehicles on the company’s stand, covering a wide cross-section of transport applications from light delivery vans through to linehaul prime movers.

The Actros show truck, like the rest of the first shipment arriving in New Zealand around the same time, will be a 6x4 model, featuring the new Actros III face with upgraded grille and bumper. The Actros 8x4 models will follow a few weeks later.

Whilst the exterior has received only mild changes, the big news is in the drivetrain and specification of the new Actros. The Euro 4/5 compliant V6 and V8 engines, Volkswagen has a long term plan to become the world’s largest automaker and it appears stage one has been completed after the German company overtook Ford to take third place in global vehicle sales rankings.

The VW Group announced that they had sold 3.31 million vehicles in the first six months of 2008 representing an increase ranging from 440hp to 600hp, will all use the Mercedes-Benz BlueTec low emission technology, making them among the cleanest in any new truck on the market.

The engines will be mated to the upgraded Powershift 2 automatic transmission, which is standard across the range – a first for heavy trucks.

Another first for Actros III is the Active Brake Assist, which will be offered as an option to New Zealand buyers. This system senses if the truck is in danger of colliding with a vehicle travelling in front in the same direction and initiates emergency braking.

Also optional will be the Lane Assist system that warns the driver if the truck is about to leave its lane unintentionally.

The new Actros made transport history by becoming the first truck ever to win three “International Truck of the Year” titles with each consecutive model. Recently it also entered the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s most fuel-efficient series-production truck when a 40-tonne tractor and semi-trailer with a 25-tonne payload on board, travelled almost 13,000 kilometres on a test run over seven days and achieved 19.44L/100km, or the equivalent of less than 0.8 litres per hundred tonne-kilometres (tkm).

It also lowered its emissions to 20.5 grams per tonne of payload and kilometer (g/tkm), making it more environmentally sound than a hybrid car.