Electric truck, integrated powertrain on deck for Navistar-Volkswagen partnership

Top executives at Navistar and Volkswagen announced Tuesday joint initiatives planned for the coming years, including a proprietary integrated powertrain for the North American market, as well as projects related to connected vehicles. The companies also said they plan to introduce an electric truck by the end of 2019. Navistar also plans to develop a big-bore 15-liter engine in conjunction Volkswagen for use in International Trucks.

The two companies entered into a partnership last year, with Volkswagen buying a 16 percent stake in Navistar.

“We believe a proprietary powertrain is important for Navistar, our dealers and our customers,” said Troy Clarke, Navistar chairman, president and CEO, during a customer and media event at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta. “Yet, we also understand the challenges of developing a proprietary powertrain on our own. Navistar and Volkswagen have agreed to collaborate on fully integrated, next-generation diesel big-bore powertrains for North America.”

The powertrains will launch in International heavy-duty products as early as 2021.

Navistar also announced it will converge its connected vehicle technologies, including OnCommand Connection, with Volkswagen’s global connected vehicle platform, beginning with a common in-cab hardware device. Navistar currently has 350,000 connected vehicles in North America, and Volkswagen has 300,000 in international markets.

Navistar’s three alliance-related announcements at the NACV Show indicate the company’s eagerness to leverage Volkswagen’s technology since the German truck company’s investment in Navistar stock was approved in March.

Both Clarke and Andreas Renschler, Volkswagen Truck & Bus CEO, admit they are surprised at the rapid pace of collaboration and partnership at the one-year anniversary mark.

“I would have thought we would still be wrestling with a handful of issues around technical specs on engines or could we put together purchasing processes,” said Clarke when asked where he would have thought the alliance would be after one year. “But that stuff was through in weeks. We feel good about [the alliance’s progression].”

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When the alliance was first announced last year, Clarke said it would allow Navistar to introduce a new 15-liter heavy-duty engine by 2021. “[Volkswagen] allowed us to be a part of the next generation of engine development,” he said. “This is an engine being developed from scratch that will serve all the alliance partners.”

New vocational truck unveiled

The International HVThe International HV

Also at the show, Navistar continued its tractor reinvention with the debut of the driver-centric HV Series severe service truck.

The truck, Mooney says, was designed “from the inside out” for increased driver comfort, but in the “inside out” design, the inside got more attention than the outside of the reworked WorkStar.

“One of the things we didn’t change was the hood and the grille,” he adds.

As with International’s RH and LT trucks, newly redesigned doors remove the vent window and improve seals, minimizing air leaks and wind noise. Pedestal mirrors have been moved forward, improving visibility and allowing drivers to turn their head to a lesser degree.

A new premium instrument cluster sits center of the driver, complete with driver information display, and is the same unit that featured in the LT, RH and LoneStar.

Configurations range from 4×2 to 8×6 and BBCs of either 107- or 113-inch and set-forward or set-back front axles are available. A clean Cab-to-Axle (CA) configuration is also available. The HV comes standard with International’s in-house engineered A26 engine with Cummins B6.7 and L9 engines available as options.

The new truck is available for order today.

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