The Low Cab Forward truck market is one of the hottest sectors in the industry right now. There is such a pent-up demand that there were several introductions here at the NTEA Work Truck Show, and they all have a different take on the market. Hino introduced a Hybrid Low Cab Forward model, geared to the North American Market. Isuzu re-introduced a gasoline powered Low Cab Forward model, powered by a 6.0L GM V-8 installed by Spartan (who makes chassis for Motor-homes, and Step Vans). Then there is the Smith Newton, a pure electric truck with a range of up to 100 miles, specifically built for urban settings. Now Mitsubishi-Fuso just launched their new Cab Forward model, with a new 3.0L Turbo Diesel, and a Dual Clutch Automated Transmission that achieves a claimed 20 MPG in normal urban cycles.
The Canter lineup will include models with a Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings of 12,500, 15,995, and 17,995, which covers most of the market for these types of trucks. In addition, they will offer Standard and Crew Cab models, as well as their exclusive 4X4 model with a GVW of 14,500lbs. The engine is all new, and is a Fiat based motor producing 161HP, and 295lb/ft of torque. The Transmission is a 6-speed, dual clutch Automated Manual branded DUONIC in Fuso speak, which promises the fuel economy of a standard with the ease of an Automatic.
I was given the opportunity to drive one of these machines before it was revealed to the public, and I was impressed with the way the power-train behaved. The previous engine produced 185HP, so I was expecting a lot less performance with this new 3.0L, but it wasn’t the case. The Transmission is a very good fit with this engine, producing crisp upshifts, and very capable downshifts automatically. There is also the ability to shift manually, but why would you ever do that in a delivery truck?
This is a very maneuverable truck, with Fuso’s web site touting that the turning radius is shorter that a Mini Cooper. Overall ride is acceptable, and the truck comes standard with everything one would expect in the most basic of automobiles: A/C, AM FM CD, Tilt & Telescoping Steering Wheel, Power Windows/Door Locks/Keyless Entry, and a driver information center built within the dash. The standard cab will seat three, while the Crew Cab will seat up to seven.
Which Cab Forward competitor has the right answer? Well, as of this writing, Enterprise Commercial Vehicles (Yes, the same Enterprise Rent-a-car) has on order over 500 of these new Mitsubishi Canter Models, which states how impressed they were with this truck. Later on this week, I will do a head to head comparison on all of these new entries, with a poll!
Hooniverse at the NTEA – Another New Cab Forward Truck Introduction – The Fuso Canter Series
I'm looking forward to turning one of these into an expedition camper after an honorable life of service with the first owner. Crew Cab 4×4, please.Loading…
Interesting that they're bringing the Canter name here. They've been calling them Canters overseas for decades now.Loading…
Is it odd to wonder how bad the NVH levels are on one of these?
Oh and why can't we get that color of green on cars anymore?Loading…
ditto on that green, love it.Loading…