Detroit Diesel and Freightliner LLC Demonstrate EPA ’07 Readiness with Extensive Testing and Close Collaboration

Battery of tests illustrate reliability/durability of engines

PORTLAND, Oregon – Detroit Diesel Corporation (DDC) and Freightliner LLC today announced that their joint testing activities are the cornerstone for a successful launch of new engines in 2007 to meet the new emissions standards.

Detroit Diesel will launch three redeveloped engines in 2007: the heavy-duty Series 60 and MBE 4000, and the medium-duty MBE 900. The company’s confidence in being ready for EPA ’07 is rooted in its testing program, which was begun in August 2004 with the first 2007 prototype Series 60 running in a test cell at Redford.

“The launch of these three engines represents our largest investment ever, and this is in addition to the extensive training and resources we have established to support EPA ’07,” said Tim Tindall, Program Director for EPA ’07 for Detroit Diesel Corporation. “Our test program for EPA ’07 is the most comprehensive in our history. It sets the standards for the future quality of our engines. Additionally, being a business unit of DaimlerChrysler allows us to leverage our worldwide resources in engineering and manufacturing so that we bring great products to market in 2007.”

Detroit Diesel and Freightliner’s testing program is comprised of various components, including: test cell dynamometers, reliability testing, durability testing, and an extensive customer demonstration program. In total across all three engines, more than 24 million test miles will be accumulated before launch in 2007.

“The testing program enables Detroit Diesel and Freightliner to gain valuable test miles from both a component and systems perspective so that they may continue refining the engine well before the start of production ever begins,” explained Tindall.

Here is a brief description of each testing element and how it benefits engine development:

Test Cell Dynamometers

Allow for a controlled environment and specific variable conditions by which to test the engine.

Optimal for stress testing of the engine in such areas as overspeed, high temperatures, and high altitudes.

Durability Testing

Conducted to understand wear rates of major components; provides insight into components strength and design overall.

Reliability Testing

Goal is to complete testing objective without failure of the engine. Typically conducted in a test cell dynamometer and in a test vehicle.

Customer Demonstration Program

Provides real-time, real-life application of the engine to see where refinements are needed in order to strengthen the product prior to launch. Strategic relationships/customers are selected in a highly cooperative and collaborative information sharing venture regarding the product.

“If you look across all of the testing that DDC does, it’s very impressive,” said Larry Dutko, EPA ’07 Program Manager for Freightliner LLC. “The comprehensive testing program utilized in developing the EPA ’07-compliant engines was a significant factor in achieving the challenging emissions targets 12 months ahead of the regulatory emissions deadline. All three of the engines have undergone extensive testing to ensure they are the most reliable and durable on the market. When we started the development program, there were several new components that had to be designed and tested to DDC’s high standards. Although there were a lot of initial concerns about meeting our rigorous schedule, the engineers at DDC exceeded all of my expectations and we now have a family of engines that are ready to test in the market with actual customers.”

Dutko explains that much of the success seen in the testing results is the outcome of extremely collaborative efforts between Detroit Diesel and Freightliner LLC.

“We are pleased with the effort and success achieved so far. However, we continue to look for additional opportunities to further improve the reliability and performance of our engines and vehicles. For example, further optimization of the current particulate filter regeneration strategy is an on-going project as it will result in additional cost savings benefits to our customers,” expressed Dutko. “While the vehicle functional development testing is led by us, we work shoulderto-shoulder with Detroit Diesel to develop a highly integrated drivetrain package, ensuring that critical packaging and installation issues are resolved well in advance of launch, resulting in a better, higher quality engine and vehicle overall.”

Freightliner LLC, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, is the leading medium- and heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. Freightliner produces and markets Class 5-8 vehicles and is a company of DaimlerChrysler, the world's largest commercial vehicle manufacturer.

Detroit Diesel Corporation is the leading manufacturer of on-highway heavy-duty diesel engines for the commercial truck market. The company offers a complete line of engines from 170 to 515 horsepower for the on-highway and vocational markets. Through its corporate headquarters in Detroit, Michigan, Detroit Diesel is engaged in the design, manufacture, sale and service of these products, in addition to supporting alternative and hybrid engine strategies for the commercial truck marketplace. Detroit Diesel is a subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler and part of the Freightliner group of companies.

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