Mercedes-Benz Automated Gear Shift (AGS Transmission Introduced for Freightliner Business Class® M2 Vehicles

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PORTLAND, OREGON…Freightliner Trucks today unveiled the Mercedes-Benz Automated Gear Shift (AGS) transmission for Freightliner Business Class® M2 vehicles. The automated transmission is designed to make driving easier and more efficient while increasing overall vehicle productivity. AGS transmissions will be available on Freightliner Business Class M2 vehicles beginning in the first quarter of 2004.

“The Mercedes-Benz Automated Gear Shift transmission represents an exciting new option for medium-duty vehicle operators in North America,” said Mark Lampert, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Freightliner Trucks. “This transmission allows drivers to focus their attention on what’s most important: the driving task and the road ahead. In addition, the transmission helps optimize vehicle efficiency for owners by limiting wear and tear and helping to increase fuel efficiency.”

The new AGS transmission features a two-pedal, automated clutch actuation system. With the AGS transmission, no manual shifting or clutching is required. The transmission automatically manages all gear shifts, making the truck more efficient and easier to drive. In addition, by eliminating the clutch pedal, the life of the clutch and the transmission are significantly extended, making the transmission more economical to maintain.

The AGS is designed as an automated transmission, but a manual shift option is offered. Freightliner’s SmartShift lever allows drivers to shift manually, depending on conditions or preference. This allows for total control and versatility while driving in tough road conditions.

The AGS transmission is available with Mercedes-Benz MBE900 engines with horsepower range from 170 to 250 hp. Two torque ratings of the AGS are offered:

    *520 lb. ft. torque for vehicles with GCW up to 40,000 pounds

    *660 lb. ft. torque for vehicles with a GCW up to 60,000 pounds

Both versions feature a right-side, high-output Power Take Off (PTO) which is mounted in a 5 o’clock position to avoid exhaust system interference.

The Mercedes-Benz AGS transmission is built for maximum efficiency and long life. The Transmission Control Unit (TCU) serves as the brain of the AGS. It controls the automated clutch actuator, which provides a smoother engagement than a traditional clutch pedal. The TCU continuously senses road conditions, load conditions and grades to precisely determine shift points, thus increasing efficiency and fuel economy. Through its optimized shifting, the TCU always selects the perfect engine RPM for the best shift possible.

Based on the long-proven Mercedes-Benz 6-speed manual transmission, the AGS consists of parts that require little or no maintenance, adding to overall productivity. The hydraulic shift actuator is compact and virtually maintenance free. Long-lasting components like heat-treated steel alloy gears and sealed bearings have undergone a rigorous performance test for quality.

The AGS transmission is also lightweight, utilizing an aluminum alloy housing with an integrated bell housing. The transmission’s lightweight performance helps deliver increased payload capacity for better vehicle productivity.

“The Mercedes-Benz AGS transmission joins a selection of high-quality, efficient Mercedes-Benz components available for Freightliner medium-duty trucks, including the MBE900 engine,” Lampert said. “We are proud to offer these leading components in the Freightliner Trucks product line and believe they will deliver tangible, bottom-line benefits to our customers.”

Freightliner Trucks is a division of Freightliner LLC, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and is the leading heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. Freightliner Trucks produces and markets Class 3-8 trucks and is a company of DaimlerChrysler, the world’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer.

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