Kenworth SuperTruck 2: The Future of Freight Efficiency

Breaking Records with Aerodynamics, Hybrid Technology, and Driver Comfort...

Kenworth, a leader in the trucking industry, continues to innovate with the SuperTruck 2, the most aerodynamic production truck to date. Developed over six years in collaboration with the Department of Energy’s (DOE) SuperTruck program, the SuperTruck 2 aims to drastically improve freight efficiency using a diesel engine as its main power source.

Impressive Results –

Kenworth SuperTruck 2. (Kenworth).

The SuperTruck 2 has achieved remarkable results in freight efficiency:

  • 136% Improvement in Freight Efficiency
  • 12 MPG Average
  • Record 55.7% Engine Efficiency
  • 7,100 LB Weight Reduction
  • 48% Aero Improvement

Key Features – 

Kenworth SuperTruck 2. (Kenworth).

The SuperTruck 2 is packed with advanced features designed to maximize efficiency and driver comfort:

  • PACCAR MX-11 Engine: A highly efficient engine that forms the core of the powertrain.
  • PACCAR TX-12 Transmission: Works with the MX-11 engine for smooth and efficient power delivery.
  • 48-Volt Mild-Hybrid System: Enhances fuel efficiency and powers various truck systems.
  • Central Driver Position: Offers a unique driving experience with improved visibility through a parabolic windshield.
  • Digital Mirror System: Replaces traditional mirrors with digital ones, enhancing rearview monitoring, trailer tracking, and night vision.
  • Reverse-Splayed Chassis: Lowers the engine for improved aerodynamics.
  • Innovative Sleeper Berth: Features a rotating table, sofa bed, and a Murphy bed for driver comfort.

Aerodynamic and Weight Innovations – 

Kenworth SuperTruck 2. (Kenworth).

The SuperTruck 2’s design focuses heavily on reducing aerodynamic drag and weight, allowing it to haul more payload efficiently. Key innovations include:

  • Aerodynamic Improvements: A parabolic windshield, digital mirrors, and chassis design reduce drag significantly.
  • Weight Savings: Using lightweight materials and a smaller fuel tank contributes to a 7,100-pound weight reduction.
  • Tire Efficiency: The truck uses ten low rolling resistance tires instead of the typical 18, reducing fuel consumption.

Advanced Powertrain – 

The SuperTruck 2’s powertrain combines the PACCAR MX-11 engine with the TX-12 transmission and a 48-volt hybrid motor. This setup allows for a mild-hybrid system that optimizes fuel efficiency by driving ancillary systems like the engine fan, power steering, HVAC pumps, and exhaust heater. Notably, the engine fan alone can drain up to 80 horsepower, so offloading its power needs to the electric motor is a significant efficiency boost.

Interior Comfort and Technology – 

Kenworth SuperTruck 2. (Kenworth).

Kenworth has taken inspiration from the Tesla Semi for the interior, featuring a central seating position and a 15-inch screen. Unique to the SuperTruck 2 are:

  • Enhanced Door Placement: Doors are positioned near the driver for better accessibility.
  • Overnight Power: A lithium-ion battery, charged by regenerative braking, powers overnight needs.
  • Luxury Sleeper Berth: This berth includes a dinette area with a rotating table and a Murphy bed, catering to over-the-road drivers.

Future Commercialization – 

While many of the SuperTruck 2’s features are futuristic, Kenworth has considered production feasibility. The company aims to refine and commercialize these technologies, making them available in future models. This systematic approach ensures that innovations like the mild hybrid system, aerodynamic enhancements, and advanced interior features will eventually benefit the broader trucking industry.

Kenworth’s SuperTruck 2 represents a significant step forward in truck design, emphasizing efficiency, driver comfort, and technological advancement. As Kenworth continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible, the SuperTruck 2 sets a new standard for the future of freight transportation.