Ever since the UAE took a lead in GCC emission regulation in 2018, the country has become a major destination for vehicle launches for commercial vehicles fleets that are far closer to what is currently available in other markets. That step-change has also coincided with a shift in focus to lighter vehicles in the Gulf state as the market experiences a boom in e-commerce and last mile deliveries.
The time is right, then, for vehicles that can achieve the more demanding requirements of Euro 5 while opening up exciting new business possibilities for fleets in the UAE.
Leading the way is the new FUSO Canter range which made its debut at a special event hosted by Al Habtoor Motors and Daimler Commercial Vehicles MENA in Dubai last month. It is the first series production LCV (light commercial vehicle) in its class to be officially available in the GCC.
“The FUSO Canter in Euro 5 is the first truck offered for sale in this segment in the UAE. The truck is overachieving the legally compulsory Euro 4 emission norm mandated in the UAE,” explains Olaf Petersen, General Manager, Daimler Trucks Sales, Daimler Commercial Vehicles MENA FZE. “By introducing the Euro 5 engine, we are offering customers the latest technology for the available fuel in the UAE. This enables our customers to reduce their CO2 footprint and benefit from the lower fuel consumption, and thus a more profitable business.”
The FUSO Canter is produced by Mitsubishi Fuso Trucks and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) of Japan at its world-famous Kawasaki plant. Since the introduction of the Canter in 1963, more than 3.5 million units of the vehicle have been produced; making it the best-selling truck model at Daimler Trucks.
Over eight different model generations, Canter has continued to build a reputation for overall economy and is highly popular in the region’s light-duty truck segment.
The vehicles in the latest range to hit the UAE all feature a robust and durable design, a wide selection of models, as well as low fuel consumption and improved payload. The result is a vehicle that offers fleet’s choice without compromising outstanding performance.
“The new generation is cleaner and more fuel-efficient than previous models and provides the highest eco-friendliness. It offers maximum efficiency with reduced fuel consumption compared to previous generations,” says Petersen, adding that this is very much a product bringing the best of global knowhow and experience to the UAE commercial vehicle buyer.
He says that while the new vehicle range arrives in the UAE having proven its reliability and efficiency throughout the world – and in many different countries – fleet buyers can further rely on proven fuel economy data from regional trials and tests ahead of the launch.
Petersen explains to T&FME that during the FUSO Fuel Challenge 2020 programme held last year in the UAE, the Euro 5 emission engine proved that it can still continue to deliver less CO2 and NOx emissions, even in the toughest conditions; resulting in a reduced carbon footprint.
This, he enthuses, is a new Canter that far-exceeds the current government mandate of Euro 4.
“The results from the fuel test – which was performed in September with six other comparable vehicles – demonstrates that the Canter Euro 5 has the best fuel consumption in its class, and can achieve fuel savings of up to 14% compared to other competitors following the Euro 4 emission norms,” he remarks. “The Euro 5 engines overfulfill the UAE’s emission laws.”
Petersen told the media during the vehicle’s Dubai launch event in December that the Euro 5 certification means that the fitted Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) filters and Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) systems are far simpler to maintain than the after-treatment systems required at Euro 6 and upwards. By achieving Euro 5 the new FUSO Canter can cover all the key segments for light-duty trucks in the UAE – and still remain cost-effective over years of hard work. In many ways, the Euro 5 standard is currently the best of all worlds for fleets using traditional fuels. In all models, the Euro 5 emission norm is achieved through an EGR system and DPF.
Beyond the demands of Euro 5, several other modifications have been implemented into a newly designed common-rail 4P10 engine. With a CC rating of 2,998cc or 3.0l, the inline 4-cylinder power unit delivers two engine outputs with 96 kW (130 ps) and 110 kW (150 ps). Both engines offer a flat torque curve with 300Nm and 370Nm at 1,300rpm and 1,320rpm respectively.
The settings applied by FUSO ensure a higher torque engine with lower RPM which, in turn, ensures less strain on the engine and an overall longer engine life.
LCVs are an increasingly desirable option for fleet buyers looking for performance and power to suit their requirements and also flexibility. With the new FUSO Canter, your choice goes beyond the engines to two different axle configurations of 4×2 and 4×4 and a wide range of permissible gross vehicle weights ranging from 5.7 tons to 8.55 tons.
There are also three different cab configurations available: the streamlined standard narrow cabin, which is just 1,695 mm wide and suitable for use in restricted spaces; and the comfortable wide cabin, measuring 1,995 mm in width. In addition, the wide cabin is also available with a crew cabin option (named the Wide Double) – fitting up to seven persons.
Other special features of the new FUSO Canter Euro 5 range include the variant with manually selectable all-wheel drive with a permissible gross vehicle weight of up to 6.0 tons, a 1,995mm comfortable wide cabin and an engine output of 110 kW (150 ps). The all-wheel drive can be engaged whenever required; the Canter 4×4 includes the standard-fit engageable reduction gear. This reduces the maximum speed in the respective gears by a factor of 1.987 and also increases traction by this amount. The crew cabin option will also be available on the 4×4 model.
More options for fleets are planned too. Currently, the range is limited to a 5-speed manual transmission, however, a 6-speed automated manual transmission (AMT) will soon be launched for the new range in the 6.5 tons weight variant of the Canter. This could be a major plus for drivers and fleet owners largely operating on stop-start urban routes.
The brands under the Daimler Commercial Vehicles’ umbrella are expected to meet stringent safety standards and the new range offers a number of systems which take the FUSO Canter beyond most of the vehicles in its class in the UAE. Headlining the safety technologies installed into the Canter Euro 5 range are the ABS (Antilock Braking System), EBD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution) and BOS (Brake Override System) features. Safety is also enhanced with the use of driver and co-driver airbags, tubeless tyres and much more, including a standard braking system which is equipped with disc brakes on both axles. This guarantees “superior braking performance and heat dissipation under continuous heavy braking.”
The Canters with the highest GVW and 4×4 configurations are equipped with drum brakes on both axles. The standard Exhaust Brake System (EBS) valve is fitted on the turbo charger outlet.
This system uses the vehicle exhaust gas to create a backpressure to slow down the engine, enabling wear-free braking. This results in reduced stress on service brakes when driving downhill and, again to the benefit of fleets, reduces maintenance costs of the vehicle.