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Review; Mack’s New Anthem Truck Marks Upgrade

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Review: Mack’s New Anthem Truck Marks Upgrade

To test the new semi-tractor — it replaces the axle-back Pinnacle early next year — Trucks.com joined an 800-mile convoy, driving a selection of different Anthem configurations with Mack’s MP7 and MP8 engines, including the new turbocompound MP8.

The route started from the Mack Customer Center in Allentown, Pa., and ended at the new Nextran dealership in Duluth, Ga.

The Anthem, a redesign of Mack’s long-haul tractor offering, features bold new exterior styling, a new hood, roof cap and side skirts, which combine to increase the entire line's “wow” factor.

Inside, the cab and sleeper get an all-new dash and a full stand-up cab height behind the driver's seat in the 70-inch sleeper. New seats and new materials and up to 27 cubic feet of storage add up to a pleasing interior that Mack designed to help fleets recruit and retain drivers.

We drove the model that most over-the-road truckers will consider: the 70-inch, high-roof sleeper Anthem with the 455-horsepower, turbocompound engine option. A turbocompound engine employs a turbine to recover energy from the exhaust gases.

The test truck was pulling a loaded van trailer.

The Anthem is intended to boost Mack’s share of the over-the-road truck market with a new model and new buzz. Judging by the interest the 10-truck convoy generated from comments over the CB radio and at meal and rest stops, the Anthem achieves this well. The outgoing model has just over 2 percent and lags far behind the market-leading Freightliner Cascadia.

Mack’s engine lineup broadly parallels that of its corporate sibling Volvo, with the MP7, at 700 cubic inches, sharing the same hard parts as the 11-liter Volvo. And the 800-cubic-inch MP8 is similar in architecture to the Volvo 13 liter. That being said, the electronic controls give the different brands their own “personality.”

The turbocompound is the new-technology derivative of the MP8, with a two-stage turbocharger providing boost to the inlet charge while recovering some of the waste energy that would otherwise go up the exhaust.

This contributes an additional 50 horsepower to the engine’s output. The engine comes in two horsepower ratings, a 425 and a 455, both with peak torque extending down to 900 rpms.

All trucks were equipped with the Mack mDrive automated mechanical transmission. In fact, most of Mack highway-truck production is similarly equipped with mDrive, as this automated gearbox accounts for 80 percent of current production.

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Backsound Credit: Bensound.com
Image Credit: Autoblog.com
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