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Mack Anthem preview

ATN takes the new Mack Anthem for a short run at Mack's test track facility in the US State of Pennsylvania.

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Within the next two years, Mack will launch a new model in Australia.

It will be the Mack Anthem, a model launched in the US in the back half of 2017 and now in production at Mack’s vastly upgraded Lehigh Valley facility in Pennsylvania.

In the US, Mack executives make no secret of the fact that Anthem is the spearhead of a determined bid to reinstate the bulldog’s presence in the premium North American interstate market.

For many years up to the mid-70s or thereabouts, Mack was a dominant force in the US linehaul business but today, that presence has been whittled to less than two percent.

Senior Mack executives are under no illusions about the difficulty of the task ahead and at this point, goals are modest. However, the unequivocal intention is to get to double digits, sooner rather than later.

Key to Anthem’s prospects in North America is a stand-up cab with a superbly equipped 70-inch sleeper.

Righthand-drive Australian models will, of course, be built at the Volvo Group factory in Wacol, Brisbane, but only after a long and detailed testing program to ensure the reconfigured cab will withstand Australian operating conditions.

There’s no reason it won’t come through with flying colours. After all, the Anthem cab employs much the same steel shell which has been serving Mack faithfully and reliably for many years in many parts of the world.

Wisely though, Mack’s local leaders won’t be taking any chances. There’s simply too much at stake in such a demanding and unforgiving market as Australia.

Still, Anthem provides something Mack has wanted and invariably needed in this country for a long time and that, obviously enough, is a stand-up cab.

In its complete form, Anthem will be a direct replacement for the current Granite model.

However, Anthem will do far more than simply replace an existing model.

For starters, the completely redesigned interior layout and high-roof design will be transplanted into Trident, Super-Liner and Titan models. Only the shorthaul Metro-Liner misses out.

The excitement and passion within Mack ranks both here and in the US is almost palpable, and easily understood given the long wait for a development such as this. 

Our technical editor Steve Brooks was recently a guest of Mack in the US and on a cold, snowy test track in Pennsylvania, was given the opportunity to climb behind the wheel of a day cab and low-rise sleeper version of the new Anthem.

It’s early days, but equally, early impressions were hugely positive.

The look is decidedly different but then again, so is Anthem.    

A detailed feature story will soon appear but in the meantime, here’s a little footage of a new dog with new tricks.

Read more on the Mack Anthem in the May edition of ATN.

Video: Steve Brooks

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