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Test drive – New MAN generation admires the little details

The latest MAN truck range has been a long time in the making. Now it’s here, MAN is hopeful it will revolutionise the Australian market

It’s obvious that Penske Australia and MAN Truck & Bus have put in plenty of hours to produce MAN’s latest generation of trucks for its Australian market.

For its first truck generation release in years, MAN has considered every little aspect of its latest TG range to increase efficiency and the overall experience for operators and drivers. Although MAN Truck & Bus Australasia head of cluster Thomas Hammerich says the global launch of the TG range got off to a bumpy start, the Australian launch has so far been smooth and exciting.

“The launch started two years ago,” Hammerich told ATN. “We tried to launch the TG range in Spain in 2020 but got hit by a serious winter storm that meant hundreds of flights got cancelled and many customers couldn’t show up. Ten days later, COVID-19 hit us.

“Now we can say the latest generation of trucks are a game-changer, and that the work and development we’ve put into the truck has been beneficial for drivers.”

The new MAN TG range of trucks are all about driver comfort and efficiency. ATN was lucky enough to test drive the TG series in a Brisbane launch earlier this week. Upon close inspection, even the smallest of details on the trucks have been attended to, creating a series of trucks that are high quality and ideal for drivers.

The international market clearly agrees with this sentiment. The MAN TG series was named international truck of the year in 2021 while also winning a most efficient truck in its competitor field award in South Africa just a couple of months ago.

Hammerich says these rewards come from many hours of work on the latest trucks.


“We spent millions of working hours on these trucks,” Hammerich says. “We set up an expert advisory board during the development phase with customers, partners and drivers to get feedback on what needed to improve with this generation of trucks.

“It means this range is all about the drivers, which is most important from my point of view.”

Attendees at the launch of the latest MAN truck generation included Penske Automotive Group executive vice president Randall Seymore. He says the Australian launch of the range is already giving the wider Penske company tips to continue growing its MAN presence in Australia.

“We have significant aspirations to grow the business in Australia,” Seymore told ATN. “We have gone for four main pillars – driver fit, economy and efficiency, optimised uptime and being a strong partner with our network.”

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All of these considerations are clear when driving the truck. The driver cabins are incredibly spacious and have class-leading rest spaces in terms of length to combat driver fatigue. All parts in the cabin are of high quality – there’s no rattling or cheap materials making up the nifty ideas in the cabin. Hazard light and window buttons are down at the bottom of the driver door, meaning drivers don’t have to climb back up the steps to do so.

Driving the trucks is comfortable for all drivers. The ride is smooth, the automated manual transmission is easy to handle and the engine break on larger models work perfectly.

MAN Truck Australia product manager Sergio Carboni says the lengthy process the manufacturer has been through to consider all details regarding driver comfort and efficiency has created a worthy finished product.

“There’s been hours of design work done by itself,” Carboni told ATN. “In our TGX range it boasts 640 horsepower, while the 15L engine is class-leading in its Australian engine grade and our engine brakes have 20 per cent more horsepower than the competition.

“We also are promoting our five-year, $1 million warranty for the TG range, which is significant proof our product is very reliable. In our TG3 truck, we also have a telematics solution backed by our own Opti–Connect product.”


And these are only the beginning when it comes to smart features included on MAN’s latest products. The front grille is designed to maximise aerodynamics and increase efficiency, resulting in better fuel economy. Everything about the TG series is sleek and comfortable, as the inside of the truck looks more akin to a boutique sports car rather than a truck.

It all leaves Penske Australia on-highway executive general manager Craig Lee proud of the product. After spending a day with the latest MAN TG series trucks, it’s easy to see why the MAN team is gushing over its latest range.

“It’s wonderful to see the new trucks,” Lee told ATN. “We are extremely confident. Our intentions are in 18 to 24 months, we want to have more than double the market share that we enjoy today.

“We think the TG range actively takes it to our competitors. There’s been a lot of work going on behind the scenes, so to have them released now is a testament to our team.”

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