Kenworth swings US spotlight on T680 Next Generation

Technology and aerodynamics among innovations of flagship model

Kenworth swings US spotlight on T680 Next Generation
The T680 Next Generation sports fully LED lights


Kenworth’s US arm has launched a high-tech version of its T680 model, dubbing it the ‘Next Generation’.

While the outside adds to its on-highway flagship presence, the advancements are most obvious in the cab and beneath it.

"The Kenworth T680 Next Generation raises the bar for overall excellence, superior fuel efficiency, outstanding performance and bold styling," Kenworth general manager and Paccar vice president Kevin Baney says.

The technical innovations include 15-inch digital display, Next Gen SmartWheel, fully LED headlamps, under-the-vehicle airflow management and additional advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).

"The unique air dam design guides and controls airflow under the chassis while providing protective coverage under the cooling module," Kenworth says.

ADAS introduces Lane Keeping Assist and Torque Assisted Steering as options for the first time in the Kenworth line-up.

"Lane Keeping Assist uses camera input to identify when the truck is departing the lane and provides a ‘nudge’ to help keep centred in the lane," the truckmaker says.

This feature requires Bendix Fusion and comes with Torque Assisted Steering, which provides additional torque to the steering column, with a view to reducing driver fatigue.

There is also Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Collision Mitigation and Side Object Detection.


Read how the standard T680 has been involved in autonomous testing, here

There has been a clear focus on boosting aerodynamics and fuel efficiency.

"We exceeded the superior fuel efficiency of the current T680, through aerodynamic advancements and design innovations," Kenworth chief engineer Joe Adams says.

"As a result, the Kenworth T680 Next Generation is the most aerodynamic truck in company history."

The prime mover includes new aero bumper and hood, turning vanes, lower fairing extensions, chassis fairings, wheel well closeouts, 28-inch (71cm) side extenders, tandem drive axle fairings, and wheel covers, among other features, all to keep the airflow closer to the cab and reduce turbulence.

"The T680 Next Gen hit our design goal of being sleek and sophisticated," Kenworth design director Jonathan Duncan says.

"We wanted to focus on the aerodynamics, the technology and the refinement, and make the styling show that is a world class, high-performance machine.

The T680 Next Gen comes standard with the EPA 2021 Paccar MX-13 12.9-litre engine and Paccar Powertrain that also offer strong fuel efficiency gains.

"The bottom line is up to an estimated 6 per cent overall fuel economy increase for a T680 Next Gen 76-inch [193cm] sleeper over a comparably specced T680 with an EPA 2017 Paccar MX-13 engine," Adams notes.

Other aspects Kenworth notes include Kenworth TruckTech+ Remote Diagnostics, which identifies issues and provides recommended solutions to the driver and fleet manager, and stair-like cab entry.

In polyurethane or optional leather, SmartWheel controls the digital display, allows seamless viewing selection between two Minimised Views, Basic View, Maximised View and even a driver customisable Favourites View, along with cruise control and radio functions.


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