Scania G490 and R580 Euro 6 truck review

By: Matt Wood


Even with the Streamline update the current cab is starting to look a little long in the tooth. Even with the Streamline update the current cab is starting to look a little long in the tooth. Even with the Streamline update the current cab is starting to look a little long in the tooth.
Lean, mean and green. Scania now offers Euro 6 emissions level vehicles in P, G and R series trucks. Lean, mean and green. Scania now offers Euro 6 emissions level vehicles in P, G and R series trucks. Lean, mean and green. Scania now offers Euro 6 emissions level vehicles in P, G and R series trucks.
There’s no certainty in the Australian emissions debate at present. There’s no certainty in the Australian emissions debate at present. There’s no certainty in the Australian emissions debate at present.
The cleaner R580 now has performance levels equivalent to the Euro 5 R620. The cleaner R580 now has performance levels equivalent to the Euro 5 R620. The cleaner R580 now has performance levels equivalent to the Euro 5 R620.
The Euro 6 13-litre engine and pong box. Interestingly, this set-up doesn’t take up much more chassis real estate compared to Euro 5 models. The Euro 6 13-litre engine and pong box. Interestingly, this set-up doesn’t take up much more chassis real estate compared to Euro 5 models. The Euro 6 13-litre engine and pong box. Interestingly, this set-up doesn’t take up much more chassis real estate compared to Euro 5 models.
You can’t hate an eight. Scania will be the last manufacturer standing to offer a V engine once the new Benz range is launched. You can’t hate an eight. Scania will be the last manufacturer standing to offer a V engine once the new Benz range is launched. You can’t hate an eight. Scania will be the last manufacturer standing to offer a V engine once the new Benz range is launched.
No surprises here, though I wish that percentage was my driving score not the fuel level. No surprises here, though I wish that percentage was my driving score not the fuel level. No surprises here, though I wish that percentage was my driving score not the fuel level.
A corporate box at the G. The modular aspect of Scania’s range sees similar ergonomics regardless of model. A corporate box at the G. The modular aspect of Scania’s range sees similar ergonomics regardless of model. A corporate box at the G. The modular aspect of Scania’s range sees similar ergonomics regardless of model.
The G Series cab makes it a pretty good all-rounder. Enough room for a snooze or the occasional night away. The G Series cab makes it a pretty good all-rounder. Enough room for a snooze or the occasional night away. The G Series cab makes it a pretty good all-rounder. Enough room for a snooze or the occasional night away.
A typically European torque curve, peak torque from 1,000rpm. A typically European torque curve, peak torque from 1,000rpm. A typically European torque curve, peak torque from 1,000rpm.
The 1,400rpm sweet spot of the V8 gives a nice blend of horsepower and torque. The 1,400rpm sweet spot of the V8 gives a nice blend of horsepower and torque. The 1,400rpm sweet spot of the V8 gives a nice blend of horsepower and torque.

Scania has been making a big push to own the Euro 6 market locally. It now offers Euro 6 compliant trucks across its range in Australia and two were available.

 

I was recently able to take both the Scania G490 and R580 for an extended outing in Euro 6 guise recently to get a little more familiar with the Euro 6 V8 and 6 cylinder.

A loaded Melbourne-Sydney return seemed the ideal setting for a closer look at the Swedish green machines.

Setting off from Scania headquarters in the Melbourne suburb of Cambellfield.

We ambled up the Hume-boring Highway to Sydney town. I’d also been armed with the Scania Fleet Management app on my smartphone which meant that I could monitor the humiliation of being ranked as a driver during the journey and have my fuel efficiency and location monitored.

I jumped between the single trailer G Series and the B-double R Series during the trip up a stretch of road that by now I know every lump and bump of.

Engine and Transmission

The biggest news from behind the wheel of both trucks is there really is not that much news.

The big V8 still performs very much as it has in the past though the new aftertreatment system does dull the already faint bent eight exhaust note that little bit more.

A faint resonance through the floor and around 1,400rpm on a big pull is the only time that you’ll be really aware that 16 litres and eight pistons are putting out 2,175ft-lb (2,949Nm) of torque to drag you to the top.

The weight penalty for Euro 6 comes in at about 40kg and Scania is claiming no fuel penalty for the cleaner power plants.

As with most engine manufacturers the engines use both SCR and EGR to snatch all of the nasties out of the fuel burning process. There is however an SCR-only Euro 6 option available on the 450hp (336kW) 13-litre.

 

A corporate box at the G. The modular aspect of Scania’s range sees similar ergonomics regardless of model.

 

Cab and Controls

When given the time to ponder the R and G series cab, I realised nothing’s changed in that regard. Even the Euro 6 pong box hanging off the chassis hasn’t made much of an intrusion in terms of fuel capacity.

Sure the batteries now live down the back of the chassis to keep some weight off the front wheels but that is the same as the Euro 5 range.

Even taking into account the Streamline cab update, the P, G and R series trucks are all starting to look a little dated.

A steady stream of spy pics out of Europe seem to indicate that something may be on the go, however there’s nothing concrete to go on at this stage.

And my usual Euro criticism of a less than spacious bunk also applies here.

 

The G Series cab makes it a pretty good all-rounder. Enough room for a snooze or the occasional night away.

 

Performance

The combination of EGR and SCR means both of the trucks I drove also featured a variable geometry turbocharger (VGT).

The performance of the V8 didn’t seem a great deal different than its Euro 5 stablemates, however the VGT did seem to give the little 13-litre six pot a shot in the arm performance wise.

This was really most noticeable when the engine was lugging down to 1,000-1,100rpm. It just seemed to hang on a little better than the last Euro 5 version I’d driven at 480hp (358kW).

Both trucks used Scania’s 12-speed Opticruise automated transmission and both were fitted with a hydraulic retarder.

Opticruise lets you switch between eco, normal and power modes to change shift patterns and throttle response. I played with this a bit during the drive.

South of the Murray River on the relatively flat plains of northern Victoria, eco mode did the job just fine. But either truck soon lost the will to live once some climbing was required. So I soon flicked back into normal mode.

The power option is really best for off-road use.

 

The Euro 6 13-litre engine and pong box. Interestingly, this set-up doesn’t take up much more chassis real estate compared to Euro 5 models.

 

Scania app

The Scania app kept giving me a real-time scorecard as a driver. Interestingly, I found I always scored better in the double than in the single trailer G Series.

I can only really put that down to the extra momentum of the heavier combination making it easier to coast over the crest of a hill.

The main aim of Euro 6 is to remove nitrogen oxides (NOx) from exhaust gases. In all other respects the difference between Euro 5 and 6 is minimal. But the hardware required to get a heavy duty diesel engine to that point is quite involved.

Scania now offers its entire V8 range in Euro 6 form, even the big 730hp (544kW) jobby.

Call me old fashioned, but I’m heartened to see the eight-banger survive where every other marque has dropped it.

Smooth power

There’s just something about the smooth way that a bent V engine puts power to the ground that is hard to replicate with an in-line six, even though a six generally has better weight distribution over the front axle.

In fact, engine capacity downsizing is the current global trend as engine makers strive to get more out of less.

The hairy chested bloke in me finds comfort in the fact a 16.4-litre V8 engine still not only exists but also meets the latest in emissions requirements out of Europe.

In fact, with the VGT, Scania is now claiming a wider torque spread across the V8 range. The 580hp (433kW) in Euro 6 guise gets the same performance figures as the current Euro 5 620hp (462kW). 

 

No surprises here, though I wish that percentage was my driving score not the fuel level.

 

Heading home

My return drive to Melbourne saw me parked in the G490 for the duration. It really is a sweet little truck to drive as a single.

The G cab does make a nice compromise between urban and highway work. Visibility is excellent which makes poking around town easy, yet it sits on the open road with ease.

This 13-litre six lugs like there’s no tomorrow and it took climbs such as Skyline, Wagga Hill and Aeroplane in its stride.

 

Verdict

My driving score according to the Scania app was a pretty awful 68 per cent. Which I wholeheartedly object to, it was clearly wrong.

But I did score 100 per cent for use of brakes which proves I mean it when I say I brake for nobody.

The six pot averaged 2.2km per litre for the return leg, which is not too bad for a truck that had less than 2,000km on the clock.

It’s hard to say at this point just how many operators will be tempted to jump into Euro 6 without it actually being mandated.

The most likely customers will be the big corporates who want to be seen as being innovators in the environmental space.

However, Scania is keen to be in the box seat if and when that mandate is set.

And the shenanigans of Volkswagen may just spur on that stalled debate.

In the meantime, my couple of days on the road indicated to me the added hardware and complexity of the Euro 6 driveline has served to improve rather than detract from the performance of the Scania line-up.

And it was so much better than flying …

 

Specifications

Make/model: Scania G490 6x4

Engine: 12.7-litre 6 cylinder (Euro 6 compliant using SCR and EGR)

Power: 490hp (365kW)

Torque: 1,880ft-lb (2,549Nm)

Transmission: 12-speed Opticruise automated

Final drive: 3.42:1

 

Make/model: Scania R580 6x4

Engine: 16.4-litre V8 (Euro 6 compliant using SCR and EGR)

Power: 580hp (433kW)

Torque: 2,175ft-lb (2,949Nm)

Transmission: 12-speed Opticruise automated

Final drive: 3.42:1

 

Read the full review in the November issue of ATN. Subscribe here.

 

You can also follow our updates by joining our LinkedIn group or liking us on Facebook