BTS 19: DD16 Debut

By: Steve Brooks, Photography by: Steve Brooks and Nathan Duff

Better late than never for elusive 16-litre unit

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It’s now more than 12 years since we first drove a truck in Australia powered by a 16-litre Detroit DD16 engine but only now at this year’s Brisbane Truck Show has it finally made an official appearance.

The DD16 is, of course, the biggest bore in Daimler’s HDEP (Heavy-Duty Engine Platform) family.

It is effectively much the same engine used by Mercedes-Benz in its biggest models and will soon make its presence felt in Freightliner’s upcoming Cascadia conventional.

Read our sneak peak of the DD16, here

All those years ago, however, the DD16 was something of a secret weapon, and while Detroit was certainly unimpressed that a truck writer had managed to climb behind the wheel of a trial unit for a roadtrain run from Brisbane to Port Augusta, the engine’s performance and fuel efficiency suggested a strong future.

But it wasn’t to be and, for whatever reason, the DD16 never made it onto the Australian market even after Roger Penske took over the Australian operation.

Strange days indeed, but better late than never perhaps. 

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