Penske bullish on local launch for new Western Star 49X

Daimler Trucks North America unveils new vocational platform

Penske bullish on local launch for new Western Star 49X
A new Western Star 49X


Penske is flagging a 2022 or 2023 Australian release for the new Western Star platform unveiled in the US recently.

As the official distributor of Western Star Trucks across Australia and New Zealand, Penske says it has worked closely with Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) over several years throughout the development process of the new 49X trucks and will continue to do so in the lead up to the launch in our local markets.   

"We are thrilled to see the brand new Western Star platform unveiled today in the United States," Penske Australia & New Zealand president Randall Seymore says.

"Here in Australia and New Zealand, Western Star has amassed a loyal customer base over the decades and we are confident our customers will be just as excited by today’s launch.

How a new Western Star emerged in the shadows, here

"We will be rolling out a testing program next year ensuring the new trucks are a perfect fit for our local conditions and applications.  

"We will continue to support our current Western Star truck portfolio which has been proven to thrive in our tough and unique conditions, and Penske is committed to continuing to provide our customers with the service excellence they have come to expect.

"Our launch plans for the new trucks will be revealed in due course, however we expect to see the trucks enter our local markets in late 2022 or early 2023."


The North American launch offered a glimpse of the new truck, with a statement noting the new 49X vocational range is underpinned by a stronger, lighter chassis and equipped with an all-new X-series cab, enabling "total weight savings of over 350 pounds (150kg) in like-for-like spec’ing versus the current Western Star 4900".

"The hood of the 49X is constructed of high-strength, lightweight molded composite for superior impact resistance and durability.

"The new hood uses an innovative and patented ISO Tech Hood Suspension system that behaves similarly to a typical coil-over shock suspension with spring and damper.

"The system isolates, absorbs and dissipates vibrations from the chassis when driving over uneven terrain to protect the hood from damage and cracking."

DTNA claims the new range will have the segment's largest cab and offers 10-13 per cent greater space than competitors for ample operator comfort.


Under the hood, the 49X debuts the all-new and work-ready Detroit DT12 Vocational series of automated manual transmissions.

"The all-new Detroit DT12 Vocational series of transmissions and industry-leading Detroit Assurance suite of safety systems offer proven innovation for best-in-class safety, improved productivity and maximum uptime

"Available as either the DT12-V or the DT12-VX and rated up to a GCWR of 330,000 pounds [150 tonnes], the DT12 Vocational series was validated in over 35 million miles [56 million km] of testing to deliver performance and durability and can be mated to the venerable Detroit DD15 Gen 5 engine or workhorse Detroit DD16 engine, the largest and most powerful diesel engine available in the North American heavy truck market.

"Both engines come equipped with Detroit Connect Virtual Technician remote diagnostic services to increase uptime and productivity."

Meanwhile, safety in the 49X comprises the Detroit Assurance suite of safety systems, which features the "most advanced collision mitigation system in the vocational market", DTNA notes.

"Detroit Assurance in the 49X offers Side Guard Assist (SGA), Active Brake Assist 5 (ABA5), Tailgate Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) to 0mph, Lane Departure Warning, Video Capture, Intelligent High-Beam and Automatic Wipers and Headlamps.

"With optional SGA, radar technology detects moving objects and pedestrians on the passenger side of the 49X that may otherwise fall in the operator’s blind spot and alerts them with both auditory and visual warnings, providing game-changing technology for safety on the jobsite or on the way there."

In the states, the 49X is available to order around the new year and first deliveries begin in early 2021.


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