Mitsubishi Fuso’s new Canter 4×4 steps up the pace
The Japanese truck makers have long held the appeal for all-wheel-drive options, and although Isuzu is the favoured choice of Australia’s Rural Fire Services and Country Fire Authorities, there’s no reason to exclude Mitsubishi Fuso from having a stronger crack at this lucrative market segment.
Fuso has recently debuted a new-generation Fuso Canter truck range, following extensive revision of the vehicle’s technology and styling.
The range of conventionally rear-wheel-drive light-duty trucks with their high payload is about to get a new variant featuring selectable all-wheel drive.
Its off-road capabilities make the Fuso Canter 4×4 the ideal choice for all applications where operation on unsurfaced roads is required, for example on construction sites, in the energy supply sector and in service with the fire brigade. For municipal authorities, it lends itself to use as a winter service vehicle with snowplough and salt spreader. Its width of two metres means that it can also negotiate narrow openings with ease.
The Canter 4×4 demonstrates its efficiency well on the construction site, for example, as its all-wheel drive can be engaged to allow it to cope with the loose surfaces. Its high payload capacity and optionally available start/stop function also make the Canter 4×4 an efficient workhorse.
The new Canter model shares the same practical strengths as its predecessors: good manoeuvrability (the 3415 mm wheelbase version has a turning circle of 13.5 m), a space-saving cab-over-engine layout, a robust construction, an ergonomically located shift lever in the instrument panel, enhanced safety thanks to a strong cab design and low brake wear as a result of the standard exhaust brake.
The Canter 4×4, model designation 6C18, will be offered with a permissible gross vehicle weight of 6.5 tonnes, a two-metre wide comfort cab and a power output of 129 kW (175 hp). The all-wheel drive can be selected and deselected by the driver during a journey, and a rear axle differential lock is fitted as standard.
Customers will be able to choose from single cabs or crew cabs
(3 and 7 seats respectively) with wheelbases of 3415 mm and 3865 mm. Payload capacity ranges from 3500 kg to 3735 kg. The vehicle’s approach and departure angles are 35 degrees and 25 degrees respectively (as opposed to 18 degrees and 11 degrees for the Canter 4×2).
Like the conventional Canter, the new 4×4 model also comes with a completely redesigned cab. Daytime running lamps have been integrated into the fog lamp housings and both fog lamps and daytime running lamps come as standard on all models.
First introduced for the 4×2 model, the new cataphoretic dip priming (CDP) and the powder-coated frame provide optimum long-term corrosion protection.
Over 100 cab colours are available, including several metallic and pearl paint finishes, but it’s fair to assume that at last 90 percent of those heading to Australia will all be painted white. The cab interior is trimmed in two colours, and access and egress has been improved for both the driver and passengers.
Round vents surround the instrument panel. The circular dials are easy to read. The economical range on the rev counter is clearly marked. The multifunction display between the instruments provides information such as time and distance travelled, it also includes a trip computer to calculate fuel consumption, a display that shows the status of the particulate filter, and a warning lamp for the fuel level. The operating buttons are arranged within easy reach around the steering wheel.
The storage concept focuses fully on the needs of the driver and co-driver. The centre console contains two DIN slots, a storage compartment with flap, and a pull-out drinks holder for two containers. On the co-driver’s side, items can be stored in an open stowage tray and a lockable glove compartment. A stowage facility for documents and a compartment for a mobile phone or small items underline the practical design and layout of the dashboard. Roof stowage boxes, door storage bins and stowage facilities behind and between the seats round off the stowage space options.
Both the driver’s and co-driver’s seats feature integral head restraints, and the driver gains an adjustable lumbar support as standard. A mechanically-sprung comfort seat with armrest is available as an option. Even the occupant of the centre seat benefits from the changes, as they gain the same amount of legroom as the outer co-driver’s seat. A fully automatic air conditioning system is available as an alternative to the manually controlled aircon unit.
The new Fuso Canter 4×4 is powered by a four-cylinder turbo diesel engine with Euro V and EEV certification. Only the most powerful version of this 3-litre engine – developing 129 kW (175 hp) at 3500 rev/min – is installed on the all-wheel-drive model. It boasts a maximum full-load torque of 430 Newton metres, which is available constantly from 1600 to 2900 rev/min.
This newly designed, long-stroke engine (in-house designation 4P10) uses twin chain-driven overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, an exhaust gas turbocharger with variable turbine geometry, a common-rail injection system and piezo injectors for precise fuel metering.
The 40,000 km maintenance interval has also resulted in a marked reduction in maintenance costs and further underlines the excellent cost-effectiveness of the Fuso Canter 4×4. To reduce diesel consumption even further, the new Canter 4×4 is also available on request with a start/stop function.
The new Canter 4×4 is equipped with the most powerful version of the 3.0-litre engine, capable of delivering a power output of 175 hp. This engine features SCR technology with AdBlue injection. The AdBlue tank in the Canter is located on the left-hand side, immediately adjacent to the fuel tank, and holds 12 litres. Thanks to the low AdBlue consumption, this is sufficient for a range of around 8000 km.
If the vehicle is being used mainly for very short trips, manual regeneration of the particulate filter may be necessary owing to the low engine temperatures. A status indicator in the multifunction display tells the driver whether manual regeneration, which is activated by a switch, is required.
The uniform hole pattern of the high-payload frame on the Canter 4×4 makes life much easier for bodybuilders. All chassis are available on request with body consoles to facilitate body assembly. Drilling the ladder-type frame is no longer required. To save space, the coolant expansion tank is located under the cab, enabling the body to be moved closer to the rear wall of the cab.
Two different power take-off units, with or without flange, are available on the 4×4, both featuring an output of 31 kW. The Canter is also available ex-works with an external power take-off rpm controller, which can be positioned where required. The interface for the controller is located on the rear of the cab.
As an option, Fuso can deliver the new Canter 4×4 equipped with a voltage converter. This ensures that the 12 V vehicle electrical system can be connected to a 24 V interface, such as those frequently used by bodybuilders on medium-size truck bodies. To guarantee the power supply, Fuso can also deliver the new Canter with various alternators adapted to the intended use.
Safety is also of paramount importance on the new Canter 4×4. The doors feature side-impact protection as standard. Airbags are available as optional equipment for driver and co-driver. Like the conventional model, the new Canter 4×4 also features the Fuso RISE passive safety system as well as Brake Override technology, which give general priority to the brake signal if the brake and accelerator pedals are inadvertently depressed simultaneously.
Like all Fuso Canter models, the new all-wheel-drive variant is also equipped as standard with an exhaust brake. Operated from a steering-column switch and generating up to 50 kW of braking power, the exhaust brake increases safety by protecting the service brake and at the same time reduces costs by prolonging the service life of the brake pads.
Canter Hybrid takes the Stage
Fuso’s new Canter in hybrid form, previewed at the Tokyo Motor Show last November, is now available for sale in Japan. European and other international markets will see the Canter Hybrid in the third quarter of this year.
Fuso’s first Canter Eco Hybrid hit Japan’s roads back in 2006, and over 1200 versions in right-hand-drive hybrid form have sold in markets like Japan, Australia, Ireland, and Hong Kong. The second-generation model will be available in both a right- and left-hand-drive version.
The Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid is also the world’s first commercial vehicle that combines a DUONIC dual-clutch transmission with a hybrid engine. As a result, the vehicle boasts high fuel efficiency, while also combining the comfort of an automatic transmission with the economy of a stick-shift.
According to Albert Kirchmann, president of MFTBC, the new hybrid truck’s nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions are 30 percent lower than the limits set by Japan’s current emission standard (JP09), which has been in effect since 2010. When compared to the current Fuso Canter with a conventional diesel engine, moreover, the hybrid version saves more than 25 percent fuel during a Japanese driving cycle.