January 2017, TruckingInfo.com – Test Drives
Detroit’s new DD5 diesel is a 5.1L engine designed for urban delivery/service applications in Class 5-6 Freightliner M2 106 trucks. Photos: Jack Roberts
Take a glum Midwestern sky, add a hefty helping of fog and a generous glut of Chicago traffic seasoned with holiday shoppers, and you’ve got a pretty realistic setting to evaluate a small-displacement diesel engine designed for urban parcel and delivery applications.
The new engine is Detroit’s 5.1L, four-cylinder DD5, which the company launched earlier this year and has been available in Freightliner M2 106 vocational trucks since October. Detroit is primarily known as a builder of large-displacement, heavy-duty diesels, so the DD5 is something of a departure in many ways. At the same time, it is an indicator of things to come: Daimler Trucks North America, the parent company of Freightliner and Detroit, is committed to carving out a larger piece of the urban delivery trucking market — a segment that continues to grow rapidly as e-commerce and the demand for ultra-fast delivery times increase.
According to Chris Moran, medium duty program manager of sales and marketing for Detroit, the DD5 is merely the company’s first step in filling out its diesel engine portfolio. A larger-displacement, 8L DD8 is slated to launch next year, which he said will give Detroit a powerful and fuel-efficient diesel to meet any need for fleets with vehicles from Class 4 up to Class 8.
The DD5 will serve Classes 5 and 6, Moran said, with two options: a 210-hp version generating 575 lbs-ft of torque, and a 230-hp unit with 660 lbs-ft of torque.
“Initially, we’re focusing on P&D, rental, lease and box- and service-truck applications,” Moran explained. “Our immediate plans are to get DD5 production up and running in Detroit by the fourth quarter of 2018 as well as launch the 8L engine.”
Daimler is a longtime player in the urban delivery market, although other manufacturers own a majority of the market – at least for now.
“When the decision was made to bring a small-displacement engine into North America, it was very important that we didn’t just show up with a ‘me too’ product,” Moran explains. “The DD5 debuted in Europe in 2013 and is a mature, proven product. So we knew it is a durable engine. But our testing