Truck and Bus News understands that US headquartered global truck making giant, Paccar, is developing a larger version of its own MX diesel engine,  expanding it from its current top spec 13-litre variant, with the possibility of a new15 litre with 600 plus hp, reducing dependance on outside engine suppliers like Cummins, and giving it an engine to match the offerings of rival global truck groups.
We understand that the new engine has been under development at Paccar’s European subsidiary DAF and it is likely to be on Australian roads by late 2023.

With little experience in engine design and development Paccar has relied on  DAF for its engine design. DAF’s expertise in heavy diesel design and Paccar’s desire to build its own engines was apparently one of the reasons it originally purchased the Dutch based truck maker, just on 25 years ago in 1996. DAF’s headquarters in Eindhoven, is chock full of highly experienced and knowledgeable diesel experts and the MX in 9,11 and 13 litre formats is the result of all that expertise, and it is a a very good result, producing up top 540hp and very strong torque figures and fuel efficiency.

Paccar of course had long produced trucks with the option of different engines, depending on customer preference, offering Cummins, Caterpillar, or Detroit Diesel engines.

Of course as time has gone on and the complexion of the heavy diesel engine business has changed, with Caterpillar departing the on-highway diesel engine market and Detroit Diesel becoming a part of rival Daimler, Paccar has seen its engine options diminish.

While Paccar for a long time could put its ‘big’ engine eggs in three baskets, Cummins is now really the only option left when it comes to 15litre high horsepower diesels.

T&B News is led to understand that to reduce that dependance, and to make the DAF designed MX engine line complete, the larger capacity 15 or 16 litre MX engine is under development in Eindhoven and that there is a real prospect that it will make it to Australian roads in the not to distant future.

DAF engineers, always up for a challenge have apparently been working on the project for the last few years and we understand the project is nearing completion with the prospect that it may be launched in the US and Europe in 2022.

Despite building trucks for more than 90 years, Paccar only started building MX engines in the USA in 2010, following an investment of  close to $US400 million in a greenfields engine factory in Mississippi. It is understood that when that factory was built it was designed so that a 15litre line could be could be incorporated into the production agenda.

In recent times Paccar has increasingly pushed the barrow for ‘unified’ Paccar drivelines in its trucks. At recent truck shows in North America the company’s two US brands Kenworth and Peterbilt have been shown exclusively withPaccar driveline with MX engines and even Eaton transmissions rebranded as Paccar.

Paccar rivals, like US market leader Daimler, use their own global 16 litre 600 plus horsepower Detroit engines and transmissions for Freightliner and Western Star, and likewise Volvo and Mack use the Swedish giant’s proprietary 16 litre 700 hp engines as well as its own gearboxes, putting pressure on Paccar to expand the MX line up. If that wasn’t enough, VW’s Traton has signalled that its new US acquisition, Navistar is also set to receive shared drivelines from its Euro siblings Scania/MAN.

The fine line for Paccar will be how much it invests in the new engine and whether  there will be enough market life in a new high horsepower/capacity diesel with zero emission engines looming  over the horizon of the global truck market.

However, given Paccar’s unrivalled record of 83 years of continuous profits it is unlikely that its global bean counters in Seattle would allow money to  be expended unless they were sure the investment would be recouped and profits earned from it.