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International's Concept Semi Achieves 13 MPG

According to the Commercial Carrier Journal, the CatalIST Super Truck is the product of a $40 million joint venture with the U.S. Department of Energy. The federal agency wanted to see if a 50 percent improvement in freight efficiency over a 2009 baseline vehicle was possible, with freight efficiency defined as the amount of freight transported per gallon at 65,000-lb GVW. International’s CatalIST design boasts 13-mpg fuel-efficiency, a 104-percent improvement.

Upgraded Powertrain

CatalIST is powered by modified A26 engine mated to a direct-drive automated manual transmission with 10 speeds. The engine includes modifications like high peak cylinder pressures, higher-flow cylinder heads, a variable speed water pump and friction coatings. By reducing cruising rpms, a 1:91 rear-axle ratio further improves fuel economy. At 65 mph, the engine operates at just 1,000 rpm.

Lightweight and Aerodynamic Design

Designers reduced the weight of the vehicle by adding a carbon fiber skin over the steel cab, polycarbonate windows and aluminum tanks and landing gear. The strength of the polycarbonate plastic also allowed for a more aggressive, aerodynamic design. To reduce drag, monitors replace exterior mirrors. Improved aerodynamics result from an air-over-leaf suspension which drops the front of the truck at freeway speeds.

CatalIST is yet another example of International’s prowess in engineering, design and innovation. Carolina International is proud to offer International’s line of semis and other commercial trucks. In the two-plus decades we have served America’s Southeast, we have grown to the point that we offer a $6 million parts inventory and dozens of service bays strategically located at six South Carolina locations. For prompt, friendly assistance, please contact us today.