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Heavy-duty VW: the tailored and modularized trucks

September 01 2020
  • Modularity allows multiple variations, tailored for the most diverse applications;
  • Lighter: to culminate in maximum load capacity, VWCO engineering was able to eliminate 80 kilos in the chassis, even with an increase in the volumes of Arla 32 and diesel.

Chassis - Regardless of the cabin, the chassis is always the same in the new heavy-duty VW family, which has more than ten variations when thinking only of the combination between the two suspension options and up to three wheelbase dimensions. With this modularity, the VWCO offer allows customers to configure the vehicle for maximum productivity. Added to this is all the robustness already characteristic of the brand's products and the result is felt quite significantly in the total cost of the operation, the so-called TCO.

Considered the backbone of the vehicle because it houses about 90% of the vehicle's parts, the chassis of the new vehicles was designed by Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus engineers from all the know-how accumulated by professionals in years of experience in the segment, either with other VW models or with the MAN TGX line. The objective of the rigorous development was to make vehicles as light as possible, culminating in maximum load capacity. On average, this effort by VWCO professionals managed to eliminate 80 kilos, despite a considerable increase in the volumes of Arla 32 and diesel.

All the parts of the project underwent a rigid and careful structural calculation study, aiming at maximizing robustness with the lowest possible weight, with the new design and materials that ensure the highest payload capacity. This work also fulfilled its purpose of facilitating maintenance, both by the communization of components and by novelties such as the battery cover positioned in order to speed up access.

Axles - The new rear axle ratios are a separate chapter and deserve to be highlighted. The set is designed to provide the best performance and lowest fuel consumption for the vehicle, with the customer being able to choose the axle ratio that suits their operation, with the support of the VWCO dealer sales consultant. In addition to the performance, the models are differentiated by the additional comfort of a completely new steering system to make the experience at the wheel smooth.

Within the brand's tailor-made concept, the same chassis can come with three wheelbase options, optimized for the best load distribution and to be able to run with the implement in the maximum length allowed by Brazilian legislation, resulting in a greater traction capacity, which can reach up to 125 tons in the off-road model and varying between 53 tons in the 6x2 or 74 tons in the 6x4 road version. To have a comparison parameter: before, the VW line reached a maximum of 63 tons on the road.

In VW Meteor 28.460 6x2 and 29.520 6x4 models, the wheelbase can be 3,200mm, 3,400mm or 3,600 mm. In the Constellation, the wheelbase will be 3,200 mm for the off-road 6x4.

Suspension - Another component developed by VWCO Engineering for the best operating result is the suspension, which in some configurations can even represent a reduction of 170 kilos in the total weight of the vehicle. Whether in the metallic or pneumatic version, the automaker's professionals developed sets that best adapt to the Brazilian operating reality.

For the VW Meteor, the version with eight air pockets is available in all variations of the model, whether in the 6x2 or 6x4. The metallic one with two beams of parabolic springs in the front and three beams in the rear can equip the 28.460 6x2 with wheelbase of 3,600 mm or the 29.520 6x4 with any wheelbase. Meanwhile, the VW Constellation 33.460 model has a metallic suspension.

The air suspension comes with an intelligent system for reading the load carried per axle and with the ability to redistribute in order to balance the weight on each axle. The driver also has the option of programming the air pockets to adjust the height of the implement when loading or unloading the vehicle. All performed by remote control, from inside the cabin.

The heavy-duty for off-road operation also has an important attribute: its rear axles come with reduced hubs, ideal for applications with high performance in heavy off-road transport.

Tanks - All models will have two tanks, with capacities ranging from 630 to 940 liters, according to the chosen wheelbase. With the exception of off-road, all are aluminum. The heavy-duty VW also has a tank for 100 liters of Arla 32, the largest autonomy in the category, which maximizes productivity by avoiding the need for filling during the trip.

More news and safety - As if so many variations weren't enough, VWCO will still offer the customer, among the options, vertical exhaust and electric tilting. Another possibility will be an extra differential lock protection for severe operations on the VW Constellation 6x4 model. The heavy-duty VW Constellation also comes with a support behind the cabin, in preparation for applications that require the repositioning of the pneumatic and electrical connection system between the tractor and the implement, another request coming directly from the market in customer tests.

In addition to all the points mentioned, Constellation becomes the first vehicle of the Constellation series to be equipped with EBS brakes, an electronic brake system that brings the function that electronically controls the braking pressure for the tracks, preventing the implement from pushing the tractor.

Heavy-duty VW Constellation 33.460 6x4 debut ready for any terrain

  • Off-road truck has features to face the most adverse conditions, characteristics of applications in mines, cane fields and lumber mills

The new heavy-duty VW Constellation 33.460 6x4 is born ready to face the most diverse challenges of agribusiness, with a series of tailored features, guaranteeing the vehicle the capacity to safely cross off-road operations. The customer has improved vehicle performance in these driving conditions, thanks to the different gear shift strategy.

Activation of the off-road mode is done by means of a key on the panel. When starting the vehicle, a warning lamp is lit on the panel, indicating that the function is enabled. Another highlight is the Rocking free function. Also activated by means of a button on the center console, right next to the driver. It is used as an aid in more critical situations, when the vehicle is bogged down in low-traction terrain, such as sandy or muddy terrain. This function is best used in conjunction with differential lock and ATC Off, functions available in all models of the new line.

With the active function, the transmission doesn't change gears, that is, it remains in the selected gear, which reduces the probability of the vehicle spinning and facilitates transposition. Its performance is effective in removing the vehicle from the quagmire conditions. When it comes to practical operation, the Constellation debuts with an unprecedented feature: the oil level indication on the dashboard, as soon as the driver starts. The function makes the routine of checking the oil level more agile, practical and safe, with strategies to alert the driver and protect the engine.

Another highlight is the work light, located behind the cabin. With it, it is possible to illuminate the region in procedures such as connection or disconnection with the truck. A fuse box, installed near the batteries, has been developed to protect against electrical damage.

Comfort and functionality: VW Meteor heavy-duty truck arrives with a vocation for any application

  • Driving and braking safety and driver assistance features are highlights of the heavy duty vehicles that pull up to 74 tons

With premium truck content and optimized cost-benefit, the new VW Meteor arrives with comfort and functionality tailored to it. Upon entering the cabin, the driver already checks these attributes on the vehicle's dashboard, with a combination of colored and white displays specially developed to allow quick viewing of vehicle information. The radio has a seven-inch screen and an optional multimedia system that allows connection to cell phones and features such as access to maps of the MirrorLink and CarPlay systems.

And to take the riches of the country, the vehicle that pulls up to 74 tons brings the HSA function, which helps the ramp start, an essential feature for the large compositions of the heavy-duty segment. Still in line with driver safety, the model features an EBS braking system that performs electronic brake pressure regulation to provide more effective stops and prevents the wheels from locking up. The 6x2 and 6x4 vehicles are equipped with the ASR function, traction control that can be activated with a key on the panel to help traverse the most difficult terrains.

When adjusting the headlights, the customer has a key on the panel, with a configuration established according to the limits allowed for each load, in a simple way and according to the parameters of the legislation.

In addition to having outlets available on the panel, the driver also has more practicality at rest time: USB port, 12V and 24V outlets and digital clock are next to the bed. This area also has reading light and storage compartment.

For safety, if the driver's door is opened with the truck running, an audible signal is emitted if the parking brake has not been applied or the vehicle is in the drive position. The rearview mirrors defogging system ensures agility and safety on the coldest days.