The 2018 Isuzu FTR Class 6 medium-duty truck from Isuzu Commercial Truck of America offers a four-cylinder engine for greater fuel efficiency and a low-cab-forward design for better visibility and improved maneuverability.

The 25,950-pound GVWR truck is slated to go into production in mid-2017, marking Isuzu’s return to the Class 6 medium-duty truck segment.

“Up until 2009 we had a Class 6, low-cab-forward vehicle,” says Brian Tabel, executive director of marketing. “We’ve had a number of customers over the years still request and have a demand for our truck. Over the course of a period of time, we’ve done research to determine the best avenue for us to bring the truck back to market.

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“The truck will be assembled here in the United States and, similar to its predecessor, have a lot of domestic-supplied components that will ultimately make up the truck.”

Owners have the option of a 50- or 100-gallon fuel tank. The truck will be powered by Isuzu’s 4HK1-TC 5.2-liter turbocharged, four-cylinder diesel engine and mated to an Allison 2000 Series automatic transmission.

“Probably where it’s going to be the most unique is by having a four-cylinder engine in a Class 6 truck,” Tabel says. “From an overall cost of ownership and operation of the vehicle, it will be quite a bit different than anything else that’s in the marketplace.”

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The engine carries a B10 durability of 310,000 miles, which means that 90 percent of engines should reach that mileage before requiring an overhaul. Horsepower, torque and other ratings have not been finalized.

“The overall cost of ownership for any of our vehicles is probably priority No. 1,” Tabel says. “With how fuel-efficient the truck operates, and if they can keep the truck on the road, then it really benefits them for their overall business. Also, as future emission requirements come upon us from the government, it’s going to be driven more on smaller, high-fuel-efficient diesel engines and that’s another reason that we’ve moved in this direction.”

Eight wheelbase configurations can accommodate bodies from 16 to 30 feet, allowing for a wide variety of body applications. A clean back-of-cab design provides more space for body applications compared to the previous F-Series truck.

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Wide-step and wide-opening doors allow for easy entry to the cab, which features three-across seating and extra storage space behind the seats. Additional interior amenities include a side-under safety mirror, overhead console and a suspension driver’s seat. 877/478-0828;

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