LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Mar. 27, 2008) Thousands of drivers, owner-operators, managers and enthusiasts will get to see what all the buzz is about when the International® LoneStar® takes center stage during the big-rig’s debut at the Mid-America Trucking Show this week.
Building on the momentum of the LoneStar’s surprise launch at the Chicago Auto Show in February, Navistar International Corporation (Other OTC: NAVZ) brings three configurations of its International® brand’s sleek new showhorse to the MATS floor for close inspection by pros eager for a truck with high style, fuel economy and comfort.
“With the International® ProStar® being the most fuel efficient Class 8 and the category busting LoneStar as an ideal combination of functionality and emotional appeal, International is definitely on a roll in Class 8 trucks,” said Daniel C. Ustian, Navistar chairman, president and CEO.
“LoneStar is a product of the innovation that embodies both the spirit of today’s driving professionals and the dynamic, transforming energy inside our company.”
LoneStar, available in LoneStar Day Cab, LoneStar Sleeper and LoneStar Aero Sleeper variations, was designed inside and out with input from truck drivers. Carnegie Mellon University researchers worked collaboratively with the Navistar design team to interview hundreds of trucking professionals and get their perspectives on what the next generation of Class 8 trucks should be. The Carnegie Mellon researchers also helped Navistar interpret those impressions.
“There were three imperatives from our customers: a truck that makes a statement about the driver, comfort on the road whether working or resting, and the combination of fuel economy and servicability that helps them make more money,” said Dee Kapur, Truck Group president, Navistar. “LoneStar goes three-for-three. Drivers simply don’t have to compromise – they can have it all.”
With LoneStar, Navistar has created a new category of Class 8 trucks called “Advanced Classic,” in which technology and innovative styling converge with next-generation aerodynamic design to deliver superior fuel efficiency. LoneStar also sets a higher standard for comfort – through superior ergonomics, suspension and cab quietness. Fuel efficiency is increasingly important for truck owners. LoneStar is projected to be 5 to 15 percent more fuel efficient than traditional long-nose classic trucks, equating to an annual savings of $3,000 to $15,000 or more, depending on miles driven, cost of fuel and competitive model being compared.
“The aerodynamic design of LoneStar’s hood, grille, air cleaners and side skirts will save owners real money,” said David Allendorph, Truck Group chief designer, Navistar. “Truck pros can have a unique, customizable truck that will reward them at the pump. When you are spending $1,000 or more with each fill-up, you will really appreciate the fuel efficiency of the LoneStar.”
Built from the core of the ProStar – the Class 8 leader in aerodynamics and fuel economy – LoneStar is a breakthrough product that resulted from a breakthrough process. The truck progressed directly from math and clay models to production – without any development prototypes.
“Because ProStar was meticulously designed and engineered to lead its aero category, we felt we could build on ProStar’s success without spending months in prototyping,” said Tom Baughman, vice president and general manager, Heavy Truck Vehicle Center, Navistar. “We knew we had another winning truck with the category defining LoneStar and its superior aerodynamics and innovative styling. With the use of more sophisticated tools, we were able to bring this product to market quickly.”
LoneStar features advanced ride and handling, class-leading quietness and a luxurious and functional suite interior that rivals many offices and living rooms. LoneStar’s interior is as distinctive, innovative and practical as its skin. The design team developed an interior that features a level of comfort and functionality typically found in recreational vehicles.
Interior highlights include:
• Optional wood flooring in the sleeper cab
• Crescent-shaped sofa design with back pillows
• Swivel seats
• Floor to ceiling tower cabinets
• Closed “airline” cabinets and under-seat storage
• Optional Monsoon stereo system with 11 speakers, sub-woofer and amplifier
• Pull-down bed with 42-inch-wide mattress with optional Lattoflex system memory foam
• Workspaces to plug in laptop computers with two pullout work tables
• Optional 1.7 cu-ft. refrigerator
“In an average week, a truck driver may spend 120 hours in his or her truck – driving, eating, sleeping, running a business, even entertaining friends,” Allendorph said. “We designed the LoneStar’s environment to be both highly functional and comfortable. No other truck’s interior delivers the style, comfort and practicality we have built into the LoneStar.”
Automotive-style features built into the LoneStar include:
• Standard ABS
• Roll stability
• Traction control
• Bluetooth Integration for hands-free phone use
• Leather-wrapped steering wheel
• Automotive-style dash and gauges with rosewood or titanium trim
• 50-degree wheel cut
Customization is also key for many customers. A new line of exclusive parts called “DoubleSix Customs™” is also being launched in conjunction with the LoneStar to provide truck drivers with unique customization options. An online truck configurator, available at www.InternationalTrucks.com/MyTruck, allows customers to configure their own Lonestar including custom parts from the DoubleSix Customs™ offering, various paint colors and other exterior options. Truck designs can be e-mailed, saved or printed.
The distinctive grille and sloped hood were inspired by International’s D-Series trucks, which helped transform America’s cross-country transportation in the early 20th Century. A restored and modified example of that truck, the DMAXX, also is on display at the International Truck Stop at the Mid-America Trucking Show.
The LoneStar will be available for order from nearly 900 dealer locations in North America beginning in April. Production of the trucks will begin in August at Navistar’s plant in Chatham, Ontario, Canada, and will be delivered to customers in fall 2008.
“With the launch of the ProStar in 2006 and the launch of LoneStar now, International’s brand of Class 8 trucks is changing the game in the industry,” Baughman said. “The evolution of the trucking industry has begun and we are leading the charge.”
Navistar International Corporation (Other OTC: NAVZ) is a holding company whose wholly owned subsidiaries produce International® brand commercial and military trucks, MaxxForce™ brand diesel engines, IC brand school and commercial buses, and Workhorse brand chassis for motor homes and step vans. It also is a private-label designer and manufacturer of diesel engines for the pickup truck, van and SUV markets. The company also provides truck and diesel engine parts and service. Another affiliate offers financing services. Additional information is available at www.Navistar.com/newsroom.