Test drive: Mack composes its new Anthem | Overdrive

Mack has wrapped one of the best drivelines on the highway in a chiseled and surprisingly aerodynamic package and thrown in added ergonomics and comfort not widely associated with the company’s trucks.

Mack Trucks last month introduced its Anthem, the company’s next-generation on-highway truck that offers a mix of legacy styling and modern engineering.

The Anthem will replace the Pinnacle axle-back models that have helped Mack carve out about a 2 percent share of the long-haul segment. While the exterior bears little resemblance to the model it will supplant, it does manage nods to Macks of years past. Anthem’s large, structural and beefy grille is reminiscent of a SuperLiner, and the truck’s flat, chiseled fenders are a throwback to the RD.

“We wanted a dramatic, new, efficient design that screams strong and hard-working and Mack,” says John Walsh, Mack Trucks vice president of global marketing.

The Anthem is available with Mack’s MP8 13-liter engine with up to 505 hp and 1,860 lb.-ft. of torque. The 11-liter Mack MP7 is available as an option, with up to 425 hp and 1,560 lb.-ft. of torque. Mack’s SuperEconodyne downspeeding packages are available with both engines.

The Anthem’s body lines reduce aerodynamic drag by 6 percent and help improve fuel efficiency by up to 3 percent versus a similarly equipped Pinnacle. Those flat fenders help throw air down the side of the trailer, decreasing drag. A deeply sloped hood tosses air over the truck and improves visibility. A roof fairing with an adjustable tab helps improve airflow from the cab to the trailer on the 70-inch stand-up sleeper.

A side view highlights the aerodynamic hood’s aggressive slope.

Hood-mounded mirrors sit high, decreasing wind resistance by pushing air around the door mirrors. The hood mirrors offer a wide panoramic view on either side of the truck, practically eliminating blind spots. You can spec the large hood mirrors off the truck, but I found them a handy…

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