SCANIA S500 HIGHLINE ROAD TEST 29 28 Behind the wheel of

28 OPERATIONS ROAD TEST
SCANIA S500 HIGHLINE 29
Near
perfection
Behind the wheel of the Scania
S500, CM finds the Swedish
manufacturer continues to
push the boundaries of truck
design and engineering
Images: Tom Cunningham
By Colin Barnett
COMMERCIAL MOTOR 28/9/17
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28/9/17 COMMERCIAL MOTOR
30 OPERATIONS ROAD TEST
8,675kg
7,000kg
28,325kg
■ Kerb weight
8,675kg
(full diesel and AdBlue tanks)
■ Trailer weight
7,000kg
■ Net payload 28,325kg
Power graph
Engine: DC13 155 500
500
500
450
400
Power (hp)
350
300
250
200
THIS IS ONE of the most keenly anticipated road tests
for some time. Of course, we have already driven
examples of the new Scania tractor range, but the longest
spell at any one time has been less than an hour. During
those drives, we have yet to find anything significant to
criticise, although we have not carried out any
meaningful fuel consumption testing. So have we missed
something? Is the cab as driver-focused as it appears?
Will the new 500hp 6-cylinder be as impressive? How
will the new fast-shifting gearbox cope with the
challenges of the A68? The only way to answer these,
and many other questions, is to subject it to two days on
the road around CM’s traditional test route.
The 500hp rating, introduced at the launch of the Next
Generation R- and S-series, is the first of the current
engines to feature SCR-only emissions control, although
this has since been extended to most of the product
line-up. Background research before the test uncovered
an old CM road test of a Scania R440 from 2008 that,
ironically, made great play of it being the first Euro-5
truck without AdBlue. What goes around,
comes around.
The test truck is as close to being a regular
fleet truck as any S500 flagship can be, with
modest cloth trim but including the full set of
safety and productivity aids and the latest
infotainment system.
150
Technical
100
50
0
Of course, any new Scania is significant, but
probably the most significant feature is the
2,200
12+2 Opticruise transmission, with its compact
2,000
1,800
layshaft brake. Layshaft brakes are nothing
1,600
2,000
new. We first find mention of one in a patent
filed by Henry Ford in 1924 and, more
relevant, another by Eaton in 1949. They then
appeared in various production trucks throughout the
next 30 or 40 years, but like many innovations from the
early days of road vehicle engineering, they were
gradually set aside until advances in lubrication,
2,600
Power
Torque
1,000
1,200
1,400
1,600
Engine Speed (rpm)
1,800
Torque (Nm)
2,400
Specification
Website
Vehicle
Cab
Engine
Bore x stroke
Capacity
Compression ratio
Maximum power
Maximum torque
Transmission
Gear ratios
Final drive ratio
Clutch
Brakes
Parking brake
Secondary brake
Brake dimensions
Chassis
Chassis dimensions
Suspension
Steering
Turns lock to lock
Wheels and tyres
Fuel/AdBlue tank
Electrical system
Battery/alternator
Trailer
Plated weights
scania.com
Scania S500 A6x2/2NA
Highline flat-floor sleeper
DC13 155 500 in-line 6-cylinder with
Scania XPI fuel injection. Euro-6 OBD-C
emissions via AdBlue SCR and DPF
130mm x 160mm
12.7 litres
20.0:1
500hp (373kW) at 1,900rpm
2,550Nm at 1,000rpm to 1,300rpm
GRS905R OptiCruise 12-speed directdrive top gear with automated change
16.41 to 1.00:1; reverse 14.77-11.95:1
2.59:1
Single dry plate with automated
operation
Disc brakes, with full EBS and Advanced
Emergency Braking
Electronically controlled spring brake
acting on first and third axles
Scania Retarder, 4,100Nm, plus engine
brake, 265kW at 2,400rpm
410mm x 50mm
Bolted and riveted ladder frame
270mm x 90mm x 9.5mm
Front, 2 x 32mm parabolic; rear, air with
lifting second axle
Power-assisted recirculating ball
4.7
22.5 x 9in wheels with Michelin
315/70R22.5in tyres
300/80 litres
24V negative earth return
2 x 12V, 180Ah/100A
13.6m-long, 4m-high curtainside
24,000kg GVW, 44,000kg GCW, (45,000kg
design), front axle 8,000kg,
mid-axle 6,100kg, rear axle 10,200kg,
rear bogie 16,300kg
materials technology and, crucially, electronic control,
caught up. The Holy Grail has always been the same; to
provide the means of matching the speed of the internal
gearbox shafts to provide smooth gear changes in all
situations by drivers of varying levels of skill. Of course,
in the past 20 years, the adoption of synchromesh on
heavy-duty gearboxes provided the answer, but then
came the current generation of automated manuals.
These incorporated basic speed-matching functions by
adjusting engine speed to match road speed, and allowed
synchromesh to be dispensed with, saving weight,
complexity and cost. While automated manual
transmissions (AMTs) now provide reliable shifting, they
are not always smooth and are not especially quick. On a
truck, the speed of the gearshift is not just a performance
issue. As we are aware from previous road test
experiences, too slow a shift on a steep climb can often
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result in complete loss of forward motion, as road speed
decays faster than the shifts can be made. Also, the
longer the shift takes, the more chance there is of
traction being lost.
Enter Scania’s answer to gearbox shaft speed
matching for the modern age, the new layshaft brake,
fitted inside the clutch housing and weighing just a few
kilos. Working in conjunction with electronic control of
engine speed, it delivers shifts in a fraction of the
normal time.
Cab comfort
Let’s start where Scania says it started with the
clean sheet design; the driving position. Given
the undoubted driver appeal of Scania
products, we have never understood the way
many drivers seem ashamed to be seen at the
wheel, hiding behind the B-pillar and a frilly
curtain. Unless you are shaped like a fourlimbed spider, the more conventional layout
means that is no longer an option.
Reaching the driving seat involves the notinsignificant climb to the floor level above many people’s
head height, but a decently wide door opening and no
issues with step and grab rail positioning make it easier.
Once aboard, the first thing you notice, of course, is the
unfamiliar flat floor in a Scania. The relatively basic
fleet-friendly seats, including a fixed passenger seat with
B-pillar mounted seatbelt, are trimmed in a sober grey
cloth on this example, but no doubt Scania will be happy
to provide more luxurious perches for the discerning
owner-driver. Basic or not, we don’t experience any
Operational costs
Make and model
Residual value: Three /five years (from test)
(CAP trade value)
Parts prices: Headlamp
Oil filter
Air filter
Front bumper (complete)
Mud wing
Windscreen
Turbocharger
Warranty: Basic cover, years/km
Scania S500 Highline
Not yet available
DAF XF 510 FTG 6x2
£32,650/£19,825
Volvo FH500 Dual Clutch
£34,200/£21,300
£672
£16
£59
£659
£363
£220
£851
Three years, including
R&M, inspections and
MoT preparation
£318
£96
£97
£229
£373
£231
£2,917
Three years (third year
driveline only), breakdown and three years
preventative maintenance
First two years included,
£102/month over
three years
£792
£21 each
£84
£160
£129
£385
£1,183
First year/unlimited
mileage. Second year/
driveline 300,000km, asset
care unlimited
£299/month (Volvo Gold
Contract)
134
85
Contract maintenance: First three years included
120,000km per year
Service points 90
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AdBlue*
Scania S500 Highline
7.8%
DAF XF 510 FTG 6x2 3.8%
Volvo FH500 Dual Clutch 7.8%
*AdBlue consumption as
percentage of diesel used
during road test
Acceleration (seconds)
60
kilometres per hour
Test weights
SCANIA S500 HIGHLINE 31
50.5
40
20
0
36.8
23.5
A
B
C
A) 0-80 B) 32-64 C) 48-80
28/9/17 COMMERCIAL MOTOR
32 OPERATIONS ROAD TEST
In-cab noise
100
90
80
70
58.5 59.8
60
50
40
61.5
64.2
issues with getting a suitable driving position and staying
comfortable for two days at the wheel. Mirrors are
suitably large but with reasonable space around to
reduce blind spots, while all of the mirror functions,
together with controls for all lighting and locking, are
accessed from the top of the driver’s door panel. Sun
visors are traditional items with drop-down lower
extensions. At tickover, and later when on the move, the
S500 proved exceptionally quiet with only a small
amount of wind noise occasionally evident.
Sitting comfortably
47.1
A
B
C
D
E
Security
Engine immobiliser
Alarm
Central locking Dead locking Secure bonnet Locking fuel cap ✔
✖
✔
✖
✔
✔
Sitting at the steering wheel, which with its associated
column stalks is home to almost every control you will
need while driving, you are faced with a soft feel dash
and an instrument panel that is tastefully restrained and
clear; white on black with bright trim reminiscent of
Scania’s Audi cousins.
The speedo dial incorporates a large digital speed
display and odometer in its centre, with the fuel gauge
below. The matching rev counter on the right
incorporates a clock, external temperature and AdBlue
gauge, above the engine temperature. Between them is
the information display, controlled by the right thumb on
the steering wheel. It is surrounded by four customisable
COMMERCIAL MOTOR 28/9/17
SCANIA S500 HIGHLINE 33
sectors, which can be programmed to display your own
choice of frequently required information. We chose fuel
flow and cruise control status.
To the left of the panel is a group of switches
controlling the trip reset, panel brightness and, in a nod
back to the SAAB, a black dash. However, unlike some
rivals, this turns off the display without retaining a dim
view of the speedo. The centre of the dash is dominated
by the truck’s one extravagance; the top-of-the-range
Scania Infotainment Premium unit. Among its features
are a touchscreen colour display, truck-specific satnav,
DAB radio, two SD card slots, but no CD, as is the
modern way. Then there is dual Bluetooth connectivity,
traffic information, camera input and a variety of apps,
not forgetting the access to Communicator 300, Scania’s
third-generation telematics system.
Lower down is the panel for the dual-zone climate
control with integrated night heater, and cooler, if
specified. Dash sockets, USB and aux on the left and
another USB on right, provide charging and music input.
The driving seat has a foot pedal on the side, so you can
slide it backwards or forwards while sitting on the bunk.
There is a reading lamp and two bins at each end of the
bunk and a storage net on the rear wall, while we count at
least six coat hooks. A fixed panel and another on a
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detachable wander lead control just about every
night-time electrical need you could imagine. Beneath the
bunk is the fridge and a storage bin. A second bunk, with
an integrated ladder and safety net, is standard, but there
is the option of storage units at the top of the rear wall
that use the bunk mounts. Even without these, there is
plenty of storage space. There are two external lockers on
each side that cleverly permit access to the large upper
from inside, but can’t be used to access the cab from
outside. Above the windscreen are three large lockers, the
one on the left being lockable, and a smaller shelf on the
passenger side. The space is shared with a supplementary
panel housing the tachograph together with switches for
the roof vent and tachograph remote download.
Lower down, there is a pull-out dash table on the
passenger side, and two larger than A4 drawers – one
deep, one shallow – below the usefully large flat central
portion of the dash. There are three cupholders and large
bottle holders in the door pockets.
On the road
Before heading for the open road – well the A5, anyway
– we spent some time experimenting at the proving
ground. We initially carried out the basic 0km/h to
80km/h acceleration testing in Power mode, then
repeated it in Standard and Economy modes. The results
from these two were identical, but were 2.7 seconds
slower than in Power mode and made one less gear
change on the way. In both modes, single shifts were
made from 7th upwards, but Power used gears 1, 3 and 5
on the way up, instead of 1 and 4. Whether this slightly
faster acceleration is worth the undoubted extra fuel cost
over the course of a working day is debatable, and we
made the decision to run the route in Eco mode.
Before setting off, we took advantage of the key fob’s
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28/9/17 COMMERCIAL MOTOR
34 OPERATIONS ROAD TEST
SCANIA S500 HIGHLINE 35
Fuel economy mpg/(litre/100km)
Scania S500 Highline
DAF XF 510 FTG 6x2
10
8.09
(34.9)
6.04
(46.8)
8
4
2
8.48
(35.3)
8.12 8.01
(35.3) (35.3)
8
5.87
(48.1)
6
miles per gallon
8.39 8.47
(33.7) (33.4)
6
0
10
10
miles per gallon
miles per gallon
8
Volvo FH500 Dual Clutch
4
7.91
(35.7)
7.82
7.32 (36.1)
(38.6)
5.30
(53.3)
6
4
0
A
B
C
D
A
B
C
D
A)
Overall (760.5km)
A)
Overall
(760.5km)
A) Overall (760.5km) B) Motorway (494.3km) C) Severe gradients (121.1km) D) Trunking (145.1km)
B) Motorway (494.3km)
B) Motorway (494.3km)
C) Severe gradients (121.1km)
C) Severe gradients (121.1km)
D) Trunking (145.1km)
D) Trunking (145.1km)
A
B
C
0
D
Average speed: km/h (speed limiter: 85km/h)
78.3
80
65.5
60
56.2
40
20
kilometres per hour
kilometres per hour
78.0
60
40
20
Volvo FH500 Dual Clutch
100
100
100
80
DAF XF 510 FTG 6x2
72.7
75.9
80
75.7
59.6
kilometres per hour
Scania S500 Highline
73.3
79.1
73.8
65.5
60
40
20
0
0
A
B
C
D
A
B
C
D
A
B
C
D
A) Overall (760.5km)
A)
Overall
(760.5km)
A)
Overall
(760.5km)
A) Overall (760.5km) B) Motorway (494.3km) C) Severe gradients (121.1km) D) Trunking (145.1km)
B) Motorway (494.3km)
B) Motorway (494.3km)
B) Motorway (494.3km)
C) Severe gradients (121.1km)
C) Severe gradients (121.1km)
C) Severe gradients (121.1km)
D) Trunking (145.1km)
D) Trunking (145.1km)
D) Trunking (145.1km)
0
Hill climbs
Scania S500 Highline
Holmescales
Hill
(M6 J36 5.8km)
handy walk-around feature, which cycles through every
light in turn before you even open the door.
The main right-hand column stalk controls the gears,
twist for direction of travel and push down for manual
override. Until now, the latest Scanias have retained a
traditional parking brake on the dash, but since the test
an electronic option has arrived with the launch of the
Scania XT heavy-duty range. Once under way you
What remnants of challenging hills on the M6 reveal is
the 500 engine is impressive as it digs in deep until below
900rpm. The notorious Kiln Pit Hill, the scene of many
road tests grinding to a halt, is achieved in cruise control,
dropping from 9th to 6th at just the right time. Running
in Economy mode means a few more block shifts, giving
a slightly more leisurely feel, but in reality it is hard to
see the benefit of Power mode except in the toughest of
terrain.
The S500 delivers a
smooth ride, with just a
touch of bouncing on low
frequency road
imperfections, while the
steering and braking cope
comfortably with some of
the A-road sections that
have become more
challenging since the
speed limit was raised. The
engine brake on the test
truck is complemented by
the optional five-stage
retarder, both having
separate controls if, for example, you are travelling on a
low-grip surface, and seamless blending with the service
brakes. An option worth considering, and one that could
save money on brake life, if used properly. n
Broomhaugh
Hill
(A68 1.9km)
DAF XF 510 FTG 6x2
Holmescales
Hill
(M6 J36 5.8km)
Access to cab III
Bunks
IIII
Dash layout/controls IIII
Driving position IIIIII
Storage
III
Fit and finish IIIIII
(perceived quality)
IIIII
Visibility
Ride comfort IIIIII
Steering and handling IIIII
Gearshift IIIII
Lugability
IIIIII
Braking
IIIIII
Noise
IIII
Performance, engine IIIIII
refinement and gearing
IIII
Manoeuvrability
Fuel economy IIIIIIIII
Payload
IIIIIIIII
Cost of ownership IIIIIIIII
Total 88/100
How we score: Each of the above scoring criteria has
been weighted to reward vehicles that push the
boundaries of expectation. A score of 50% means the
test subject has hit our expert’s industry-wide basic
standard for that class of vehicle, be that on seat
comfort, engine performance or fuel economy.
Broomhaugh
Hill
(A68 1.9km)
COMMERCIAL MOTOR 28/9/17
Test results
Broomhaugh
Hill
(A68 1.9km)
Volvo FH500 Dual Clutch
Holmescales
Hill
(M6 J36 5.8km)
Test verdict
Digging deep
2
2
experience an unfamiliar sound during gear shifts –
disconcerting until you know that it is chirping from the
turbo wastegate as it plays a part in speed-matching.
Ironically, it isn’t until the second day that we really
experience the gear change; even the hilly M6 from
Charnock Richard to Gretna doesn’t require a
downshift. However, in the stop-start conditions of the
A5, it is obvious that changes are fast and perfectly
timed. Where safe and appropriate, we make full use of
the full set of electronic aids – active and downhill cruise
control, active prediction and EcoRoll.
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So was our mission to find previously unseen shortcomings successful? Given
that there was not a lot wrong with the previous generation, Scania’s aim to
improve every aspect of the new model created a tough challenge.
Starting with the driveline, this new 500hp rating is possibly the best 6-cylinder
engine Scania has ever made, thriving on hard work with impressive levels of
flexibility. Behind it is the ultimate development of the traditional single layshaft
gearbox, giving shift speeds approaching more
sophisticated dual-clutch transmissions. Pulling these
elements together is a package of electronics that
ensure they are always working at optimum efficiency.
When it comes to reading the fuel consumption
figures, it should be considered that the central part of
the second day, the trunking section from Nevilles
Cross to Barnsdale Bar, coincided with a storm on the
last day of August that will be remembered by many
Yorkshire residents. Approximately 40mm of rain fell in
one hit, and the flooded surface on the A1 meant that
this normally easy, steady-speed run was a nightmare
of stop-start progress. We would normally expect an
average speed of around 75km/h instead of the 56km/h we recorded. This had
an obvious effect on fuel consumption, and by substituting fuel usage from
previous tests we calculate it cost around 0.2mpg on the overall figure.
Putting the fuel economy into perspective, even with the freak weather
encountered, the S500 is the best full-sized Euro-6 tractor we have tested, falling
not far behind Mercedes-Benz’s Actros with the slightly smaller and
aerodynamically optimised StreamSpace cab.
So did we find anything serious to criticise? We did have one
issue where the fuel gauge inexplicably displayed its last red
segment when there was still 100 litres remaining, but that was
it. The perfect truck will probably never be built, but Scania has
had a damn good go at it.
88%
Vehicle dimensions (mm)
K
G
E
B
F
L
J
D
C
A
H
I
N
a) Overall width
2,310
b) Overall length
6,235
c) Overall height
3,841
d) External cab length
2,265
e) Internal cab width 2,175
f) Internal cab length
2,060
g) Interior cab height 2,070
(over engine tunnel)
h) Step heights
450, 315, 310, 295, 320
M
P
O
i) Cab floor height
1,690
j) Engine cover height
0 (flat)
k) Internal height above bunk 1,570
l) Bunk lower: 2,175 xx 1,000 x 150
upper: 1,940 x 800 x 150
m) Wheelbase
4,050
n) Front overhang
1,410
o) Rear overhang
775
p) Fifth wheel height
1,285
28/9/17 COMMERCIAL MOTOR