The Mercedes Antos 2640 6×2 rigid is a distribution truck for the 21st century, offering compliance with the upcoming Euro 6 emissions standards. This 400hp, 26 tonne rigid is aimed squarely at the important heavy-duty distribution sector but Mercedes offers a plethora of options, with a range of two- and three-axle rigids and a variety of tractor units. The new Antos range also has a choice of 13 different power ratings. The 2640 6×2 rigid version is powered by the Mercedes Benz OM 470 power plant, hooked up to the Stuttgart firm’s own Powershift 3 automatic gearbox and hypoid rear drive axle.
The OM 470 10.7 litre engine is the second most powerful in the range, producing its maximum 394hp at 1,900rpm and giving up 1,900Nm of torque between 900 and 1,400rpm. The X Pulse common rail fuel injection system is a high-pressure unit, operating at 2,100 bar and resulting in a pleasingly lively performance. It remains a quiet engine, with noise levels emanating from below the cab being loud enough to give some feedback on the engine’s performance without being an unpleasant intrusion. The OM 470 engine uses SCR and EGR alongside a diesel particulate filter. Together with AdBlue usage, it easily meets Euro 6 standards.The third-generation PowerShift transmission is nearly perfect and can be left to handle the cog selections almost all of the time. It does this swiftly and smoothly and never seems to be in the wrong gear. The transmission is selected via a rotary switch on a right-hand steering column stalk and offers options of Fleet, Power or Economy software. All versions of the PowerShift transmission come with the now staple Mercedes EcoRoll system, which disengages the drive when the truck doesn’t need to accelerate or brake, allowing the vehicle’s own momentum to carry it forward and greatly enhancing fuel economy. The Antos range has a choice of four 12-speed automatic gearboxes, a 16-speed manual and a lightweight eight-speed unit for use where payload is of particular concern.
The new Antos really is an entirely new truck and this is reflected in a new chassis design. The track has been widened by 9cm to give even better handling and road-holding characteristics. This is aided by Mercedes’ direct steering system, which allows the driver to position the truck on the road with impressive precision. The rear steering axle also aids manoeuvrability and the standard front steel and rear air suspension set-up delivers excellent cushioning.
The Antos braking system is backed up by a clever water-operated retarder. This system uses the engine’s cooling water, thus removing the need for a separate oil system. This secondary brake is operated via a steering column stalk and offers five settings. This allows the standard service units to be kept in reserve for any little emergencies.
The Antos cab is the sort of high-quality affair we have come to expect from Mercedes. The controls are arranged into logical groups and the clear dials and electronic display on the main binnacle are exemplary. These instruments are easily understood with just the quickest of glances, allowing the driver to enjoy the excellent visibility from the cab. The revised seats are comfortable and extensively adjustable to find the perfect driving position. There is plenty of room behind these seats for the optional foldaway bunk in this ClassicSpace M cab. Storage space is abundant, with the two bottle holders and fuel card and phone niches particularly useful. A foldaway table on the passenger side is ideal for eating or using the laptop.
Mercedes has taken the opportunity of the upcoming Euro 6 legislation to redesign an entirely new distribution truck that delivers on every level.