On the eve of the 25th anniversary of the activities of Volkswagen Trucks and Buses, the company is making the world launch of the Constellation truck line with models VW 19.320 Titan Tractor, VW 17.250 and VW 24.250. Together with the newly launched light vehicles Delivery and Volksbus, and with the new Worker truck models, Volkswagen starts operating in every segment of the market – from 5 to 45 tons of total gross weight – offering one of the most versatile product lines around the world.
In order to develop the new line of trucks and buses and prepare the Resende factory (RJ) to receive the new products, Volkswagen Trucks and Buses is investing R$ 1 billion between 2002 and 2007, a figure completely financed by the Brazilian division of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. The project involves over 200 professionals and has consumed over 7 million kilometers in tests in South America, Africa and Europe. As a result, the vehicles feature great advances in driving performance, comfort and safety, not to mention being prepared to receive a number of innovations in the future.
In addition to Trucks and Buses Operations engineers and technicians, the effort in developing the Constellation trucks involved the German teams from both the Wolfsburg units, headquarters of the Volkswagen AG group, and Hannover, headquarters of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. Brazilian practical knowledge and technology blended with the modern tools from our German colleagues have resulted in high quality products with the highest cost-benefit. This attribute is summed up in the slogan of the Titan Tractor truck: “You wouldn’t want less; you don’t need more.”
The delivery of these new products is another success story along the way of Volkswagen Trucks and Buses, which started its operations in 1981 with two products: the VW 11.130 and VW 13.130 trucks. Since then, the company has offered what consumers recognize as the brand’s strengths: the advanced cabin, the search for engineering solutions geared to developing countries, the efficient post-sales service and the top cost-effectiveness.
A new Constellation at Volkswagen
The attractive and contemporary look of the German design is added to Brazilian engineering’s deep knowledge of the consumer’s needs. The strengths of two continents bring to life the Constellation truck line, starting its path to conquer the Brazilian and foreign consumer with three models: VW 19.320 Titan Tractor, a new generation of the company’s greatest success story; VW 17.250 and VW 24.250, which will soon be regularly seen on the roads of 30 countries.
The new sleeper cabin and high roof strike for the modern design, functional features and large number of facilities featured in the series. Completely designed at digital stations of Volkswagen’s Design Center in Wolfsburg, it offers the best ergonomics available in the market. This was achieved by using the technology tools employed in the company’s automobiles. German and Brazilian engineers were involved in the complete development of the vehicles.
Smart choice of materials, welding technology of its metallic parts and careful painting allow Volkswagen Trucks and Buses to offer up to 6 years of anti-corrosion warranty for a Constellation cabin.
On the road, it’s hard to mistake it
The large size and the power of the cabin lines make a Constellation easy to spot in the distance. At night, the exclusive design of the headlights sets it apart from the competition’s models. The new set of lights, with optional fog lights, is highly effective. There are more mirrors and they are bigger, offering excellent view from all angles and for backing up. The windshield design took into account the power of the sunlight in countries like Brazil, an important factor in the productivity of those who drive hours under the tropical sun. The chrome stickers follow Volkswagen’s global standard.
The wide front exhibits practicality even at the hinges, whose anatomic format lets people lean on them for external windshield wiping. When the grid is open, it reveals inspection items comfortably gathered at the front of the vehicle: motor oil, clutch fluid, air filter and windshield washer reservoir. It’s not necessary to tip the cabin or make a great effort for daily inspection. It’s easy to access the engine: tipping with a manual hydraulic device tilts the cabin up to 58 degrees.
Comfort all around
The driver can feel VW’s concern with the cabin’s occupants as soon as he steps into the Constellation. The first step is low, the ladder is wide and the door handles are new, strong and ergonomic, allowing for fast opening.
The interior strikes for its comfort. The space was designed in a virtual environment, with the aid of two three-dimensional dummies that allow the simulation of driver’s and passenger’s – male or female – movement and positions. For the first time, Volkswagen’s trucks leave the factory with high roof and sleeper, meeting the requirements of both shipping companies and drivers, who cover medium to long distances with their vehicles. A person who is 1.95 meters tall can stand in the cabin’s interior and rest comfortably on a 2-meter long bed. The user of the bed may sit up and use a reading light – under the bed there’s more space for one’s belongings.
Surprises continue to appear inside the cabin. The driver has at his disposal a roof rack with the capacity for 10 kilograms or 26 liters, and which also allows for the installation of a PX radio. The driver’s seat has pneumatic suspension, while the passenger’s has mechanic adjustment. The central board features glass holders, object holders and optional outlet for electrical accessories. The panel at each door can hold a 1.5-liter water bottle. The steering column can be adjustable (optional).
With optional air conditioning, the Constellation also offers its occupants a roof with a number of opening options. A special concern was to guarantee enclosing against water and dust. Also, isolation from noise and heat greatly reduces driver’s fatigue on long journeys. Despite its size, closing doors is easy thanks to ducts inside the cabin, which prevent the buildup of air in the interior.
Volkswagen’s new heavy trucks show the efficiency of its cabin suspension: the back featured with helicoidal springs and hydraulic shock absorbers, and front with axle box made of flexible material. Another piece of innovation is the gear lever fixated in the cabin and with new holder.
Technology today and tomorrow
The onboard computer of the new Constellation trucks shows the driver the date and time, average or real-time fuel consumption, average speed, the journey’s total time and the distance covered. The electrical center is prepared to receive future technologies, such as automatic or automatized transmission and ABS brakes. Extra dashboard switches are available for the installation of accessories and equipment according to the owner’s needs.
Among the smart functions of the new cabin, it’s worth mentioning the lights with timer, a sound alarm that prevents cabin tipping while the doors are open, automatic air conditioning shutoff in case of engine overheating and the optional items: power windows and mirrors, and locking the doors when the vehicle is running at over 15 km/hour.
Still on the dashboard, other information available is battery tension, kilometers until next maintenance and hour meter.
Safety is a fundamental concern of the Constellation products. For the cabin, one of the requisites based on truck post-sales experience was the high level of energy absorption in case of impact, for driver protection. This feature already exists in the present cabin and continues to equip the Delivery and Worker models.
In order to do the cabin’s tipping, it’s necessary to leave the gear stick in neutral, the brakes pulled, doors closed and the front grid open. Tipping must be complete. If one attempts tipping with the doors open, a sound alarm will go off.
A remote engine starting system allows to start the engine with the cabin tipped in order to carry out tests during periodic maintenance, as long as the vehicle is in neutral and with the handbrakes pulled. On the VW 19.320 Titan Tractor, an LSV sensitive to cargo valve contributes to a balanced braking of the truck-carriage set.
Alternatively, the new trucks leave the factory with step protectors. This equipment stops people from jumping onto the access step when the truck is at a slow speed – an assailant’s well-known maneuver.
During the development of the Constellation trucks, virtual and real crash tests were conducted both in Germany and in Brazil. The virtual tests used the most modern engineering tools available worldwide. To help in the eventual repair, visual reference brands on the cabin’s surface guarantee the quality of the truck’s body and the correct dimension of the pieces.
Chassis and engine: traditional VW robustness
With innovating development, the chassis of the Constellation trucks exhibit features such as new Arvin Meritor axles, brakes with series air drier and optional Consep valve (oil separator), electronic engines Cummins Interact or ISC, redesigned radiators built in copper and tin (greater durability and ease during repair), engine cooler propeller with electromagnetic fixing (less noise) and system with cylindric silencer.
In models VW 17.250 and VW 24.250 the engine is the Cummins Interact 6.0 turbo intercooler with 250 hp already used in the Volkswagen Electronic line. In the VW 19.320 Titan Tractor, the engine is the Cummins ISC also featured with turbo and intercooler, but more potent: 320 hp. Both guarantee performance and low operational cost.
The electronic management of these engines allows the use of a VCO-950 diagnostic tool and the installation of new accessories such as Volksnet, a tracking and real-time information system for vehicle location. The management also allows recording data on driver’s performance and warning against possible contravention.
Even with the sleeper cabin and high roof, the VW 19.320 Titan Tractor pulls 45 tons with carriage for 30 pallets – vehicle productivity doesn’t hinder driver’s comfort.
Exclusive accessories and trained dealers
Along with the launch of the Constellation line, Volkswagen Trucks and Buses is presenting accessories specially developed for the new trucks. Sold exclusively at the 130 VW’s authorized dealers, they increase the level of personalization of each vehicle:
. Volkswagen CD-Player, identical to the ones used in the maker’s automobiles
. DVD-player above the sleeper seat
. Volksnet tracker and onboard computer
. 6-inch loud speakers
. Protecting nut for the wheels
. Drapes for greater internal privacy (door windows, windshield and sleeper seat)
. Carpet made of fiber
. Carpet made of PVC
. 20-liter refrigerator; cools to minus 8 degrees Celsius
. Air horn
. Aluminum wheel
. Compressed air hose for cleaning inside the cabin
Most dealers are adapting and updating their facilities to meet the needs of the new Constellation trucks, because their large dimensions demand greater auto shop area, among other needs. The new models – not only the heavy ones, but also the light Delivery and Volksbus lines – will bring greater service volume.
The adaptation of dealer shops includes the purchase of maintenance tools for engines and other parts, not to mention the specific training for body repair, painting, internal finish and electricity. The technical training involved service managers, technical consultants, auto shop managers and post-sales managers from all dealers. The sales training was held regionally to 100% of the salespeople from the dealer chains, with events held in São Paulo (SP), Porto Alegre (RS), Curitiba (PR), Rio de Janeiro (RJ) and Recife (PE).
With the purchase of other Volkswagen trucks, the owners and drivers of the Constellation have a 24-hour CHAMEVOLKS help desk, through free-of-charge direct dialing 0800-0193333. The maker also offers Volkstotal, a preventive and corrective maintenance contract through which the client has access to the entire Volkswagen network and pays per kilometer covered.
The new Delivery and Volksbus
Volkswagen presents its new line of trucks and buses with 5 to 8 tons of total gross weight: VW 5.140 Delivery, VW 8.150 Delivery, VW 5.140 EOD and VW 8.150 EOD (new). The Delivery and Volksbus families have increased the number of options for the consumer in a segment where the brand is already leader in trucks.
The news started with the entrance in the category of the vehicles with 5 tons of PBT and just two wheels in the back axle. The Delivery truck line gets its name for its strong vocation for urban and rural pickups and deliveries. Alternatively, the new Volksbus operates in urban transportation – cargo shipment, school and executive transportation. Every new product features high rotation electronic engines MWM Euro III, which afford greater comfort in driving and ease in transportation. And there’s a number of options in terms of distance between axles.
In the Delivery products, the already acclaimed Volkswagen cabin gains new internal and external design, which explores even further its functionality and comfort. With the new Volksbus 5 tons, an innovation is the gearshift on the board, which meets the preference of the consumer of vehicles in this category.
Alongside the Delivery and Volksbus lines, also appeared the newly launched light models of 8 tons GVW trucks and buses equipped with electronic and mechanic engines Euro III. Sought after by clients who prefer the current features of the VW vehicles in this segment, the options guarantee greater freedom in selecting only one brand.
Another piece of news is the electronic version of the chassis of the long distance bus, now called VW 18.320 EOT. It features the same engine Cummins ISC of the truck Titan Tractor, with greater power and torque. The vehicle preserves the characteristics that gave it the edge in the market since its launch in the mechanical version: modular chassis, pneumatic suspension, wheels in serial aluminum and it is supplied in the bogie version with stretch kit, which allows the fitting of 12 to 13.2 meter bodywork with luggage rack.
Worker: the versatility everyone is familiar with
Along with the news in heavy trucks, Volkswagen is offering the Worker line, which brings a wide selection of options in electronic and mechanic engines in 8 to 31 ton models with the present advanced cabin of the make, recognized as the favorite among shipping companies and drivers from around Brazil. The client may opt between already launched models and both mechanic and electronic news in Cummins and MWM motorization, which meet the new Brazilian emission norms – Euro III.
Altogether, there are 17 models, nine of which are versions with electronic engines (five Cummins and four MWM), all equipped with the modern fuel injection system Common Rail. For the consumer who prefers models with mechanic motorization, there are four versions from each maker. In the 6x4 versions, the news is the power pull in the back of the engine, giving it greater operation functionality and ease of installation of equipment with hydraulic drive.
One of the top advantages of the Worker line is that it offers products with general features tested in the harshest driving conditions both in Brazil and in 30 countries in three continents.
Get to know the Worker 2006 line:
VW 8.120 Euro III
VW 13.180 Euro III
VW 15.180 Euro III
VW 17.180 Euro III
VW 17.220 Euro III
VW 17.220 Euro III tractor
VW 24.220 Euro III
VW 26.220 Euro III
VW 26.260 E
VW 31.260 E
Obs: The models indicated as Euro III have mechanical engines
Investments in the factory
Since April 2003, the Resende factory (in the state of Rio de Janeiro) has been growing and improving its infrastructure not only to develop new products and production, but also to continuously improve working conditions. Twenty-seven thousand hours have been invested in the training of production employees. By the end of 2005, the area constructed will have increased 14,400 square meters, coming to a total of 110,000 square meters.
After expanding the Cabin Assembly area in 4,950 square meters and the mezzanine and Final Assembly in 900 square meters, a second phase saw the growth of an area of 6,300 square meters in the module Siemens/VDO, besides the over 2,250 square meters for the new production needs of the modules Arvin Meritor and Maxion.
The Consórcio Modular has gained another partner: the company Aethra Karmann-Ghia – AKC, responsible for the assembly of the new Constellation cabins. With seven robots, the main line of the new module has gained four assembly stations. The module Carese was completely redesigned to accommodate the painting of the Constellation line, with the installation of two new robots for the application of primer (layer that precedes the polish that protects the cabin).
The Logistics Areas have been expanded below the painting tunnel and the yard of the Department of Development, Certifications and Tests (DCT). The Trim line of the module VDO gained a robot that composes the first system in Latin America to attach roofs in the production of truck cabins.
Another improvement was the duplication of the rolling test, with more modern equipment and the betterment of the exhaustion system. A deposit for the selectivity of cabins has been created with the capacity for 84 units; this was due to the increase in complexity gained with the arrival of the Constellation cabin.
For the first time in the world, a truck factory is employing Cubing and Meisterbock equipment of dimensional control to verify the measurements of the parts that compose the cabin, preventing rework or production line problems. The new Measurement Room uses cutting-edge DEA-Vento equipment to measure the components.
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