MAN L2000s in the UK
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The 12000 is to meet the Euro-2 emission standard with a 160hp four and a 220hp straight-six. A longer factory-built rest cab with a fold-down bunk is also in the pipeline, along with a full-width rear/top sleeper option and a crewcab... by Brian Weatherley • Last week MAN Truck & Bus UK launched the L2000 lightmiddleweight range at the Millbrook test track—we were able to drive the top-of-the-range 10-tonne GITW 10.153F.
MAN's 114kW (153hp) charge-cooled "Super 4" D0824LFL 01 engine is on top of the job at the non-LGV limit but we were keen to see how it performed with more weight and the optional six-speed ZF box in place of the standard five-speed.
On twisting urban roads the "Super 4" is flexible with lots of low-down torque. This is just as well as there is a noticeable gap between third and fourth on the six-speed transmission. Fortunately the turbo-four can quite happily lug down to 1,000rpm in fourth, which is the ideal gear for roundabouts and junctions.
Changing up at 2,000rpm in the hatched green economy band on the rev counter sent the needle back to 1,500rpm where peak torque of 570Nm (4201bft) is delivered.
The ride is on the softish side, in line with other Continental 7.5-tormers, but is well controlled. All UK L2000s come with a high centre of gravity handling pack with anti-roll bars on both axles. The steering is light yet responsive, as are the brakes. But as the 10.153F can run at 13.5 tonnes as standard— or 16,5 tonnes GTW with the optional full air brake drawbar package—it ought to have an exhaust brake as standard. The cloth-trimmed driving seat is firm, supportive and likely to stay that way.
The interior trim, with its hard wearing rubber floor covering extending over the engine hump, should please fleet buyers. While the 7.5-tonner has a three-man cab the 10-tormer has a two-man set-up which improves cross-cab access, Losing the middle seat also improves stowage space with a pocket on the rear wall. Controls are generally well placed and the MAN
dash is a model of clarity.
The L2000's build quality is arguably MAN's greatest asset and probably its best-kept secret: At the motorway speed limit it's quiet and stable. For some reason the standard speed-hold button didn't work on our test truck; it provides foot-down cruise control as part of the normal speed limiter. Access into the revised Steyr cab isn't bad but the door could usefully open a touch wider. What the new MAN does need is a more visible grab handle on the A-post. The driver has to feel around for the handle tucked away on the end of the dash so you can only really exit backwards. It would also benefit from another step in between the two it's got already.
Climbing down in the mucky conditions at Millbrook gave us the chance to wipe the wheel arch clean with a convenient trouser leg.
The L2000 is an impressive machine with few faults; we look forward to giving it a full test early next year.