It's Euro-2 MAN for 200
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by John Kendall
• While we wait to test an MAN M2000 middleweight on British soil, we have had the chance to drive a selection of models from the new range in Germany.
The M2000, launched in righthand drive this month, departs from usual MAN practice by offering a choice of two cabs. Lighter models are fitted with a modified version of the L2000 cab; heavier models come with the narrow F2000.
Other changes include Euro-2 engines, disc-braked front axles, variable-ratio steering gear and a revised chassis.
We drove three drawbars laden to 26 tonnes and two rigids loaded to 10 and 15 tonnes. Both rigids were fitted with the L-cab, tilt bodywork and steel suspension all round: the 12.163 was powered by the 153hp four-pot Euro-1 engine; the 15.224 had the 217hp sixcylinder, seven-litre Euro-2 engine.
The drawbars came with a mix of cabs and bodywork types but all shared the 256hp sevenlitre, Euro-2 engine. Two were fitted with F cabs—one of these, badged 14.264, carried a Roadhaus type high-roof sleeper which is not available in the utc. Low-profile tyres offered a low loading height for the curtainsided body and trailer. Drive and trailer axles were air suspended and the centre-axle trailer had an underslung coupling.
The other F-cabbed model, badged 18.264, was more conventional. It was fitted with a standard day cab with roof-top air deflector and tilt bodywork on the tractor and turntable-steer trailer; all axles were steel suspended. The final 18.264 carried an L day cab and was designed for German drinks distribution. Tractor and centre axle drawbar trailer were fitted with side-opening box bodies and, like the high-roof 14.264 sleeper, it had steel suspension up front with air on the drive and trailer axle and a centre-axle trailer.
Our route started near Munich Airport where we joined the A99 autobahn. This was followed by an A-road section before joining the A9 heading towards Nuremberg.
Our first drive of the day was in the low-height 14,264 draw bar. The tall cab gave an airy feeling and, like its full-size Roadhaus-cabbed big brothers, interior noise levels were low.
At 26 tonnes GTW the sevenlitre engine pulled well, but lack of low-speed torque encouraged us to make full use of the 16speed ZF gearbox on a short steep hill over the A-road section. Keeping the revs in the blue sector of the rev counter also showed the small engine offered reasonable performance from its exhaust brake. The air-sprung combination generally rode well.
Our second leg was all autobahn in the other F-cabbed 18.264 drawbar. The all-steel suspension gave a poorer ride and the day cab was noisier than the high-roof sleeper. This may have been partly due to lower gearing—the final drive ratio was 4.625:1 compared with the 14.264's figure of 4.111:1. The taller gearing was also used on the L
cabbed drawbar. This se the route was mainly before joining the A6 au The higher gearing le make more use of the tie; the A-roads and we fume these speeds it was bette in 8L than 8H.
Once again the air sui combination rode well an easy to forget that the cl pled trailer was attad expected, engine noise w noticeable in the smaller o Our next leg put us bel wheel of the four-cylinde on another autobahn s With 10 tonnes to mo four-litre engine prove torquey and flexible, o through the six-speed ; Laden to its full 12 tonne it might benefit from a co extra gears but as it v engine pulled cleanly d around 1,100rpm.
Like the drawbars we the 15.224 is an unlikely for most UK operators expected the lower rated engine whipped alon, 21'7hp to propel 15 tonnes Overall, MAN's two-ca egy looks right; whether make the subtle distinc another matter. We recla will see the L-cabbed extensions to the L200( and the F-cabbed moo lighter F2000s. In the doesn't really matter. The introduces Euro-2 model: all middleweight tors and look capable of on the titi