Blue Energy engines promise power, efficiency, and clean performance
Cummins get it. That’s what China-headquartered global passenger and commercial vehicle manufacturer Foton is veritably saying as it ushers in a new age of mobility powered by cleaner, more powerful, yet miserly engines adhering to a more stringent Euro 4 emission standard. This is in keeping with the government fiat for the introduction of cleaner-emission vehicles as mandated by the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999, the Philippine Environmental Impact Statement System, and DENR Administrative Order No. 2015-04.
Under the brand’s Blue Energy nameplate, the new engines are designed and built for Foton Motor by Columbus, Indiana-based diesel power plant expert Cummins. In 2006, the iconic engine manufacturer signed an agreement with Foton to form the Beijing Foton Cummins Engine Co., Ltd. (BFCEC), whose highly advanced plant in China makes more than 400,000 units a year.
“Foton is always committed to provide exceptional product lines through scientific and technological innovations, and Blue Energy is the continued expression of this promise,” said Foton Motor Philippines president Rommel Sytin in a speech at the launch event. “(It is) a product of earnest R&D that serves up a host of benefits such as power, durability, reliability, excellent efficiency, and clean operation.”
Two variants of the Euro 4 power plants are available here: the Foton Cummins ISF 2.8 and 3.8. Both are engineered to promote low intake temperature, prevent abnormalities in combustion, and operate more quietly – while providing improved low-end torque pulling power. The heightened performance is complemented with fuel efficiency.
The new power plant is highlighted by a more efficient turbocharger; an excellent exhaust-gas recirculation system to yield lower emission and promote more thorough burning of fuel; a new, computer-governed common rail direct injection system that results in optimized air/fuel mix; a diesel oxidizing catalyst and particle oxidizing catalyst which basically convert carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons, and particulates to carbon dioxide and water; and an improved turbo intercooler. As for emissions, the new engine produces less particulate matter even as it reduces risk of engine damage.
Foton Motor Philippines still has an existing portfolio of Euro 3 vehicles, and the Blue Energy variants will sport a blue and silver decal to more easily identify them. Foton says that three variations of the popular Tornado light duty truck, Toplander A/T SUV, Traveler and Toano vans, and Thunder A/T pickup will get Blue Energy options.
New light-duty truck
Along with its new-generation engines, Foton also unveiled its latest light-duty truck, the Tornado M4.2C. Priced at P1.19 million (for the cabin chassis), the workhorse is equipped with the aforementioned ISF 3.8 Foton Cummins Blue Energy Euro 4 engine. The turbocharged (with intercooler) 14-foot truck musters 500Nm and 156ps, and features a computer-controlled Bosch common-rail direct-injection (CRDi) system. For cleaner operation, the engine boasts exhaust gas recirculation technology, plus DOC (diesel oxidizing catalyst) and POC (particle oxidizing catalyst) for enhanced fuel efficiency and lower emission.
Speaking to the audience composed of dealer principals, partners, executives, employees, and members of the media, Foton Motor Philippines executive vice president Anna Maria Parado described the new Tornado variant as the most advanced in its class – boasting safety technologies and features such as WABCO braking technology (Anti-lock Braking System and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution) and a reverse sensor and camera. A redesigned panoramic windshield provides increased visibility, and an additional passenger-side mirror enhances blind-spot coverage. The height of the truck’s headlights can be adjusted. Three-point ELR seatbelts come standard.
Within the spacious, surprisingly comfortable cabin is an advanced LED touchscreen at the heart of the vehicle’s infotainment system. This accommodates the imaging when reversing, and makes Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling and music possible. The system is also GPS ready, and features an MP5 and SD card slot. Steering wheel buttons for cruise control, entertainment, and radio and call functions are also available. A powerful air-conditioning system is a standard feature. Generous dual overhead compartments are perfect receptacles for delivery documents and other valuables. The center seat backrest can be collapsed to reveal cup holders and an additional storage compartment. Additionally, the steering column can be tilt-adjusted, and the seats are ergonomically designed – with the driver’s seat is adjustable in four ways, while the passenger seat can be reclined.
The truck has a high-strength steel chassis that enables higher payload capacity and heightened stability – particularly when loaded. A rivetless upper-frame chassis means easier fitting of various cargo body configuration, and a corrosion-free alloy fuel tank and air cylinder ensures many years of worry-free use.
“The Philippines now joins Singapore and Vietnam as the first countries to implement Euro 4 as emission standard – well ahead of other ASEAN neighbors like Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand… that’s something we can be proud of,” concluded Sytin. The company also highlights its after-sales service, underscored by a three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty.