The future. Five years in the making. Meet the most freight-efficient concept truck on the planet.


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Freightliner SuperTruck freight efficiency improvement, surpassing the SuperTruck Challenge's 50% freight-efficiency goal.


Miles the SuperTruck can travel on a gallon of diesel fuel. Most trucks today average half that.


CPU hours required to build the SuperTruck.


The SuperTruck Challenge


The U.S. Department of Energy issues a challenge.



8 Workstreams. 1 Vision.



Putting future tech to work today.

A Global Team

A Global Team

Working as one across the office, the company and the world.

Tomorrow's Truck Built by Today's Best and Brightest.

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Shaped by the wind to avoid the wind.
Active Grille

In low-speed, high-torque situations, the grille stays open to maximize cooling flow. At highway speeds, it automatically closes, improving aerodynamic efficiency.

Bumper and Ride Height

The SuperTruck's overall ride height can be adjusted, raising the chassis for extra ground clearance at low speed for maneuverability and lowering it at highway speeds to reduce drag.


The windshield is raked backward to guide air more efficiently over the hood and cab, moving over the truck with less drag.


Meet the most aerodynamic mirrors allowed by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The SuperTruck's main mirrors are as aerodynamic as the truck itself, their shape carefully crafted by – and tested in – digital and real-world wind tunnels.

Articulating Side Extenders

Optimized side extenders shield cab components as air seamlessly glides from tractor to trailer.

Articulating Wheel Fairings

Tires are infamous for creating turbulent air. The SuperTruck's fairings divert air past the rear wheels and tires, and articulate for easy serviceability.

Traditionally, trucks are conceived by designers who sketch them out on paper, with an eye toward form. The Freightliner SuperTruck took an unconventional approach. The basic shape was born as a 3D computer model, which was carefully honed by aerodynamicists using digital wind. After six months of analysis and countless computer simulations, the Freightliner SuperTruck took shape, every curve and surface optimized to reduce drag and boost efficiency.

The Trailer.

The Trailer

The trailer gets an efficiency overhaul.

A Tale of Two Shapes.

A Tale of Two Shapes

Learn how the SuperTruck took form.


Built to carry the future of an industry.
Frame Rails

Less is more. Like the other systems built into the Freightliner SuperTruck, Freightliner engineers put the frame through numerous simulations to find the perfect ratio of strength and weight savings. The result? Fewer crossmembers for added weight savings, simplified crossmember construction and better use of lighter-weight materials, which thrive in harsh environments where trucks operate. This combined with the lightweight rear suspension reduces frame weight by 700 pounds.


The highly efficient Detroit DT12™ Automated Manual Transmission is even more efficient on the Freightliner SuperTruck. Its Direct Drive and eCoast technologies work in tandem with the SuperTruck's Predictive Technologies to improve shifting based on vehicle speed, engine torque and upcoming road grade.


Detroit™ rear axles have been upgraded for the Freightliner SuperTruck. In addition to using lighter-weight components where possible, the axle configuration, oil level management system and even the oil formulation itself are optimized to reduce friction and increase efficiency.

Wheels & Tires

The Freightliner SuperTruck's wheels have evolved in numerous ways to reduce rolling resistance. For one, engineers redesigned the hub and wheel with lightweight materials. Additionally, Daimler engineers collaborated with Michelin to create specially formulated tires with an exclusive compound to further reduce rolling resistance.

Power Steering

The AccuSteer power steering and air system with a hydraulic accumulator reduce overall energy consumption by over 1%. On standard systems, the air compressor and power steering pump run continuously, whether they're needed or not. The SuperTruck incorporates a clutch to switch these "parasitic loads" off when not needed, which, according to testing, is over 90% of the time.

Hydraulic Fan Drive

The engine fan in most highway tractors is turned off the vast majority of the time. That's pretty efficient. Why bother looking into improving it? Turns out that while the fan is off, the belts, pulley, bearing and seals still produce friction. The Freightliner SuperTruck's hydraulic fan eliminates these frictional losses and spins the fan at precisely the speed needed to cool the engine.

At first glance, the Freightliner SuperTruck's chassis may look like an ordinary chassis. But that's where the similarities end. In addition to the all-new powertrain, cab and exterior, the chassis was redesigned from the ground up as well.


Pounds lighter than a standard tractor frame.


Fewer parts needed to build SuperTruck crossmembers.


Pounds saved with new rail reinforcement strips.


A next-generation engine
from the first name in engines.

Detroit's engineers performed exhaustive simulation studies to determine the ideal powertrain to achieve the highest possible freight-efficiency gains. Based on these results, they opted for an approach focused on downsizing and downspeeding to reduce weight and friction throughout the engine. The right balance of size and efficiency was struck in the form of a downsized 11-liter engine rated at 390-hp/1400 lb-ft torque.

Waste Heat Recovery

Working in conjunction with Daimler Advanced Engineering, an innovative system was developed that converts a portion of the exhaust heat into usable energy.


All trucks today utilize urea-based SCR systems to reduce smog-forming NOx emissions. The Freightliner SuperTruck features a low-back-pressure, next-generation aftertreatment system that efficiently removes NOx from the exhaust stream. This ensures the air coming out the tailpipe stays clean, while freeing up the engine to run more efficiently at higher temperatures and pressures.


The Freightliner SuperTruck's prototype 11-liter engine features efficiency-boosting innovations, including a revamped combustion system. To achieve the highest efficiency possible, engineers increased the compression ratio, ran extensive tests on piston and injector combinations, and pushed each engine component to its limit.

Air System

Designed specifically for high efficiency, the turbocharger provides just the right amount of air for efficient operation, while minimizing any restrictions or losses in the air system.

Friction Reduction

The SuperTruck engine features many friction-reducing innovations, including a variable speed water pump, a clutched air compressor, low-viscosity oil and an improved cylinder kit. To further reduce friction, the cylinder liners were optimized to reduce drag in the mid-stroke, where piston speeds are highest.

Engine Controls

The SuperTruck uses a unique prototype control system, capable of optimizing engine performance in real time for maximum fuel efficiency. The controller continuously monitors the engine's operating conditions as well as the external environment, and uses an on-board computer to determine the most efficient course of action during real-world operation.

Part of the SuperTruck Challenge pushed manufacturers to create an engine that delivers 50% brake thermal efficiency. The Freightliner SuperTruck engine hit the mark, in the form of a downsized and downsped 10.7-liter engine, a hybrid system, a Waste Heat Recovery (WHR) system, along with a host of other upgrades. From top to bottom, the Freightliner SuperTruck is an extreme example of what can be done in the pursuit of peak efficiency.

Waste Heat Recovery System

Waste Heat
Recovery System

Detroit turns exhaust heat into energy.

A Tale of Two Shapes.

11-Liter Engine

Gaining efficiency through engine improvements.

Energy Management

Power. Used more responsibly than ever.

The Freightliner SuperTruck's many innovations are efficient in their own right. But with innovative energy management-optimized hardware and software, the entire truck becomes more efficient, not just in simulations or wind tunnels, but in the real world, too.

Predictive Technologies.

Predictive Technologies

Solar Panels.

Solar Panels

Hybrid System.

Hybrid System




As innovative on the inside as it is on the outside.

Like the rest of the truck, no detail was left behind in the cab's development. Engineers and designers examined lightweight materials, design and manufacturing methods. They brainstormed on several interior concepts and spent countless hours looking for ways to make the interior as lightweight and efficient as the exterior.

Lightweight Materials

The SuperTruck's sleeper cab is a showcase of lightweight materials. From the carbon fiber cabinets to the innovative mattress construction and every surface in between, all the materials have been carefully selected to minimize weight and maximize efficiency.

The Color of Functionality

Throughout the gleaming white sleeper are flashes of yellow. These points indicate functionality to help the driver become more efficient whether they're behind the wheel or in the cab.

Built for Business and Comfort.

While it minimizes weight, the SuperTruck's cab also maximizes space. The bunk folds up to reveal a desk with three seats. The passenger chair swivels 180 degrees so drivers and passengers can work, live and drive comfortably, whether parked or on the road.

Controlling the Future

The SuperTruck's cab should look and feel every bit as futuristic as it performs. Virtually all electronic systems – from recessed LEDs that can display millions of colors to a hidden entertainment system – are controlled via multiple touch-screen tablets located throughout the cab.