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Ultimate Test Drive: Kenworth T680

 

Kenworth T680 Makes the Grade on I-82

When Kenworth launched the T680 at the Mid-America Trucking Show in March 2012, they said it was a totally new truck. They weren't just whistling Dixie. Practically everything north of the frame rails, including the 83-inch wide, stamped aluminum cab is fresh from the drawing board – okay, well the CAD computer.

Today's Trucking's Ultimate Test Drive team had an entire day on the T680 and Jim Park took full advantage, spending close to the 14-hour HOS limit on the mountains and valleys of Interstate 82, just south of Ellensburg, Wash.  We gave the Cummins ISX and Eaton UltraShift-Plus a solid workout, and saw first-hand how Kenworth's expert team of designers and engineers created a true trucker's truck.

Part 1 of this two-part video series features the T680 in performance mode. It's amazingly quiet in the cab, even with the driver's window wide open. See how the ISX copes with the hills under full load, and how the UltraShift-Plus digs deep into the torque bad to get maximum pull out of minimum fuel.

In Part 2, we get up close and personal with the truck, exploring its creature comforts, clever design touches and the engineering that makes the T680 a Kenworth through and through.

And if you haven’t already, make sure to also check out the other test drives in our Ultimate Test Drive series.

 

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Test Drive Kenworth T680 Jim Park

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The Kenworth T680, though similar to its T660 and T700 brothers, forges new ground with a spacious, driver-focused interior.
My test drive in Kentucky went from Louisville to Elizabethtown and back. On the way out, I drove a daycab T680 with Paccar MX power; on the return, an impressive integrated cab/sleeper with Cummins ISX 15 with 485 hp.

The most memorable thing about the cab is its extremely rigid-feeling construction. There is no booming

amplification of road or mechanical noise as sometimes occurs with the flat-panel riveted construction of the narrow cab.
well done ....
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