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The Power and Torque of the K220

There’s also a large amount of new technology in the driveline of the latest Kenworth release, and PowerTorque’s recent test drive was an opportunity to look at the power and torque of the K220. It’s still the Cummins X15, but the adoption of the Adept concept, where the engine and the Eaton AMT transmission communicate at a high level, is a significant advance. 

The Cummins X15 engine in the test truck is the Euro 6 version, and at the moment, it is possible to buy a Cummins engine with a Euro 5 system, but that will end when the ADR 80/04 rules come in, November 2025.

Cummins X15 is the standard engine in the K220 and on this test truck, the power is set at 550 hp and the torque at 2050 ft lb. As usual, a wide variety of options are available from Kenworth when thinking about horsepower, transmission, rear axle.

Cummins engines now all come standard with the ADEPT software, which offers features such as Smart Coast and integration with the adaptive cruise control. The set-up includes an overrun system which brings in the engine brake in when speed goes over a preset speed to reduce the speed of the truck.

The X15 now comes with a switch to enable and disable DPF burn off. If the truck is in a situation where a DPF burn off might be a problem, then the driver can disable it, or can enable the burn off when the truck’s in a position to do a burn off safely. 

Transmission options include the tried and true Eaton RoadRanger and also Eaton’s latest offering, the Endurant XD.

The Bendix Fusion system, which includes active cruise control, automatic emergency braking and a suite of safety options is an option at the moment but when we get to January 2025 the AEB will be mandated on all new trucks and then it ceases to be an option and becomes standard.

The K220 still has similar limitations to those of its predecessors. There is not a flat floor and while the raised roof design is a much improved one compared to the old Aerodyne, there is a feeling of more space. The geography of the cabin does not leave much room for moving around in the 2.3m cabin, but there is enough.

There is no getting away from the method of ingress and egress in the cab. The need to climb up a ladder, shuffle across a step and then duck down into a door is far from ideal. The fold out steps are still an option, but one which a low proportion of customers take up.

There is no cab suspension on the K220 at the moment and it’s obvious from the ride that this is the case. The ride from the parabolic springs on the chassis is acceptable and is much improved over previous generations of the K Series, but not as smooth as its European rivals. There is an air suspension system under development by Kenworth and that should be available in the near future, stay tuned.


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