Mitsubishi Fuso's body builder guide has been revised to state that the center of gravity of the completed vehicle with a full load should not exceed 60“ above ground level and must be located horizontally between the centerlines of the front and rear axles.

LCOE product manager Brock Wienzcewski also recapped the 2009 FE/FG/FK/FM model lineup, which includes at least one model in every GVWR range from Class 3 to Class 7. In addition, new 2008 Class 4 Crew Cab and 4WD models were introduced in the fall.

The Class 3 FE125 becomes the lightest-duty vehicle in the Fuso lineup, offering a 12,500-lb GVWR. The FE125 uses the same basic chassis and same cab configuration as its heavier-duty Class 4 and Class 5 siblings. The frame is made from steel with a 51,200-psi yield strength, in a straight/ladder configuration that provides an RBM per rail of 415,232 lb-in.

Unlike many of its Class 3 pickup-truck-based counterparts, the FE125 offers vacuum-servo assist, hydraulic-type, dual-caliper disc brakes at all wheels, plus nodular cast-iron spring brackets, sintered bronze bushings and laminated leaf springs with shock absorbers and stabilizer bar, front and rear.

Both the FE125 and FE145 (14,500-lb GVWR/Class 4) now come with an Aisin electronic 6-speed overdrive automatic transmission as standard equipment. The FE180 (17,995-lb GVWR/Class 5) also features the Aisin electronic 6-speed OD automatic as standard, but also offers a Mitsubishi 6-speed overdrive manual transmission as an option.

On all FE models, the shift lever is mounted on the dash and the parking brake is mounted between the seats, so the floor is free of obstacles, providing more center-seat leg room and allowing the driver to easily exit from the curb-side door when that's the safer path.

Completely redesigned FK and FM Models

Redesigned Class 6 and Class 7 models include major improvements in driver ergonomics, environmental impact, and safety and performance.

FK-FM Series trucks are powered by a completely rebuildable Fuso 6M60 7.5L (460 cubic inch) in-line SOHC 6-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine that generates 243 hp and 514 lb-ft of torque. An Allison automatic transmission is standard; a Mitsubishi 6-speed manual transmission is optional on the FK260 and the FM330. Stopping power is provided by drum air/hydraulic brakes on the FK200 and full air brakes on the FK260 and FM330; an air-operated exhaust brake is standard on all models.

The new FK-FM cab has been refined to produce better aerodynamics — a 4% improvement with van bodies installed and a 25% improvement with flatbeds and other low-profile bodies installed. Flush-mounted headlights also reduce drag, and an air dam under the front bumper prevents air from splitting over the front axle, further reducing aerodynamic drag.

A semi-floating cab mount, optimized cab roof structure, and redesigned interior work together to reduce vibration and interior noise even further, with noise levels in the 2008 model 8% lower at idle than in the 2007 model.

The revised roof structure also provides more headroom across the cab, and a new angled control panel configuration puts all of the often-used controls within easy reach of the driver. At the same time, a reconfigured instrument panel makes it easier to determine at a glance both the condition of engine operation and vehicle performance.

Both tilt-angle range and telescoping range have been increased with the new steering column assembly, and the steering wheel has been redesigned to increase impact absorption (22% improvement with wheel straight ahead; 48% improvement with the wheel at a 90° angle). Seat adjustment range has been increased to accommodate a larger range of drivers, and seat bolsters have been improved to increase driver stability and comfort.

To make getting in and out of the cab easier, the grab handles have been more than doubled in length, and now extend much lower in the door opening to make access easier. Air conditioning systems have also been improved by adding a high-capacity blower motor and sub-cool condenser, and heating performance has been boosted by optimizing cab vent locations.

Every new Mitsubishi Fuso truck is covered by a warranty package that includes a three-year unlimited bumper-to-bumper vehicle limited warranty, a four-year unlimited-mileage rust-through limited warranty, and a five-year/175,000-mile (FE models) or five-year/250,000-Mile (FK/FM models) powertrain limited warranty.

The powertrain warranty covers internal engine components and many bolt-on components, such as starter motors, turbochargers, and alternators.