ANAHEIM, CALIF. — Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, distributor of low-cab-forward trucks, announced that production of its all-new entry in the Class 6 medium-duty truck segment — the 2018 Isuzu FTR — began May 8 at a new 80,000-sq.-ft. Spartan Motors facility in Charlotte, Mich.

“This truck’s combination of low-cab-forward design, Class 6 GVWR and four-cylinder diesel engine gives it fantastic maneuverability, the ability to carry more cargo than a conventional Class 6 truck, and outstanding fuel efficiency,” said Shaun Skinner, president of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America.

The FTR is powered by Isuzu’s 4HK1-TC 5.2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine — a first in the segment. It generates 520 lb.-ft. of torque and 215 horsepower, and carries a B10 durability rating of 375,000 miles — meaning that 90% of engines should reach that mileage before requiring an overhaul. The truck has a gross vehicle weight rating of 25,950 lb.

Eight wheelbase lengths, ranging from 152” to 248”, accommodate bodies from 14’ to 30’, allowing for a wide variety of body applications.

Skinner added: “We’re also thrilled to be working with Spartan Motors in Michigan. Much of the engineering for this truck was done at the Isuzu Technical Center of America in Plymouth, Mich., and many of the parts for it are U.S.-sourced.”

The new truck assembly plant where the FTR is being produced represents a $6.5 million investment and has already brought new jobs to the Michigan workforce.