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A Mighty-fine truck

March 20, 2018

Hyundai Automotive South Africa is rewriting the heavy commercial vehicle (HCV) rulebook with the launch of its new Mighty EX8 – the successor to the popular HD range.

Aimed particularly at small, micro and medium enterprises, the EX8 has been designed to offer versatility, low total cost of ownership and value for money.

“Hyundai’s mission is to partner with customers to help them build their businesses by offering them a good-quality commercial vehicle that is suited to its specific purpose. We offer vehicles that are durable and reasonably priced, with generous warranties for peace of mind and low cost of ownership,” says Wade Griffin, commercial vehicle director at Hyundai Automotive South Africa.

Comprising five day-cab models – including chassis-cab, drop side and tipper variants – the EX8 offers operators a gross vehicle mass that is 300 kg higher than the competition (it weighs in at 7 800 kg) and a permissible body plus payload figure of 5 150 kg. A
200-mm longer wheelbase and a 4 850 mm deck length allow for various body options.

Hyundai Automotive South Africa’s body builder, Tailor-made Truck Bodies, can be found on site at the company’s Apex, Benoni, assembly plant (where the new EX8 is assembled alongside the H100 bakkie). The company produces several standard and customised body options for the EX8, which are made to customer specification (the chassis is designed for easy customisation).

Powering the new EX8 is Hyundai’s D4DD 3 907 cc engine. This Euro-3 powerplant features common-rail diesel injection and delivers maximum power of 103 kW at 2 800 r/min, while peak torque is 373 Nm produced at just 1 600 r/min.

Power is delivered to the rear wheels via a five-speed manual synchromesh gearbox. Self-shifting gearboxes will be available around the beginning of 2019.

Driving the vehicles at launch, it was immediately apparent that ease of operation and driver comfort had been top priorities in the design phase. All controls are light, but sturdy, and the engine feels responsive, while the power-assisted steering is quick which eases manoeuvrability.

Driver comfort in the large, 3,5 m3 cab (20-percent up on the old model) is aided by the wide range of height and angle steering-wheel adjustment. The enlarged windscreen and lowered dash enhance forward visibility, while the enlarged mirrors with convex sub-mirror help keep a good view on everything behind.

Occupants will also appreciate the improved ride quality, thanks to new rubber dampers on the rear suspension and anti-vibration gas-type shock absorbers, new engine mounts and double-seal weather stripping. Even when unladen, the vehicle’s ride refinement is truly among the best offered by any HCV.

The cab interior mimics the design and quality found in the brand’s passenger cars, meaning it is sturdy, logical and practical. A total of 11,8 litres of storage space is available to the occupants.

Occupants will also find it easier to access the cab, thanks to doors that now open to a wide 80° and a larger side step, which is now covered by the doors when they are closed.

So, there is certainly a lot of value for money to be found in the new EX8, but what will really excite owners of the vehicle is the low cost of ownership Hyundai has built into the product.

An unlimited-mileage factory warranty of four years is both standard and class leading (covering vehicle and drivetrain), while service intervals are now 20 000 km apart. Also included is three-year/200 000 km roadside assistance.

The company conducted a price study for a basket of 32 service, maintenance and crash parts, and found that its parts basket is 20-percent better priced than that of its nearest competitor.

The new Mighty EX8 range is priced between R379 500 and R451 500, and is available through any of Hyundai Automotive South Africa’s 40 regional dealers.

“Taking all this into account, we believe that we have the right truck to partner with our customers’ businesses, and having reduced the cost of ownership results in better bottom-line profits,” Griffin concludes.

FOCUS on Transport and Logistics is one of the oldest and most respected transport and logistics publications in southern Africa.

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