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Old 24th August 2013, 03:31   #1
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Default Ashok Leyland launches the Neptune Engine

Ashok Leyland launches the NEPTUNE engine • To power the Company’s new multi-axle truck – the Sankagiri Express 3120

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Ashok Leyland, the Hinduja Group flagship, today launched the NEPTUNE engine ushering in a new era in engine technology. Designed and developed in-house from a clean sheet, the NEPTUNE family of engines has been globally benchmarked for greater fuel efficiency, lower maintenance, longer life, greater reliability and superior NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) characteristics.

The future-ready ‘Neptune’ engine will be available in BS-III and BS-IV versions and is also package protected for BS-V and BS-VI. The highly modular sub-system design ensures maximum vehicle uptime and better NVH characteristics while the CRS with electronic-governance ensures high fuel efficiency, easy serviceability, lower life cycle cost and reliability. NEPTUNE engines will range from 160 HP to 380 HP and will be deployed across a range of trucks and buses in a phased manner.

“This is perhaps the most significant development in our road map to being future ready and what is more heartening is that it has been entirely inspired by our customers,” said Mr. Vinod K Dasari, Managing Director, Ashok Leyland. “We are proud to offer a truly world-class engine platform that has come through over 2 million kms of trials in the most demanding of operating conditions with flying colours. With NEPTUNE, we are confident of strengthening our position in the medium and heavy commercial vehicle space.”

Ashok Leyland’s new truck, the first offering powered by the NEPTUNE engine, launched at Sankagiri, Tamil Nadu, has been named – SANKAGIRI EXPRESS 3120 – as a tribute to the strong bonds that have been forged and nurtured over time between the lorry operators in the region and the Company. It is also an acknowledgement and recognition of a rich relationship of participation and contribution that has fructified into the co-development of new engines and vehicles perfectly suited to the needs of the customers of the region. The dedication of the SANKAGIRI EXPRESS 3120 to the customers of this major auto hub in Tamil Nadu is also to honour the Sankagiri Transport Association that is considered one of the oldest and most influential in the State.

The first set of the SANKAGIRI EXPRESS 3120 were handed over to customers in the presence of Mr. Rajive Saharia, Head – Trucks, Ashok Leyland, other senior Company officials and the Sankagiri Lorry Owners Association.

The 3120 offers best-in-class fuel efficiency, faster turnaround time, better load carrying ability and superior drivability. With the NEPTUNE 205 HP CRS engine, the driveline is tuned for greater fuel efficiency, the heavy-duty 6-speed synchromesh gearbox promises enhanced gradeability while the twin steerable front axles provides better stability, easy maneuverability and safety. Another winning feature is the uprated front semi-elliptic, multi-leaf suspensions that ensure longer service intervals thereby substantially lower maintenance costs.

Source: AL Press Release
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Old 24th August 2013, 06:18   #2
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Default re: Ashok Leyland launches the Neptune Engine

Finally!!!

But the press release has absolutely no technical details about either the 3120 or the Neptune engine at all.

Anybody know any details about the Neptune engine???
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Old 24th August 2013, 11:38   #3
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Default re: Ashok Leyland launches the Neptune Engine

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Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
Designed and developed in-house from a clean sheet, the NEPTUNE family of engines has been globally benchmarked for greater fuel efficiency, lower maintenance, longer life, greater reliability and superior NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) characteristics.
If this claim is true, AL deserves full credit and praise! Did Mr Sumantran have a role to play in the development?

I'm keen to know exactly which international products Neptune is benchmarked against. Can someone throw light on this?

Also what is the level of similarity or dissimilarity between Neptune and Hino J series that AL had originally contracted to license manufacture?

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The future-ready ‘Neptune’ engine will be available in BS-III and BS-IV versions and is also package protected for BS-V and BS-VI. The highly modular sub-system design ensures maximum vehicle uptime and better NVH characteristics while the CRS with electronic-governance ensures high fuel efficiency, easy serviceability, lower life cycle cost and reliability. NEPTUNE engines will range from 160 HP to 380 HP and will be deployed across a range of trucks and buses in a phased manner.


Excellent! However, I wonder if serviceability will be easy with a common rail pump.

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“This is perhaps the most significant development in our road map to being future ready and what is more heartening is that it has been entirely inspired by our customers,” said Mr. Vinod K Dasari, Managing Director, Ashok Leyland. “We are proud to offer a truly world-class engine platform that has come through over 2 million kms of trials in the most demanding of operating conditions with flying colours. With NEPTUNE, we are confident of strengthening our position in the medium and heavy commercial vehicle space.”
It should help AL in increasing exports to more advanced markets where high power and speed is the norm. AL should also explore the possibility of exploiting Neptune by offering license manufacturing to truck makers in places like China and Russia.

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the heavy-duty 6-speed synchromesh gearbox promises enhanced gradeability
Which one? AL uses ZF normally.

I'm just not happy with the fact that 3120 doesn't come with factory built cab & body. Now the chassis will got to some "Azad Body Builder" located on the roadside and get an "unsafe-at-any-speed" shell made out of wood. C'mon AL, we are living in 2013 AD!
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Old 24th August 2013, 11:57   #4
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Default re: Ashok Leyland launches the Neptune Engine

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I'm just not happy with the fact that 3120 doesn't come with factory built cab & body. Now the chassis will got to some "Azad Body Builder" located on the roadside and get an "unsafe-at-any-speed" shell made out of wood. C'mon AL, we are living in 2013 AD!
Given the name of the product and where the launch took place, Sankagiri, which is a town in TN, I doubt they would offer a factory built cab for the target customers there. From what they've mentioned in the press release, Sankagiri is an old base of old-school trucks. So, a factory built cab will not go down well with the "puritans".

However, a U-truck powered by a Neptune engine won't be too far from launch. With TM launching their Ultra trucks and Bharat Benz doing good numbers of late, AL is not likely to miss a chance to launch a competing product
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Old 24th August 2013, 12:19   #5
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Default re: Ashok Leyland launches the Neptune Engine

Does Leyland offer cabs on any of their haulage models???

BTW, could anybody give some details?? Few questions from my side:

1. Capacity, power and torque rating of this Neptune engine.??? Considering power ratings from 160-380hp, I imagine there will at least be 2 engine capacities in the Neptune range.

3. WRT to the 3120, I would imagine this truck will be producing at least about 850Nm of torque, would it not be a better idea to provide a 9-speed gearbox. I do hope that they have gone in for a 10x4 configuration.
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Old 24th August 2013, 13:45   #6
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Default re: Ashok Leyland launches the Neptune Engine

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Originally Posted by julupani View Post
Considering power ratings from 160-380hp, I imagine there will at least be 2 engine capacities in the Neptune range.
When TM launched the Cummins 5.9 in its trucks, there were 4 power options available in the six cylinder version alone - 120 HP (NA), 145 HP (Turbo), 160 HP (Turbo + Intercooler) and finally 209 HP (Turbo + Intercooler). I was shocked when I was told that all four versions have the same CC! Even I'm keen to know the exact CC(s) of Neptune.

Last edited by directinjection : 24th August 2013 at 13:54.
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Old 24th August 2013, 19:00   #7
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland launches the Neptune Engine

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Does Leyland offer cabs on any of their haulage models???
They do. The U-trucks all have the sleek G-91 cabs. Some of the conventional rigids are also offered with factory-fitted cabs. And all Ecomet trucks come with factory-fitted cabs.

Quote:
1. Capacity, power and torque rating of this Neptune engine.??? Considering power ratings from 160-380hp, I imagine there will at least be 2 engine capacities in the Neptune range.

3. WRT to the 3120, I would imagine this truck will be producing at least about 850Nm of torque, would it not be a better idea to provide a 9-speed gearbox. I do hope that they have gone in for a 10x4 configuration.
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Originally Posted by directinjection View Post
When TM launched the Cummins 5.9 in its trucks, there were 4 power options available in the six cylinder version alone - 120 HP (NA), 145 HP (Turbo), 160 HP (Turbo + Intercooler) and finally 209 HP (Turbo + Intercooler). I was shocked when I was told that all four versions have the same CC! Even I'm keen to know the exact CC(s) of Neptune.
I have no idea about the specifications of the Neptune engine. I am guessing that there could be 3 or 4 power output options. The present H-series 5.7L engine is offered in 160hp, 183hp and 225hp versions.

The Super Stallion trucks supplied to the defence forces is rated at 360hp and 1400 Nm, so the 3120 can be expected to have some 800-900Nm torque.
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Old 24th August 2013, 19:26   #8
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland launches the Neptune Engine

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They do. The U-trucks all have the sleek G-91 cabs. Some of the conventional rigids are also offered with factory-fitted cabs. And all Ecomet trucks come with factory-fitted cabs.
I know about the U-truck and the Ecomet cabs, and also cabs on the tipper models, but I have never seen a haulage Leyland HCV with a factory cab. On the other hand you do get to see factory cab on Tata 2518s or 3118s every once in a while.

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I have no idea about the specifications of the Neptune engine. I am guessing that there could be 3 or 4 power output options. The present H-series 5.7L engine is offered in 160hp, 183hp and 225hp versions.

The Super Stallion trucks supplied to the defence forces is rated at 360hp and 1400 Nm, so the 3120 can be expected to have some 800-900Nm torque.
I dont think basic specification of the Neptune that is found in the Super Stallion will be the same as the one in the 3120. I would think the engine on the Super Stallion has at least 8L in capacity, considering the amount of torque it makes. I dont think the 3120 will have a 8L engine producing just 205hp and 900nm. The 205hp will have to be somewhere around the 5.5-7L mark. The two variants of the engine will probably share most of the components. Probably they will go in for a common head with a different block, to make for a smaller capacity.

Overall I would imagine at least 8 different states of tune, in two engine capacities for the Neptune engine. The smaller one will probably span the 160-280hp zone, while the larger one the 260-380hp zone. Note, that I am not taking into account BSIII as well as BSIV states of tune. States of tune which meet BSIII norms may be 3 or 4.
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Old 26th August 2013, 12:42   #9
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland launches the Neptune Engine

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...but I have never seen a haulage Leyland HCV with a factory cab.
I think I've seen some, but not with the G91 cab

Quote:
...I would think the engine on the Super Stallion has at least 8L in capacity, ...

Your reasoning is logical. The Super Stallion has an 8L engine, IIRC.

@Ashley2, do you have any more info?
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Old 26th August 2013, 13:35   #10
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland launches the Neptune Engine

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Originally Posted by directinjection View Post
.
.
.

Which one? AL uses ZF normally.
.
.
.
The gearbox is an Eaton 6 speed with a 900Nm torque rating.
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Old 26th August 2013, 14:00   #11
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland launches the Neptune Engine

I am not sure whether to call this progress or if Leyland are just standing still. 160Bhp for modern day requirements seems kinda lame. 380bhp is no great shakes either. The base needs to be something like 250Bhp and top end something like 600Bhp. The competition has already hit 500bhp.

6 speed gearbox is again insufficient considering the amount of power and torque you can get out of a modern diesel engine.

Leyland have to stop thinking that this is enough for their standards and customer base. You need to set the benchmark. All the big truck companies are here.
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Old 26th August 2013, 14:02   #12
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland Launches the Neptune Engine

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Originally Posted by silversteed View Post
...Ashok Leyland’s new truck, the first offering powered by the NEPTUNE engine, launched at Sankagiri, Tamil Nadu, has been named – SANKAGIRI EXPRESS 3120 – as a tribute to the strong bonds that have been forged and nurtured over time between the lorry operators in the region and the Company. ........
Incase of CV's proving an engine itself is considered almost a success for its range of vehicles. With Current IL engines at the lower end to Common rail engines in high end with H series engines (both 4 and 6 cylinder) there is a modest success with proper placing of engine power and product offering. Infact AL is having all mechanical and all electronic in the same basket and made the customer to choose products.
Now with Neptune offering in the hot runner application - 31T, where AL already has enough products with very close spacing- three engine options 160IL, 180IL, 230CRS, with twin steerable and lift axle, wheel base options and to further complicate - option of single speed and twin speed rear axle - is almost like a Maruti in hatchback, product position will be very intresting. When this is going to be taken in the way that it will click, it will be big through pass for AL to applicate in other segments and products.

Most surprising is the naming as Sankagiri express and dedicating it to Sankagiri hub, which is in favour for AL for the past decades. Without getting into the pros and cons, product naming with a transport hub should be first. With enough Buzz on Neptune which is in air for sometime, there is good expectation and should turn in favour of product.

Coming back to the application - 31T, 3116 is currently in the lower end with best in class mileage and least turn around time. This is the preference for any retail customer and for applications which does not require any preference for TAT.3118IL and LPT3118 are positioned with slightly better TAT with little compromise on fuel. 3123 CRS and BB 3123 are at the high end with superior fuel performance for the turn around time they are offering.In this crowded space - 3120 should give faster turn around with improved fuel performance.

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Originally Posted by directinjection View Post
If this claim is true, AL deserves full credit and praise! Did Mr Sumantran have a role to play in the development?
I'm keen to know exactly which international products Neptune is benchmarked against. Can someone throw light on this?
Also what is the level of similarity or dissimilarity between Neptune and Hino J series that AL had originally contracted to license manufacture?
I guess Neptune development started even before Dr. VS joined AL.
The 5.3L 4 cylinder will be the highest capacity 4 cylinder engines for trucks and buses. Man currently offers 4.6L 4 cylinder in 25.18 6x2 is the only 4 cylinder MDV. With matched capacity to 6 cylinder and lower and flat torque curve, this should have better the engine life compared to existing 6 cylinder.
Subsequently Neptune 6 cylinder with 8.1L capacity with anticipated B10 life of 1million kms, will be be first time for any Indian manufacturer.

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Originally Posted by directinjection View Post
Excellent! However, I wonder if serviceability will be easy with a common rail pump.
What I have seen is the serviceability has become more easy when engine turns more electronic. You have more control over the engine parameter, operating environment and obviously results in better performance of engine. Not to mention about the comfort zone of service engineer to identify the issues using the fault codes thrown in scan tools.
One thing still in favour of Mechanical engines is service cost, which anyway electronic engines cannot match.

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Originally Posted by directinjection View Post
It should help AL in increasing exports to more advanced markets where high power and speed is the norm. AL should also explore the possibility of exploiting Neptune by offering license manufacturing to truck makers in places like China and Russia.
AL has already presence in CIS with some JV. I think entry to China is almost next to impossible considering there are enough CV manufacturers in every street corners.

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Originally Posted by directinjection View Post
Which one? AL uses ZF normally.
Eaton 6S GB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by directinjection View Post
I'm just not happy with the fact that 3120 doesn't come with factory built cab & body. Now the chassis will got to some "Azad Body Builder" located on the roadside and get an "unsafe-at-any-speed" shell made out of wood. C'mon AL, we are living in 2013 AD!
As for the trend in market, with respect to rigid haul there is preference only for Cowl version. Competition like AMW, MNAL started with cab and then moved to Cowl.

But anyway this should not stop AL from giving cowl, which should happen soon.

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Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
I am not sure whether to call this progress or if Leyland are just standing still. 160Bhp for modern day requirements seems kinda lame. 380bhp is no great shakes either. The base needs to be something like 250Bhp and top end something like 600Bhp. The competition has already hit 500bhp.
6 speed gearbox is again insufficient considering the amount of power and torque you can get out of a modern diesel engine....
.
Get into reality. For the pullers where these 500 hp engines goes, its hardly few handfull of trucks. Then comes the mining tippers where its almost dominated by global brands and now the mining operation itself is under stake.
Left out is the bulk of truck application - haulage and regular tippers - where there are so many sub applications and it requires different power ratings. With starting from 280hp there seems to be no requirement from any corner in main stream truck products.
Infact its AL is increasing the engine power requirements from the bottom end. Post BSIII, its offering only from 160 hp where as the TM is still offering 135HP in haulage. After this migration, there was a very strong resistance from customers to reduce the engine power. Infact AL's market share itself was under stake for sometime especially in buses due to higher power offered. Then in long term they proved to be better over competition and hence it survived.
Agree with you for the point that, its only these two guys plays crucial role in the way that a retail customer / layman looks at a truckproduct. When AL has moved one step when TM also ahould come up, so that over all industry standard goes up.

Last edited by Stratos : 27th August 2013 at 05:06.
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Old 26th August 2013, 14:25   #13
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Default Re: Ashok Leyland Launches the Neptune Engine

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The 5.3L 4 cylinder will be the highest capacity 4 cylinder engines for trucks and buses... Subsequently Neptune 6 cylinder with 8.1L capacity with anticipated B10 life of 1million kms, will be be first time for any Indian manufacturer.
Does that imply that the Neptune series is offered in only 4-cyl 5.3L and 6-cyl 8.1L guises? Doesn't the 8.1L seem too big for a 205hp output (assuming AL won't plonk the 4-cyl version in a 31 Tonner)?

With TM doing a soft launch of their Paradiso coach, is there something coming out from AL also?

EDIT:

It would've appeared better if AL had named the SANKAGIRI EXPRESS 3120 something like "SE 3120" or "SX3120" or "3120SX" etc. No offence meant to Sankagiri or the operators based there, but it might go down better for customers from other places as well

Last edited by silversteed : 26th August 2013 at 14:40.
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Old 26th August 2013, 14:31   #14
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I guess Neptune development started even before Dr. VS joined AL.
The 5.3L 4 cylinder will be the highest capacity 4 cylinder engines for trucks and buses. Man currently offers 4.6L 4 cylinder in 25.18 6x2 is the only 4 cylinder MDV. With matched capacity to 6 cylinder and lower and flat torque curve, this should have better the engine life compared to existing 6 cylinder.
Subsequently Neptune 6 cylinder with 8.1L capacity with anticipated B10 life of 1million kms, will be be first time for any Indian manufacturer.

SO you are saying the engine in use in the 3120 is a 5.3L 4cylinder engine?? Any idea about torque rating??

If that is the case, I have to say its an odd choice by ALL, probably to reduce development costs.
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Old 27th August 2013, 09:43   #15
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Then comes the mining tippers where its almost dominated by global brands
Why did this happen? Cause TATA and Leyland had nothing to offer. There was and still is a ton of money to be made from this sector for both these local players but NO; they had to let Volvo, MAN and who ever else demolish them with their well established in the world products. TATA have at least woken up with their Prima range. Leyland is a sitting duck.

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Left out is the bulk of truck application - haulage and regular tippers - where there are so many sub applications and it requires different power ratings.
Sure there is but how does 160Bhp work on something that is over 10 tons? Volvo buses/trucks in India were developing over 200bhp 10 years ago. Why on earth is Leyland bothered only about TATA? You have to get a move on. You can't be pitching yourself against TATA any more when you have the big names from the International trucking scene. When I hear Leyland, I look back at the roots of the company, the British days, my Leyland school bus that did 100kmph and what do we get today; the same old thing with some electronics and refinement thrown in. That's it.

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After this migration, there was a very strong resistance from customers to reduce the engine power.
Shocked to read this. It is no wonder that our express ways still have one truck struggling to over take another even after having a stone placed on the throttle.

Last edited by sandeepmohan : 27th August 2013 at 09:45.
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