Due to a very positive order situation, MAN Truck & Bus expects an all-time high in sales of TGE vans in 2023. There are also innovations in the product: the rear-wheel-drive TGE with single tyres and automatic transmission as well as new offers as a basis for camping vehicles have been added.
It was six years ago, on 3 April 2017, when the first series-produced MAN TGE saw the light of day. It was a great moment for the project team at MAN and the production team at the Polish plant in Wrzesnia. The 100,000th TGE will soon roll off the production line.
The TGE is a success story for MAN without any ifs and buts and this is also reflected in the forecast sales figures for 2023. “The year 2022 was marked by disruptions in the supply chain due to the Ukraine war, raw material bottlenecks and the semiconductor crisis. As a result, we were unable to produce as many TGEs as were in demand. This situation is now gradually dissolving and our order book is fuller than ever. That is why we expect a significant jump in sales in 2023 and will thus sell more TGEs than ever before,” says Daniel Holbein, Head of Sales Van at MAN Truck & Bus, looking ahead to the current year.
There are also some innovations in the product range. The rear-wheel-drive TGE with single tyres and automatic transmission has been added. This particularly improves the range for built-up vehicles in the 3.5-tonne range, because rear-wheel drive is more suitable for vehicles with bodies. This is due to the fact that the load distribution of built-up vehicles tends to be more on the rear axle. A rear-wheel drive therefore offers more traction. In addition, better traction is achieved with the rear-wheel-drive TGE with single tyres and automatic transmission when trailers are used frequently. The 8-speed automatic impresses with optimally designed shift points as well as high driving comfort and safety, even in stop-and-go traffic.
Also new in the MAN Transporter range ex works is the camper high roof, which allows more standing height in motorhomes. MAN already has an extensive range of products for partially integrated camping vehicles: Wide-gauge axle, flat frame and the newly added four-metre wheelbase offer caravan manufacturers every design option. In conjunction with additional, factory-fitted equipment details such as the omission of a partition wall, swivelling seats for driver and passenger, special seat fabrics for campers, 2nd battery (AGM) and CSM unit (KFG), they form a perfect basis for premium motorhomes and can then be expanded by the motorhome manufacturers. Further camper highlights can be added via MAN Individual: Windscreen darkening for driver and passenger (folding and sliding system) and automatic step on the right sliding door with integrated obstacle detection (Autostop).
For years, MAN has been continuously expanding its range of factory solutions with various bodies and extensions for the TGE. Customers can order a TGE with a tipper or box body as well as combi bodies for passenger transport or rack extensions for workshop trolleys directly on request. Furthermore, two different minibus variants up to a capacity of 19 passengers are offered. “In addition to the very high build quality and driving dynamics of the TGE, our customers particularly appreciate the MAN service with 24/7 breakdown service with every vehicle included as well as extended workshop opening hours at many locations, which meets the requirements of our commercial customers. Also highlighted is the professional advice of our sales staff, who are particularly familiar with commercial customer requirements from the various industries and provide advice with a great deal of passion for the TGE,” says Daniel Holbein.
Smart all-wheel drive
In 2022, 3,540 TGEs were delivered with all-wheel drive. This represents 17% of total sales in that year. This high proportion of 4×4 drives is unique in the competitive environment. It is underpinned by the fact that the TGE has been delivered with a body on average over 30% over the past four years – proof of MAN’s outstanding body competence. The 4×4 drive is a popular option with these customers, e.g. for their camping, construction or emergency vehicles.
But the smart technology and the favourable price are also important criteria for success. The basic TGE 4×4 is a front-wheel drive vehicle that distributes torque to the rear axle as required by means of a multi-plate clutch. Torque is automatically distributed from front/rear 100% to 0% to front/rear 50% to 50%. The TGE is available from the factory with a gross vehicle weight of 3.5t to 4.0t with this solution. The vehicle can be ordered in 120 KW and 130 KW engine versions and comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Excursion to the multi-plate clutch
A short excursion to the multi-plate clutch, the technical basis for the smart all-wheel drive in the TGE 4×4. This is an electronically controlled clutch whose plates run in an oil bath. The plates are brought together axially as required. The control unit of the multi-plate clutch receives information from the entire vehicle sensor system via the CAN bus and can be freely combined with all driver assistance systems. In the event of slip at the front wheels or due to other parameters of the vehicle sensor system, e.g. ESP intervention, 0% to 100% of the drive torque can be continuously directed to the front or rear axle. The distribution of drive torque not only serves traction, but can also positively influence driving dynamics. A differential lock is available as an option.
Permanent all-wheel drive
There is also the MAN TGE 4×4, which is based on the rear-wheel drive vehicle. Here MAN Individual installs a system from the Oberaigner company. The result is a permanent all-wheel drive with a torque distribution of 42 to 58% (front/rear). The permanent all-wheel drive TGE is expected to be available again in the 3rd quarter of 2023. It can be ordered ex works with a gross vehicle weight of 4.0t to 5.5t with this solution. Here, the customer can choose the 120 kW variant with 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission.
MAN Individual will be able to make two new offers to TGE customers, probably from the end of the 3rd quarter of 2023: A performance upgrade and a 4-channel air suspension. Customers from different segments whose vehicles are often on the road fully loaded, such as fire engines or ambulances, motorhomes or workshop vans, have signalled the need for more power. For this reason, MAN Individual will offer a reliable and durable increase in engine output to 202 hp.
A high level of driving comfort in all areas is promised by another innovation: the 4-channel air suspension. It offers various driving modes, an auto-level function especially for motorhomes and reacts to different load conditions. An off-road mode with maximum travel will also be part of the scope of features.
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SOURCE: MAN Truck & Bus