The surprising partnership between SCS Software and the American manufacturer Western Star was fully disclosed and the brand new model 49X was revealed. This creative collaboration left many American Truck Simulator fans delightfully surprised (ourselves included), and it’s a successful premiere in truck simulation games. According to the info released by SCS, they “worked very closely with Western Star® and Daimler Trucks North America to bring to American Truck Simulator this exclusive new truck.”.
There were successful partnerships of this kind between game studios and car manufacturers in the past, but it never happened in the trucks or trailers market. The official launch of a new truck model in real life and a virtual model to drive at a simulator simultaneously, demonstrates the truck brands are abandoning the old thoughts that these simulator markets have no importance or expression in their business.
I remember Pavel Sebor telling me — when I interviewed him in Madrid back in 2018 — that SCS would never launch fictitious or unofficial trucks in the game again, but this is a whole new level in the relationship between a game developer and a truck brand!Pumizo
We sincerely believe this partnership represents the extraordinary achievement of SCS Software for 2020. In fact, we consider it more important than having another official truck in the game because it opens up a range of credibility and possibility for future projects, similar or not with other brands.
Apparently, there are still premium brands not giving the deserved importance to the Prague simulators, with Schmitz Cargobull being the most striking case in the Euro Truck Simulator 2 world. This type of initiative definitely helps to change skeptical minds and bring together brands, studios and developers.
The Heavy Duty Truck Brand
estern Star is one of those American iconic brands that feed any U.S style fan passion. They built some of the most notorious trucks since their foundation in 1967, firstly focused in vehicles for “mountainous logging operations, deep mines and sweltering oil fields” and later building highway trucks. All of them engineered and built “by hand, one at a time, to ensure every truck is manufactured to last and built exactly the way client need it.“.
Taking a closer look at the company history online page, we learned the company experienced a sustainable growth during the 1980s “thanks to its unrivalled commitment to innovation and quality” and that “major product developments like cabs with increased headroom and improved driver visibility helped set Western Star apart from the competition.“.
In the 1990s, Western Star developed and entered in the long-haul range with “revolutionary product innovations like the Star Light Sleeper with an ultra-lightweight polypropylene honeycomb core.“.
The WS strong, focused and visionary strategy along the years paid off, when Daimler Trucks North America acquired the company in 2000. Later, in 2002, the production was relocated to a new plant in Portland, Oregon, which is also present in the American Truck Simulator game.
The Real 49X
Western Star perfomes a colossal come back to the truck market, presenting this new 49X not only as the best truck they ever designed, but as probably the best truck anyone has ever built. Strong arguments combining with more than half a century of experience in the manufacture of heavy vehicles that surpass any challenge under any circumstances.
WS claims half a decade on the design and engineering of this innovative model, all with one strict purpose in mind. We quote them presenting the 49X: “the best vocational truck on the market. Period.“. Besides the several chassis configurations, cabin variants, engines and accessories, they carefully engineered the 49X to meet several strict benchmarks before going on production.
Two Variants, Many Sleepers
The 49X comes in two distinctive variants, the SF and SB. These initials set for “Set Front Axle” and “Set Back Axle” with several technical differences among them. We can spot the main esthetic changes at the front bumpers and headlights, with the SF front presenting a more heavy-duty flat style and the SB delivering modern and stylish angled bumpers and modern headlights. The SF is available only in the day cab variant while the SB presents several sleeper heights and lengths.
Only the 49X SF model is available in the American Truck Simulator at the moment, but this is something SCS Software already disclosed in their short-term plans. The 49X will soon have more cabins and configurations available in-game.
Regarding engines, the 49X offers two Detroit options from 400 to 600 HP and two Cummins from 350 to 605 HP. The Detroit ones are present with the fifth-generation of the famous DD15 15-litre and the powerful DD16 with 16-litre. Cummins presents the 12-litre X12 and the 15-litre X15.
Western Star offers an extensive range of both Eaton Fuller, Allison and Detroit transmissions with the 49X, providing the client all the possibilities and extraordinary versatility to build precisely whats needed.
Detroit delivers their Vocational Series, namely the DT12-V and the DT12-VX, both equipped with several innovative technologies like the “Rock Free” and “Paver” modes or the “Power Launch”. Eaton Fuller presents the usual manual and automated transmissions while Allison offers automatic gearboxes only.
The Virtual 49X
As I have already stated in this article, this secret partnership between SCS Software and Western Star is, in my humble opinion, one of the fantastic news of 2020. Apparently, there was such big secrecy within the Czech production company, that only two or three key elements of the development team would know about this top-secret project.
This will not come as a surprise to the hardcore fans, since it is known that SCS is always extremely cautious in its relationship with the industry brands and their communication strategy is always meticulously studied before anything is formally announced.
Everything indicates that Pavel and its team wanted to make the most of this excellent opportunity and present a finished product with remarkable accuracy, excellent quality and professionalism. Ultimately, they ensured to deliver something that could fulfil Western Star expectations, not only for this 49X project but for other future projects, including the ones with other brands.
A Valuable Addiction
I have been a defender of what I properly call the “waiting theory”, and sometimes the trucksim community keep aggressively pushing the devs beyond reasonable devotion. We are living fast times but people, especially the youngest, need to learn how to wait and realize that teams and the innovative products developed inevitably tend to evolve with time. It has been like that throughout the Czech producer’s remarkable history and the latest releases, mainly DLC’s show us the quality levels they reached.
This truck absolutely proves it, because the modelling detail level, the textures quality and the extreme fidelity are incredible! All this result in another tremendous addition to the American Truck Simulator fleet, with the 49X presenting exactly the same characteristics and setting as in real life, even knowing the SB version and sleeper variants are temporarily unavailable in-game.
More to Come
SCS Software informed the trucksim community in their presentation stream for this 49X, that this unique opportunity came at a tight timing and that they hadn’t enough time to model all the cabin variants. That’s why this ATS addiction is released in the SF day cab variant only. The remaining variants, namely sleepers, will appear in future updates.
Having said that, what do you think of it? Do you have any experience or opinion about it? Tell us everything in the comments below or help us spread the word by sharing this article in your social media!