The Scania R-Series has been the dream truck for many driver and owner driver since its launch back in 2004. The Swedish manufacturer is thought of as the ‘Porsche’ brand of the truck world – interesting since it is now under the same ownership, (VW).
More searches are carried out on Truckpages for used Scania R-Series trucks than any other model. This could be down to truck buyers checking if they can afford an R580 – when they find out that they can’t then they may head off to the DAF pages for something more affordable to buy.
One reason for the success of the R-Series is the rock-solid residual values that it enjoys. Buy a late, low mileage example and it will still be worth something after running it for three years. Another reason is Scania’s famous V8 engine fitted in the R-Series. The 16-litre V8 has been at the top of every truck buyer’s shopping list since its launch over 50 years ago– especially with a Topline cab.
Scania have launched a new flagship truck in 2016 called the S-Series which has relegated the R-Series into second place.
At the foot of this page we give an overview of the R-Series timeline – when the facelifts took place and which model years enjoyed technological upgrades.
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Not sure which model year R-Series to buy? Read our handy guide to the facelifts and design changes to Scania’s top truck.
2004 R-Series Launch
The Scania R-Series was launched as the successor to the outgoing 4-Series as far back as 2004. There was a new cab and interior, but nonetheless had many parts in common with the outgoing 4-series. And why not? The 4-Series was a phenomenally successful truck for Scania which means that evolution is better as far as heavy trucks are concerned.
Hoping to capitalise on the numbers of trucks ordered as Euro 3 before the Euro 4 deadline in 2006, the R-Series was launched at Euro 3 with a choice of the DC11 at 340 to 380hp, the 11.7 litre DC12 and, of course, the 16-litre V8. The Euro 4 versions available a few months later. The full range of engines, including the V8 was available from 2005 in readiness for the Euro 4 deadline. All Scania’s Euro 4 engines initially used EGR only with the exception of the V8 that required a combination of SCR and EGR to hit the standard.
The Opticruise transmission still required the use of a ‘clutch’ pedal for operation – this stayed until the facelift in 2009 when a 2 pedal version became available.
It was not until later in 2004 that the first examples were arriving in the UK in right had drive form.
The R-Series saw a simplification of the model naming convention. Gone were the R124L450 etc. of the old 4 series. In its place came a simple letter ‘R’ followed by the horsepower. So, the R470 was born. The R-series came with four roof heights at launch: low, normal, Highline and Topline.
2005 R-Series First Truck of the Year Title
2007 Euro 5 Standardised on R-Series
With a new DC13 12.7 litre engine replacing the smaller 11.7-litre DC12 unit, the R-Series saw a power increase at the launch of Euro 5 – albeit only by 10hp across the power ranges up to 480hp. As with most emission standards over the years, Scania were early out of the blocks – two years before the Euro 5 deadline in this case.
2009 Facelift for R-Series
Again, Scania opted for evolution rather than revolution for the 2009 facelift. The tell tales between a pre- and post- 2009 facelifted version are the grille and trim and a new screen to help the driver with driving improvement suggestions and fuel economy.
The third pedal was removed for the Opticruise automated gearbox,previously used for stopping and starting.
Watch the 2009 R-Series Video
2010 – Second Truck of the Year Title & New V8
2013 – R-Series Euro 6 Announced
The number of engines available for the R-Series was reduced at the time of the early launch of Scania’s Euro 6 offering. The smaller DC12 was dropped from the line up leaving the DC13, adding SCR only versions at 410 and 450hp in addition to the EGR/SCR combo at 450 and 490hp. The 15-litre V8 was dropped in favour of the 16-litre with power outputs to 730hp.
2013 Streamline Cabs Introduced for R-Series
This was a move by Scania before the implementation to improve fuel economy through the addition of additional air flow management devices over the cab.
2016 Current Version R-Series Launched
The R-Series second generation came with an all-new cab, (designed with help from Porsche engineering) new interiors and reworked chassis. Powered by the SCR only 13 litre engines with a choice of four outputs topping out at 500hp and, of course, the 16-litre V8 with three outputs to a whopping 730hp.
Scania quote fuel improvement figures for the new generation compared to the previous model of 3% from engine improvements and a further 2% from aerodynamics. Improvements to the speed of gear selection for the Opticruise will also see efficiency gains.
The R-Series retained its tunnel in the cab, with the newly launched flat floor version rebranded as the S-Series.
Check to see if the world’s first rollover curtain has been fitted to the used example you are looking at. This is the future of truck safety.
Watch the Launch Video for the New Generation R-Series
2017- R-Series Wins Third Truck of the Year Title
Latest Scania R Series News
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