October 2014 |
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Untitled-2 1 9/29/14 9:40 AM
an AMT while you're working your
way through Las Vegas' crowded inter-
On the open road, I found Western
Star's newest truck to be a bit of a
speed demon. Even on steep grades
in the mountains outside Sin City, the
truck accelerated quickly with plenty
of reserve power remaining. Steering
was extremely tight, and the truck was
highly nimble when changing lanes.
Optional safety features included a host
of Meritor Wabco systems, including
OnGuard Lane Departure Warning,
OnGuard Collision Mitigation and
OnGuard Adaptive Cruise Control, as
well as electronic stability and roll sta-
bility control systems.
The views over the nose of modern
trucks are always excellent, thanks to
the slope-nosed designs that enhance
aerodynamics. With the 5700XE, the
hood simply isn't visible at all from the
But Western Star didn't stop there:
Matte black accents on the hood elim-
inate all glare to such an extent that
I didn't need sunglasses, even though
it was a cloudless day in the desert.
The Air Force has employed this anti-
glare trick on its aircraft for years. A
nice benefit is the black accents evoke
the Rally Stripes that adorned sports
cars in the 1960s and further feed the
truck's overall muscle-car look.
Western Stars are all about small
fleets and owner-operators. Nowhere
is this more apparent than in the cab
and sleeper of the new 5700XE. Plush
two-tone leather seats with the logo
prominently displayed set the tone.
Large, well-defined, old-style gauges
and instrumentation feature colorful,
modern lighting accents that make
at-a-glance checks a breeze in bright
sunlight or in the dark of night. Real
wood cabinets, drawers and a retract-
able work desk give an added layer of
luxury to the large sleeper berth that
includes a refrigerator, ample storage
and space for a flat-screen television.
Twin tinted side windows, as well as an
overhead skylight, enhance the sleeper's
The mission statement to Western
Star's designers was clear, and it's hard
to argue with their final product. The
5700XE is an elegant blend of luxury,
individualism and character.