Ashok Leyland, the Hinduja Group flagship has launched the NEPTUNE engine initiating in a new ear 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 160bhp to 380bhp 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.