Redesigned 579 is quieter, more fuel efficient, Peterbilt says

February 9, 2021

Tom Berg


New Peterbilt 579
The new Peterbilt 579 has steeply sloped hood, small grille, smooth body lines, smaller mirrors and optional LED headlamps. Interior features a large digital screen that replaces traditional electro-mechanical gauges and can display a multitude of engine condition and operating figures. (Photo courtesy Peterbilt)


A redesigned and restyled 579 is 10% quieter and 7% more fuel-efficient than the current 579 highway tractor, yet retains a classic Peterbilt look, the builder’s executives said in a Feb. 3 unveiling on YouTube.

It is the most technologically advanced and reliable truck Peterbilt has ever introduced and was proven over 1.5 million miles of road and track testing.

“This new truck delivers the next level of performance for our customers and continues Peterbilt’s legacy of being the class of the industry,” said Jason Skoog, the manufacturer’s general manager.

Fifty-nine fleet customers and their drivers participated in the design process, offering their feedback on proposed changes to the existing product during a five-year development period, they said. It will include daycab and sleeper models, and it will be standard with Paccar diesels and other powertrain components.

The new Peterbilt 579 has smoother hood and body lines, a lower nose, smaller grille and side-view mirrors. It has a new interior featuring a 12-inch digital instrument display that replaces electro-mechanical gauges, Skoog said. Joining him in the presentation were chief engineer Scott Newhouse and sales and marketing manager Robert Woodall.

The steeply sloped hood is made of Metton, an advanced composite material that resists impacts. The styled-in headlamps are halogen or optional LEDs, the latter with infrared heaters to melt snow and ice from the cool-burning lamps. Neon-like eyebrows over the headlights serve as daytime running lights, and cornering lamps, activated by the turn signals, illuminate the way through dark corners.

Uptime was a goal of the new design, and include tip-out side fairings for ready access to fuel and DEF tanks, batteries and auxiliary power units, if so equipped. Of course, the hood tilts easily for access to engines and accessories the executives didn’t list.

A multitude of engine conditions and road and operating numbers can be quickly called up by drivers in the colorful digital display immediately ahead of them. The display will be added to other Peterbilt conventional-cab models by July.

The new mirrors include housings for side-view cameras as part of a comprehensive observation system on the new model, as well as advanced driver-assistance systems in the form of collision mitigation, lane-departure warning and the new lane-keeping assist, among others. Current taller mirrors also will be available.

New interiors include clean lines and accessible switches and controls. Interior cues are likely to find their way into other Peterbilt conventionals, the executives suggested. The new 579 will go into production in April and can be ordered beginning Feb. 4. LL

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Tom Berg worked his way through college by driving trucks. Since 1978, he’s been writing about trucks and trucking. He holds a Class A commercial driver’s license and drives trucks as part of story research. While semi-retired, Berg still writes about semis as a contributing editor at Land Line.