INDIANAPOLIS. Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) officially took the wraps off its Detroit DD8 medium-duty engine Wednesday at the 2017 National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) Work Truck Show.

Chris Moran, medium-duty program manager for sales and marketing at Detroit, told American Trucker that the 7.7-liter inline six-cylinder DD8 diesel engine should be available to order by the end of this year, “and then we’ll start getting it into vehicle production in early 2018.”

The DD8 will initially be available in the Freightliner M2106, 108SD and 114SD models, targeted primarily at vocational applications including, utility/maintenance/repair service, pick-up and delivery, oil field, construction, logging, plow and dump, wrecking, refuse, fire/emergency and recreational vehicles.

Moran said he expects the DD8 will be made available for Freightliner Customer Chassis Corp. (FCCC) vehicles by the fourth quarter of 2018 and will also be offered as a “rear engine only” option for school buses models sold via DTNA’s Thomas Built Bus subsidiary by the end of 2018 as well.

The DD8 features a 260-350 hp range and a torque range of 660 to 1050 lb.– ft. and will launch with both engine and transmission power-take-off (PTO) options required for many vocational applications.

Moran said the DD8 and its DD5 sibling, introduced last year, sport a “B10 life” of 400,000 miles. He also expects the DD8 to match if not exceed the 45,000 mile oil drain and fuel filter replacement interval offered for the DD5.

“We expect it to be at least that good,” he said. “That’s going to bring real cost of ownership benefits to customers.”

DTNA noted that vehicles equipped with the DD8 will also feature the Detroit Connect Virtual Technician remote diagnostic service.

The DD8 will also be entirely built at Detroit’s Redford, MI, manufacturing facility. Unlike the DD5, which began production in Germany and being gradually transferred to Redford, the DD8 will start out being built at Redford from day one.

That’s part of a $375 million strategy initiated by DTNA back in November 2015 to bring the manufacturing of its proprietary medium-duty engines, DT12 automated mechanical transmission (AMT), and its proprietary line of Detroit Axles to the U.S.