More spy pictures of Mercedes’ new eActros models have emerged, showing the truck on test in Germany and the cab will have some minor cosmetic changes which could be extended onto the existing diesel models. As to be expected the cab shell is essentially the same as the Version 4 and 5 models that were unveiled in 2012; a wholly new Merc heavy truck cab will probably be anything up to a decade away.

The Actros was updated in late 2018 as the Version 5, but that upgrade was all centred on improving the technology – with nothing more exciting or revolutionary as the ground breaking MirrorCam digital camera system to replace the conventional wing mirrors. The other major change was to the dashboard where a digital cockpit with two tablet style screens was also introduced.

Surprisingly Mercedes did not use that V4 to V5 change as an opportunity to implement any external cosmetic changes, such as new lights or front grille, usually the most noticeable differences when a vehicle is updated.

Since the V5 Actros was introduced, Merc has moved onto its second incarnation of MirrorCam with shorter camera stalks to make them more robust while also improving the resolution of the graphics seen on the screen.

Digital mirrors have since been rolled out by DAF and MAN since the V5 launch, while Scania, Volvo, Iveco and Renault have all been trailing similar systems but have yet to bring them to market. Following Merc’s lead, nearly all manufacturers now have digital dashes, either in production or for imminent launch.

The test truck pictured here is a full width model with the fully flat floor and with four-step entry and a StreamSpace high roof cab profile which looks to have a slightly rounder look. It also looks like it could be slightly longer at the rear compared with the existing cab, so while not a cab extension of the magnitude seem on the DAF XG, Merc could be following Scania’s move to extend the rear cab wall as much as possible to give the driver a few extra inches of room inside.

The casing hides what are likely to be the most significant visual changes but it certainly looks like the front grille could be noticeably different and indeed launch pictures of an eActros 600 suggests a smooth front panel as opposed to a noticeable grille. The wheel-arches also seem to be slightly smoother and round in their profile which, like the cab, points to Merc’s designers looking to make the truck as rounded as possible.

However, interestingly, the test truck still retails kerbside and front view mirrors and implies Merc might still be reluctant to follow DAF and MAN’s lead in digitising these, which seems mildly baffling… unless it’s just a ‘smokescreen’!

On the diesel front, Mercedes recently updated its OM471 engine to its third variant. This engine, a 12.8-litre straight six, is Merc’s benchmark diesel engine appealing to a wide range of hauliers with its 421, 449, 476, 510 and 530hp offerings. It overlaps with the OM470 which goes up to 456hp.