The current mail truck—the slab-sided, sliding-door, ubiquitous yet invisible white box perpetually pulled off to the side of the road—will soon follow the postal Jeep to that great dead-letter office in the sky. The U.S. Postal Service is shopping for a new ride, and that means proposals for the new mail truck are out testing, including this one by Turkish truckmaker Karsan. Will this be the vehicle that, when it appears outside your window, has you sprinting to the mailbox to see what bills and junk mail have arrived?
Maybe. Karsan is one of six manufacturers vying for the contract to replace the USPS’s aged Grumman/General Motors Long Life Vehicle (LLV) fleet, the newest of which is now 24 years old. Others participating in the Postal Service’s Next Generation Delivery Vehicle bid include Indian automaker Mahindra, South Bend’s AM General (of Hummer fame), Wisconsin’s Oshkosh (maker of MRAP military vehicles), Utilimaster from Indiana, and VT Hackney based in North Carolina.
The USPS is said to be looking for a vehicle with more cargo space for bulky packages, and given how tiny the driver of this vehicle looks behind the enormous windshield, this Karsan appears to be much larger than today’s truck. Other requirements include a sliding driver’s-side door and right-hand drive.
Styling, however, appears to be far down on the list, judging from this machine. We weren’t expecting something as handsome as a Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo or a Volvo V90—although that would be cool—but does it have to be this dorky?
We’ve already seen the Mahindra proposal (below), so you can judge for yourself whether that’s any better.
Meanwhile, delivery drivers probably will just be happy to have air conditioning (the current trucks don’t), along with a front airbag, tire-pressure monitors, a backup camera, daytime running lights, and ABS. The USPS is supposed to decide this year which of these new truck proposals will begin haulin’ the mail.