Allison Fully Automatic Transmission Proves Successful for New Zealand Truck Racing Team

A New Zealand truck racing team built a successful Freightliner Arogsy racing machine using a slightly modified Allison 4500 Series™ fully automatic transmission and is currently building a similarly equipped machine for an attempt on Land Speed records

AUCKLAND, April 7, 2022 - Dave West Motorsport built a custom racing truck in 2015 with an Allison 4500 Series™ fully automatic transmission for the New Zealand Supertruck Racing Championships. The transmission, which has been slightly modified for racing, is paired with a special mid-mounted Detroit Diesel Series 60 “Legacy” engine in a Freightliner Arogsy chassis. The racing truck has seen great success, capturing multiple class wins as well as taking a second and a third in the overall NZ Supertruck Racing Championships.

The outstanding performance and reliability of the Allison 4500 fully automatic transmission has meant that the team is now fitting another, new Allison 4500 Series to its latest project, a Freightliner M2 Supertruck, which will also be powered by a similar Detroit Diesel Series 60 modified race engine.

The new truck is an evolution of what the team has learned from the original machine and will also form the basis for an attempt on both the New Zealand and World land speed records for heavy trucks over both 0-500 metres and 0-1000 metres.

The combination of the high horsepower engine and the versatile Allison 4500 six-speed fully automatic transmission have proved an ideal match when it comes to both performance and reliability.

The Allison transmission and custom TCM were supplied by New Zealand’s Allison distributor, TransDiesel Ltd.

The Detroit Diesel Series 60 "Legacy" engine was modified for racing purposes by Terry Bistue of Detroit Diesel USA, while its DDEC engine management system has been custom programmed and uses a twin compounded turbo system, using approximately 70psi boost, and producing 1700 horsepower, along with a massive 4000 foot pounds of torque.

Despite such high horsepower and torque outputs the team has had remarkable reliability and race performance from the set up. The only issue was a minor problem in the early days of the race program, with flex plates breaking under extreme load while racing. However, TransDiesel formulated and implemented some engineering modifications and the issue is now thing of the past.

Dave West Motorsport was the first race team in New Zealand to use the Allison 4500 Series fully automatic transmission as its six speed option suited its requirements and allows it to keep the engine speed (rpm) down whilst still maintaining the governed maximum speed of 100mph (160km/h), which is mandated by the world motorsport authority, the FIA.

The other factor that led the team to choose the Allison 4500 Series was because the transmission TCM features a direct interface with the DDEC engine management system.

According to team spokesman Blair Jacobs, the Allison fully automatic transmission has only had regular maintenance and has never been opened in the seven years since it hit the race track.

“The choice of the Allison was a ‘no brainer’ as far as we were concerned,” said Jacobs.

“We wanted direct plug and play electronics so that engine and transmission would talk to each other without any complicated re-wiring or issues,” said Jacobs. “This allows us to custom tune shift points and wheel speed management for multiple tracks and weather conditions.”

The truck has proved a real favourite with New Zealand racing fans, not only in the NZ Supertruck Championship but with drag fans at burn out competitions around the country and on the hill climb course, at the world renowned Kiwi motor sport event, The Leadfoot Festival at Hahai on the Coromandel Peninsula near Auckland.

Apr 07, 2022


Allison Transmission (NYSE: ALSN) is a leading designer and manufacturer of vehicle propulsion solutions for commercial and defense vehicles, the largest global manufacturer of medium- and heavy-duty fully automatic transmissions, and a leader in electrified propulsion systems that Improve the Way the World Works. Allison products are used in a wide variety of applications, including on-highway trucks (distribution, refuse, construction, fire and emergency), buses (school, transit and coach), motorhomes, off-highway vehicles and equipment (energy, mining and construction applications) and defense vehicles (tactical wheeled and tracked). Founded in 1915, the company is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. With a presence in more than 150 countries, Allison has regional headquarters in the Netherlands, China and Brazil, manufacturing facilities in the USA, Hungary and India, as well as global engineering resources, including electrification engineering centers in Indianapolis, Indiana, Auburn Hills, Michigan and London in the United Kingdom. Allison also has approximately 1,600 independent distributor and dealer locations worldwide. For more information, visit