DAF booms in Birmingham

Deals on Wheels - - New Truck Test -

Un­veil­ing one of the Euro­pean truck in­dus­try’s best-kept se­crets, DAF shocked com­peti­tors and vis­i­tors alike at the re­cent Birmingham Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cle Show in the UK with its show­case of a new gen­er­a­tion of CF and XF mod­els.

Build­ing on the strong mar­ket ac­cep­tance of its cur­rent Euro 6 mod­els through­out Europe and the UK, DAF says this new gen­er­a­tion of mod­els will go into Euro­pean pro­duc­tion later this year equipped with en­gine in­no­va­tions, new driv­e­lines and aero­dy­namic op­ti­mi­sa­tions that will de­liver up to 7 per cent lower fuel con­sump­tion than ex­ist­ing mod­els.

With its cur­rent MX-11 and MX-13 Euro 6 en­gines, DAF is al­ready re­garded as one of the most fuel-ef­fi­cient brands in the com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle in­dus­try.

How­ever, DAF prin­ci­pals in­sist the new ‘DAF Con­nect’ fleet man­age­ment sys­tem will drive even greater ef­fi­ciency gains.

Mean­time, the new-gen­er­a­tion CF and XF mod­els also fea­ture lower tare weight and up­dated in­te­rior and ex­te­rior de­signs for en­hanced driver com­fort and ap­peal.

“Build­ing on the ex­cel­lent rep­u­ta­tion for fuel ef­fi­ciency, re­li­a­bil­ity and driver com­fort, the cur­rent Euro 6 prod­uct range has earned in Europe, DAF has de­vel­oped a new gen­er­a­tion of CF and XF trucks of­fer­ing the best pos­si­ble so­lu­tions for both the cus­tomer and the driver,” DAF Trucks pres­i­dent Pre­ston Feight said at the de­but of the lat­est mod­els.

With Euro 6 en­gines re­quir­ing both SCR and EGR emis­sions sys­tems, DAF says the air man­age­ment of its Pac­car MX en­gines has been fur­ther im­proved by ap­ply­ing a more ef­fi­cient tur­bocharger, a new EGR sys­tem, and a new valve ac­tu­a­tion de­sign.

Ad­di­tion­ally, ther­mal ef­fi­ciency is said to be en­hanced by de­vel­op­ment of a new com­bus­tion sys­tem com­pris­ing new pis­tons, in­jec­tors and in­jec­tion strate­gies in­clud­ing higher com­pres­sion ra­tios.

While torque peaks of both MX-11 and MX-13 en­gines have been in­creased, the big news is that the MX-13 has been boosted to a top rat­ing of 390kW (530hp) and 2600Nm of torque.

Fuel ef­fi­ciency has been fur­ther en­hanced with the ap­pli­ca­tion of low vis­cos­ity oils, lower oil lev­els in the rear axles and low fric­tion wheel end bear­ings.

In the driv­e­line, ZF’s ad­vanced TraXon au­to­mated trans­mis­sion will be stan­dard in the lat­est CF and XF mod­els.

Among a suite of ad­vances in both soft­ware and hard­ware, re­tar­da­tion power of the

Pac­car en­gine brake has also been im­proved. Max­i­mum brak­ing power of the MX-13 is now no less than 360kW and, in the im­por­tant 1200 to 1500rpm range, DAF says en­gine brak­ing power has in­creased up to 30 per cent.

La­belled a ma­jor in­no­va­tion in fleet man­age­ment, the DAF Con­nect sys­tem of­fers the truck owner real-time in­for­ma­tion on the per­for­mance of their ve­hi­cles and driv­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to DAF, in­for­ma­tion on ve­hi­cle lo­ca­tion, fuel con­sump­tion, mileage, fleet util­i­sa­tion and idle time are clearly pre­sented in an on­line dash­board that can be tai­lored to cus­tomer re­quire­ments.

DAF fur­ther ex­plains the user-friendly dash­board can be con­fig­ured to pro­vide com­pre­hen­sive fuel re­ports with cur­rent and his­tor­i­cal data that com­pares the fleet’s ve­hi­cles and driv­ers.

Mean­while, driver com­fort hasn’t been ig­nored with DAF, de­scrib­ing its lat­est mod­els as a ‘Driver’s Dream’ due to new in­te­rior trims, a new cli­mate con­trol sys­tem, up­graded in­stru­ment panel and dash­board lay­out, and, at the top of the tree, a lux­u­ri­ous ‘Ex­clu­sive Line’ op­tion avail­able in both CF and XF mod­els.

As Euro 6 mod­els, the new trucks won’t be ap­pear­ing in Aus­tralia any­time soon but, of course, when it comes to emis­sions reg­u­la­tions, there’s al­ways to­mor­row.

ROAD WORK

Ad­mit­tedly, it would’ve been good to have more weight in the Freighter trailer. But, even with gross weight at just 32.5 tonnes, there was plenty to keep the truck hon­est and, like­wise, more than enough to sam­ple the man­ners of a model on which so much hinges for the DAF brand.

For starters, this par­tic­u­lar unit was on its maiden voy­age with lit­tle more than 100km on the clock as the truck headed out of Pac­car HQ in Bayswa­ter, fol­lowed soon af­ter by a steep and sharply wind­ing route up and over the foothills of Vic­to­ria’s high coun­try. All up, the DAF would notch more than 600km of vastly vary­ing ter­rain, from coun­try back­roads to fast free­ways and stints in the ‘burbs to and from Bayswa­ter.

Yet other than a re­cent short run around Bris­bane’s Mt Cotton test track in the up­rated CF85, it’d been seven or eight years, maybe longer, since I’d last driven a DAF.

Still, it was quickly ap­par­ent that evo­lu­tion has had a hugely pos­i­tive in­flu­ence, and any pre­vi­ous con­cerns or even pre­sump­tions were quickly quashed as the CF85 strolled around the Mt Cotton cir­cuit with con­sum­mate ease and com­fort.

In short, there was plenty to like, and the op­por­tu­nity to run an iden­ti­cal model in re­al­world con­di­tions was sim­ply too good to miss.

The 510hp rat­ing is known in Pac­car par­lance as the MX375 and, like all MX en­gines used in Aus­tralia, in­clud­ing in Ken­worth’s T409 model, Euro 5 com­pli­ance is achieved with an SCR emis­sions sys­tem.

On the per­for­mance front, peak power of 375kW (510hp) is on tap from 1500 to 1900rpm and top torque of 2500Nm (1850lb-ft) from 1000 to 1410rpm. What th­ese fig­ures de­fine is an en­gine de­liv­er­ing an im­pres­sively strong and smooth sup­ply of ef­fort across a wide rev range.

Be­low: Classy – in­side the new CF model

Left: Dutch de­light – new­gen­er­a­tion DAF CF model

Above: Good match – per­for­mance of the 510hp Pac­car MX-13 en­gine through ZF’s 16-speed au­to­mated shifter is smooth and strong. Man­ual cab tilt, how­ever, is some­thing of a left­over th­ese days

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