DAF booms in Birmingham
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.
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