DAF’s power injection
It stood out like a cowboy in clogs but Paccar Australia had good reason to take a DAF CF85 model to Mt Cotton for test drives alongside its new Kenworths.
The CF85 is justifiably regarded by some Paccar people as the most appealing model in the DAF range and, more to the point perhaps, the model with the greatest potential to deliver the company’s longheld hope of the Dutch truck climbing to a higher rung on the heavy- duty sales ladder.
DAF is, after all, a major player on the European truck scene and widely acknowledged as one of the most fuel- efficient trucks in the business.
Still, the Australian market is proving a hard nut to crack, with DAF recording a meagre 2.9 per cent of the heavy- duty sector in 2016 on the delivery of just 285 units. In the medium- duty class it notched only 34 sales.
Yet there now seems a new emphasis and effort to do better. Adding significantly more sting to the CF85’s appeal is the recent introduction of a 510hp ( 375kW) version of the 12.9-litre MX engine.
It is, of course, much the same engine used in Kenworth’s T409 range but, until now, peak outputs in the CF85 were limited to 460hp ( 338hp) and 1700ft-lb of torque.
However, the engine known as the MX 375 delivers 510hp ( 375kW) from 1500 to 1900rpm and a much healthier torque peak of 1850ft-lb ( 2500Nm) between 1000 and 1410rpm.
Coupled to the engine is the 16- speed version of ZF’s AS-Tronic automated transmission, while on the options list is Eaton’s RTLO-20918 18- speed overdrive manual.
Towing a flat-top trailer loaded with concrete blocks, the DAF displayed the smooth, quiet manners you’d expect for a European truck and showed ample determination on the couple of pinches around the Mt Cotton circuit.
But for a more ‘real-world’ assessment, we’ll be soon be taking the 510hp CF85 on a much longer run to see just how well this revitalised Dutchman copes with the ups and downs of country work.
Again, stay tuned.
A touch of Dutch. DAF CF85 has been boosted with the 510hp version of Paccar’s 12.9 litre MX engine