DAF’s power in­jec­tion

Owner Driver - - Owner/Driver -

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

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