Wednesday 22 September 2021

DAF unveils new truck lineup

DAF has revealed its New Generation truck range – including the new XF, XG and XG+ vehicles – which will begin production in October, starting with 4×2 tractors and rigids.

The manufacturer is claiming an up to 10 per cent improvement in overall fuel efficiency and equivalent reduction in CO2 emissions, owing to both aerodynamic and driveline innovations – as well as a suite of passive and active safety features and a variety of driver comfort developments.

The trucks, which are the result of more than €1 billion in development investment, have undergone more than 20 million km of functional, durability, reliability and customer testing.

DAF’s new lineup takes advantage of new European regulations on masses and dimensions, which allow a 160mm elongation of the cab to enable aerodynamic and safety benefits.

Computational fluid dynamics have been used to create an aerodynamically tapered cab, says the manufacturer, thanks to high quality sealing, large radii, a curved windscreen, digital cameras instead of mirrors, DTM racing car mud guards, and optimised engine and under-cab airflow.

Ron Borsboom, executive director, DAF product development, explained: “Our aim was to develop the most energy-efficient truck ever. And indeed, aerodynamics played a crucial role.

“Using highly advanced computer simulations and full-scale testing, we explored various cab shapes, including one with a significant nose. And contrary to what you might expect, we learned that a shape like this only gives one per cent of additional air drag benefit, but comes with a significant penalty in weight.

“So the bottom line is that there is no advantage at all, as the fields of vision and manoeuvrability are also far from optimal. Extensive aerodynamic studies have revealed the lowest air drag, which comes with a 16 centimetre elongated front.”

The XG and XG+ create a new premium market segment, the firm says, with 330mm of extra cab length at the rear for increased space and comfort, and on the XG+, a roof that is 200 mm higher.

The New Generation range benefits from the introduction of the new Paccar MX-11 and MX-13 engines, which feature new injectors, cylinder block and head, and pistons and liners. A new generation turbocharger has also been included, as well as new air compressors, oil pumps and alternators.

The engine aftertreatment system is also newly designed, with the exhaust positioned over the chassis for improved efficiency. All these features are said to result in higher torque.

The standard TraXon automated transmission includes automated drive-off-gear-selection and urge-to-move.

The low weights and sophisticated driver assistance systems are also said to further the vehicles’ efficiency, with the DAF Connect fleet management system providing time-saving over-the-air software updates.

Service intervals have increased to 200,000km or once a year with a long drain option.

Predictive functionalities include enhanced EcoRoll, as well as preview downhill speed control.

The new DAFs come replete with features to enhance safety, including the large windscreen and large side windows with ultra-low belt lines for improved direct vision. An optional kerb view window is available which, in combination with a foldable co-driver seat, provides an unobstructed view of pedestrians and cyclists next to the cab on the nearside.

The new DAF Digital Camera system can replace the main and wide-angle mirrors; the arms are retractable and the cameras are heated, which is said to enable an excellent view under all conditions. Meanwhile a Corner View system, replacing kerb and front view mirrors, offers maximum visibility of the area around the cab’s A-pillar on the co-driver side.

The cab has integrated safety zones at the front and rear. With the DAF patented Procadis cab displacement system, on impact the cab will move rearwards while remaining connected to the chassis, ensuring survival space for the driver.

DAF also claims ‘class-leading’ ergonomics, with all driving-related functions operated from the steering wheel and steering column stalks. Secondary functions are operated from physical switches on the dashboard.

Driver assistance systems include Low Speed Trailer Brake for safe trailer coupling and decoupling, and Park Brake Assist, which engages all brakes alongside the parking brake to ensure the truck won’t move during the loading or unloading of extremely heavy goods.

DAF has also included energy-efficient LED lighting throughout the truck including front, side and rear lighting, citing the special attention paid to the low and high-beam headlights, including the signature daytime running lights.

The manufacturer highlights the quality of materials deployed in the new designs, with lightweight, high-strength steel used for the cab structure, and ‘premium soft touch’ materials and leather deployed throughout the interior.

Driver comfort has been boosted, says DAF, in the XG+ in particular, whose 12.5 cubic-metre volume offers 14 per cent more space than the current DAF XF Super Space Cab. The new cab creates unprecedented adjustment ranges for the seats and steering column, adds the manufacturer, and both driver and co-driver seats can be rotated to a relaxing position.

The fully digital instrument panel on the dashboard can be customised to drivers’ personal preferences, and an optional second touchscreen display is available for the DAF Navigation and Infotainment System.

Where overnight comfort is concerned, the new bed length is 2,220 mm in all models, with 800 mm of width over the complete length in the XG and XG+ models. A mechanical or electrically adjustable DAF Relax Bed with a separate topper is available for optimal head, back and leg support while resting. The new rear wall panel allows operation of the sound system, climate, windows and roof hatch, with a surveillance mode available to see what is happening around the truck through the cameras.

Ambient LED lighting is adjustable for brightness and colour, while a fully integrated Park Airco is available on the XG+ for automatic cab cooling and heating, even when the engine is off.

Also contributing significantly to driver comfort, DAF says, is the trucks’ ride and handling, enabled by the new chassis front-end design, cab suspension and rear axle suspension.

The lineup has been designed for the latest bio and renewable e-fuels to help further decarbonise road transport, says DAF, and is ready to run on HVO and future carbon-neutral fuels.

In its video presentation the manufacturer showcased an early battery electric prototype, and said the new truck platform would also be capable of running on hydrogen, though it was “still under evaluation” whether this would be in the form of fuel cells or hydrogen combustion engines. An early XF prototype with H2 combustion engine (pictured, right) is in development.

A promotional video showcasing the features of the new vehicles can be viewed below.

More information is available from DAF at:

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