DAF gives Australia a taste of new XF, CF and LF

By: Rob McKay

Paccar seeks to replicate the make’s European success in Australia

DAF gives Australia a taste of new XF, CF and LF
The new DAF range on display


The new series of DAF heavy vehicles that have pushed the Dutch make into European top three has been put through an introductory driving course at the Mt Cotton testing facility in southern Queensland.

The Euro 6 models that parent Paccar Australia put into the hands of dealers and truck journalists were the XF, CF and LF, the first two of which picked up Europe’s International Truck of the Year awards in 2018.

"Every part of this truck has been improved in one way or another," DAF Trucks Australia general manager Felipe Rubio says in emphasising its development.

Rubio reveals that Paccar in Australia transitioned assembly in Australia from Euro 5 models to Euro 6 two weeks ago and he expects the new MX-11 engine to feature in trucks rolling off the line by year’s end.

While Paccar and DAF officials are keen to emphasise the sheer range of upgrades on show, lower fuel use – put at 10 per cent on the Euro 5 model of a decade before – is underlined.

The split in the 10 per cent is drive train 6.8 per cent, integration and software 2.1 per cent, aerodynamics 0.7 per cent and the new climate control system 0.4 per cent

"Building on the excellent reputation for fuel efficiency, reliability and driver comfort, the Euro 6 DAF range has earned in Europe, DAF has developed a new generation of XF and CF trucks offering the best possible solutions for both the customer and the driver," Paccar Australia director sales and marketing Brad May says.

"Backed by our extensive and professional dealer network, the new trucks have superseded the existing range with exceptional advancements."

Lower fuel consumption is put down to:

  • new Paccar MX-11 and redesigned MX-13 engines
  • new TraXon automated gearboxes
  • new high efficiency rear axles with new faster ratios
  • advanced powertrain software features
  • aerodynamic optimisations
  • battery energy monitoring
  • new Paccar engine brake
  • new Exhaust After-treatment System.

But emphasis is also put on the integration of the drive line.

The MX engines feature a more efficient turbocharger, a new EGR system and a new valve actuation design.

"Thermal efficiency has been enhanced by developing a new combustion system, including new pistons, injectors and injection strategies, while higher compression ratios are employed," DAF says.

"New highly efficient variable speed cooling, steering and oil pumps are also used to achieve lower fuel consumption.

"Decreasing parasitic load off the engine further assists in reducing the load on the engine."

A key principle when developing the new drivelines was to reduce engine revs for improved fuel efficiency. The MX-13’s maximum torque of has been increased and is available from 900 rpm to allow down speeding of the engine.

The top-of-the range MX-13 engine produces 390 kW (530hp) – up 20hp on previously, aided by larger cooling system – and 2,600 Nm of torque at 1,000 rpm.

The engines are coupled with the latest generation of TraXon automated gearboxes that are standard on the new XF and CF series with the 12-speed being standard and a 16-speed optional.

Orchestrating performance is a new electric and electronic architecture. It introduces a new vehicle control unit for dedicated driveline integration.

Beyond the metal, officials were at pains to emphasise driver safety and comfort, trumpeting its extremely quiet running, with the new TraXon transmission said to be 35 per cent quieter.

The alphabet soup of standard safety gear includes:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
  • Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
  • Advanced Emergency Braking System (AEBS)
  • Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS)
  • Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)
  • side camera
  • LED lighting for better illumination and visibility, and cornering lights.

If a collision cannot be avoided, DAF is introducing its Protective Cab Suspension Construction, a proprietary technology that helps to absorb a significant part of the collision energy and allows the cab to be slide back on the rails, "thus protecting the driver and enabling easy access for emergency services".

Read how the new DAF CF made a splash at the Brisbane Truck Show, here

While the big-ticket items gain the lion’s share of praise and attention, DAF NV area manager Mick de Boer is keen to bring ATN’s attention to a series of less obvious details that aim to help drivers and owners alike.

Starting at the front, some may seem a tad minor in the scheme of things, such as the space opened up above the grill to cater for added livery.

Others are altogether more practical.

So, there is a forward-facing camera set beneath the sun visor, its position affording better vision of the lines on the road.

The bumper is steel and bull-bar fitment is possible.

Headlights have the very solid Lexan lenses and are recessed to help lessen the chance of impact.

The grill has a series of hidden steps that allow driver access to the windscreen.

Niftily, the latch for the grill is situated inside the passenger door, for security of coolant and oil reservoirs.

"In that way, you can only open the grill if you open the door," de Boer says.

"Another thing we did, we cascaded these step inward a little bit, so it’s easier to find your footing when you can’t see the steps."

The fuel pre-filter and water separator are on the passenger side, positioned protectively between the front wheel and the fuel tank.

"Fuel quality is very important to these trucks because the fuel system is quite sensitive," de Boer notes.

Next to the driver’s seat is electric remote control device that allows the back to raise and lower to aid hitching and unhitching of trailers.

It allows for the memory setting of height for operations where trailers are uniform, and has a default button to return to original height. It can also control the trailer axles in compatible trailers.

The DPF and the SCR are held in a near-square container, just behind the driver’s door and as close as possible to the engine.

It is half the size of the previous Euro 6 iteration and, as an option, can be tilted in heavy rigids to allow for crane lights.

The seats can be heated and cooled, while the mattress is "the thickest most luxurious available in the European market", de Boer says.

In a unique twist, de Boer says no competitors have the ability to fit a microwave in the cab in the space above the windscreen.

He also hails the ladder access to the upper bunk, which avoids the need to climb on interior surfaces.

Warranty is three years/750,000km.

"If you compare the vehicles that we have in Australia up to now to this vehicle, it’s a completely new vehicle – it’s not and update, it’s not a facelift, it’s a completely new vehicle," de Boer says.

"The chassis is different, the engines are different, the axles are different, the whole electronic suite is different."



Models: XF, CF, LF

Engines: Euro 6 MX-13 and MX-11

Power: 430hp, 480hp, 530hp and 370hp, 410hp, 450hp (distribution 300hp, 340hp)

Torque (max):  2,600Nm and 2,300Nm

Transmission: TraXon 12- or 16-speed.


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