New commercial vehicle era?

DAF has big things in store, emphasizing a new level of driving comfort, quality, and improved economy. Visually, the Dutch have equally achieved great things. The new series feature the noticeably largest cabs in a sophisticated design on the European market!

Even before a customer’s first test drive, 8,000 orders have been placed – reason enough for the experts to be amazed. With the new XF, XG, and XG+ series, DAF is the first commercial vehicle manufacturer to implement the new regulations of the European Commission.

These will allow more leeway in the design of cabs in the future. The focus is on optimized flow behavior, reduced fuel consumption, and an overall improved eco-balance. This is to be achieved by a windshield sloping by 3° and sides tapering by 20°.

4 rooms, kitchen, bathroom – almost

In addition to the environment, however, consideration is also given to the drivers, who are spending more and more time in their trucks, especially in long-distance transport. The significantly larger cabs offer a more comfortable workplace – an important plus when drivers are hard to find. This ample space is used for swiveling seats, larger stowage compartments, a pull-out table, and a 2.22-meter-long bed with an almost continuous width of 80 cm.

Record dimensions on the market. The driver gets really cozy on the thick topper mattress in the electrically multi-adjustable relaxing bed. The XG has a standing height of between 1.98 and 2.10 m, the XG+ even 2.22 m. Almost enough space for stretching exercises before heading out on the road. To ensure that a semitrailer still fits behind the enlarged cabs, the wheelbase has increased from 3.60 m to a full 4.00 m in the maximum case.

Optimized visibility in all directions

As an option, DAF installs a mirrorless camera system whose images are displayed on large screens on both A-pillars. A further ticked box on the order list means that the ramp and windshield mirrors are also supplemented by an additional camera and a monitor in panoramic format above the right-hand side display. In practice, the system performs very well. The high-resolution

image swivels along when cornering, can alternatively be readjusted manually and, unlike other systems, does not show bright flashes from oncoming traffic with LED headlights. A classic feature returns to the cabin on request: an additional, low-lying side window in the right-hand door actively protects passers-by. It is double-walled, and the lowered side window slides in between.

The camera system replaces the exterior mirrors.

Vivid and quiet

Thanks to efficient aerodynamics with cameras, the new vehicles are said to save up to 6% fuel, and produce significantly less wind noise. New components and reduced engine weights save a further 3% diesel, and in total, DAF puts the potential at an impressive 10%. Propulsion is provided by the revised engines MX11 with 10.8 l and MX13 with 12.9 l displacement from Paccar. Compared to the previous series, torque increases in all engines, even if the unchanged horsepower figures do not indicate this. Things come to an

end at 530 hp. Up to now, a somewhat tough driving feel has been a frequent point of criticism, but this is now a thing of the past. The standard Traxon automatic transmission lets the engine rev a bit higher, and shifts a bit more vividly. Manual transmissions are no longer available. The new driving experience is accompanied by a pleasant quietness – no diesel-powered truck has ever been quieter. Alternative drive systems are planned for the newcomers, but are not yet available. Currently, the focus is on biofuel.

Expandable assistance systems

The assistance systems rank mid-level at the time of market launch. An acoustic lane warning system is available. Unfortunately, DAF does not offer a steering system with electric intervention. This means that semi-autonomous driving is not possible. A traffic jam warning system including brake

assistant ensures safety, but the anticipatory and automatically accelerating traffic jam assistant is missing. The same applies to a lane keeping assist system. DAF has announced that it will close these gaps in the near future. The standard LED light has a positive effect.

The difference is visible: The additional side window offers extra safety.

Comfortable lead for years

Without a doubt, you don’t get this development for free. The sum of the innovations justifies the price increase, even if it is drastic. With its new vehicles and huge cabs, DAF is establishing a league of commercial vehicles previously unknown in Europe, perhaps comparable to the move away from conventional trucks in the 1950s. A technical lead that cannot be taken over the upcoming years and could set a new course. The question arises as to why market

competitors with the star, the lion, or the rhombus completely disregard the newly created possibilities of the EU for vehicle design, and have only carried out small refreshments of their models during the facelifts not long ago. DAF will be happy with this, because the order books are full to bursting, indicating that DAF has seized a great opportunity and has assessed the needs of shipping companies better than other manufacturers.

Text: Frank Hadel
Photos: Jens Hadel, DAF
DAF XG+ tractor, white
DAF XG+ tractor, white
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