One of the most well rounded and impressive displays at IAA this year was that of the Paccar subsidiary DAF which unveiled its new XD range aliong with electric versions of both the new XD and recently upated XF.
When Paccar paid $US524 Million for the DAF truck operation in 1996, many thought that they paid too much and that it may have been a mistake.
However for anyone visiting the IAA in Hannover this week the DAF stand would have been a fair demonstration that the Paccar investment, just over a quarter of a century ago, was a masterstroke that has given Paccar far more than profits alone and made DAF a star of the European truck industry.
DAF, these days projects an image of self-assurance and design cues that make its trucks stand out on the road and an image that is clearly winning the brand increased sales and market share. Paccar’s investment has given DAF not just the capital it needed to match the likes of Volvo and Daimler, but also the technical input to put it on an equal footing with its European opponents. Paccar has also gained from DAF’s engine expertise and spawned the MX power plants that are now Paccar’s proprietary engines across the globe.
Underlining DAF’s position in the European market was underlined with the new XF/XG range winning this year’s International Truck of the Year award as part of the IAA show.
Evidence of this self-assurance came with the trucks it had on its stand including its New Generation XD models, the latest series from the Eindhoven based company, which will sit alongside its XF and XG models. The XD series is aimed at the distribution market and in vocational applications with a new XDC particularly aimed at the construction market
DAF also joined the industry race towards a zero emission future unveiling electric versions of the new XD as well as the XF.
DAF is claiming that the trucks use a new modular driveline and offering ranges between 200 and 500 kms on a single charge with both the XD and XF Electrics to be available in both rigid and prime mover variants.
Both trucks will use Paccar’s own e-motors with outputs from 170 to 350 kW (230 to 480 hp) combined with battery packs of up to five strings expanding the range and usability up to around 500kms.
The XD and XF Electrics are set to be assembled on a brand-new production line at DAF’s Eindhoven base in The Netherlands with series production set to start in the second quarter of 2023.
For Australians though, we may have to wait some time before we see the new XD, with our archaic and much criticised truck width rules proving a hurdle for the Paccar brand. The Euro standard 2.55 metre width rule means that the new DAF, both Diesel and Electric versions , like many Euro products, exceed the Aussie rules by the grand sum of five cm. Hopefully at some point in the near future this lunacy will be stopped.
It is clear from looking at the new DAFs that there is a clear family DNA running through the XD, XF and XG with the cab design of the XD featuring similar large, curved windscreen with large side windows with an low waist line for enhanced vision, underlining that now distinct DAF styling.
The XD has an even lower waist than XF which works with the 17cm lower cab position to deliver better all-round vision, particularly in the urban environments where these trucks will work the most. There is also a new ‘Vision Dashboard’, which is contoured towards the windscreen on the passenger side.
A Kerb view window is optional along with a foldable co-driver seat both of which enhances a drivers view of other vehicles, people or cyclists next to the truck on the kerb side, along with DAF’s Digital Vision System and Corner View to assist the driver in sighting potential hazards.
Key power plant for the ‘ICE’ XD models is the new MX-11 engine, mated to the ZF TraXon automated transmission with the availability of PTO’s, body attachment modules and connectors to enhance their flexibility and user friendliness.
The New XD comers in a range of cab configurations including Day, Sleeper and Sleeper High Cab while the trucks are available with an array of 4×2 and 6×2 axle configurations, both prime mover and rigids with DAF set to start production in early October.
As previously mentioned the New Generation XDC and XFC were also unveiled with both pitched toward the construction sector offering single or double drives with two, three and four axle configurations for particular requirements in the vocational and construction segment.
The XDC will be available with the MX-11 exclusively, while the XFC will be available with both the MX-11 and the MX-13 engine. DAF said the construction models have been designed to handle the tough work under the harsh conditions and feature a robust bumper, a sturdy grille and a steel radiator protection plate boast a large approach angle as well as a high ground clearance for better off road performance.