One of the big stories of 2024 is going to be launch of the DAF XG+ previewed at the Brisbane Truck Show last year. To set the scene for this new model, PowerTorque revisits our initial coverage of the XG+ written after our European Correspondent, Will Shiers test drove the new DAF range.
There is little doubt that one of the major talking points of the Brisbane Truck Show was the unveiling, by Paccar, of the DAF XG+. The new cabin was released in Europe in 2021, but it was the driveline which got everyone in Australia talking, an all new, lighter and more powerful engine from Cummins, the X15D, matched with the Eaton Endurant XD transmission, which has already shown, in the K220, that it is an AMT to match the European transmissions.
The other factor, leading to the excitement around the truck, is the design of the new cabin used in the XG+. This is a new design from the ground up and takes advantage of the new European regulations on dimensions and axle mass.
“The European Union introduced new masses and dimensions regulations, giving truck makers more freedom in terms of cab length, and thus encouraging them to push the boundaries with aerodynamics, safety and driver comfort,” said Will in his article. “A decade ago, most of the manufacturers were lobbying for exactly these changes, but funnily enough they fell silent more recently, after rolling out their (current length) new models.
“DAF however, bided its time and waited for the new regulations to come into force. And then it unleashed the new XF/XG/XG+ range, having embraced the longer dimensions.
“Ron Borsboom, director of product development at DAF Trucks, explained that the design process started seven years ago, with a completely clean sheet of paper. In the early days almost nothing was ruled out, and the Dutch truck maker even built a working prototype of a truck with a protruding nose, which wouldn’t have looked out of place on the front of a Japanese Bullet train.
“But this was quickly dismissed when tests revealed that the aerodynamic gains were barely any better than when using a subtle bulge. Other drawbacks included worse manoeuvrability, a higher production cost and a significant weight penalty.”
The final design, which is used on the front of all three New Generation DAF trucks, consists of a 160mm tapered protrusion. In addition to being more pedestrian friendly than a flat front, it boosts aerodynamics to the tune of 19 per cent, equating to a 6.3 per cent improvement in fuel economy compared with the previous XF.
Meanwhile, the XG and XG+ both get an additional 330mm of length at the back of the cab, while the flagship XG+ has 200mm of extra roof height too (see diagrams).