DAF has introduced a completely new line-up of drivelines for the LF range. The combination of new engines and gearboxes is claimed to improve fuel efficiency by up to 7%.
The existing engine offering on the LF has now been replaced by the new Cummins-made Paccar PX-5, with 4.7 litres and 4 cylinders, and the 6.7-litre, 6-cylinder PX-7. Between them, they offer seven ratings from 170hp to 310hp.
Technical improvements include a new cylinder block in lightweight Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI), containing new low-friction pistons, and a cast-iron cylinder head. Externally, there is a new wastegate turbocharger and increased efficiency compressors. Peak torque is now developed from lower engine speeds, to match the trend for down-speeding. The standard transmission is the ZF PowerLine, detailed below, with 6- and 8-speed manuals and Allison autos, available as options. The most revolutionary aspect of the new LF driveline is the first application of the ZF PowerLine 8-speed transmission in a European on-highway truck, although certainly not the last.
Bucking the trend to automated manual transmissions, the PowerLine is a planetary unit driven through a torque converter.
It draws heavily on the design of the ZF 8HP automotive transmission, which since 2013 has achieved a remarkable presence on vehicles ranging from the Iveco Daily and MAN TGE to the Aston Martin Vanquish and Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII. The truck version features four gear sets giving eight forward ratios.
Torque capacity on the already launched US version is 1,350Nm, with a GVW capacity of 57,000lb (25.85 tonnes). The traditional torque converter slippage is all but eliminated with a smart lock-up system engaged as soon as the truck is moving, together with twin torsional dampers. When it stops again in traffic, its Idle Neutral Control disengages drive.
Other features include: multiple block-shifting capability; hill hold; Motion DRD, which allows switching from forward to reverse without being at a complete standstill; and rock-free mode. A useful safety feature is Auto Park, which engages the Park mode as soon as manufacturer-set parameters, such a door opening, are met.
With an integrated mechatronics and electronic control unit, with just a single electrical connector and no external speed sensors, reliability should be good. It can be fitted with dual side-mounted engine speed PTOs, each supplying 650Nm. Maintenance is reduced by long oil change intervals and
a lifetime filter.