DAF LF upgrades target fuel efficiency of 7%

Colin Barnett
October 20, 2022

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The existing engine offering on the LF has now been replaced by the new Cummins-made Paccar PX-5, with 4.7 litres and 4 cylinders, and the 6.7-litre, 6-cylinder PX-7.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.

About the Author


Colin Barnett

Colin Barnett has been involved in the road transport industry since becoming an apprentice truck mechanic and worked on Commercial Motor for 27 years

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