Exclusive: DAF XF – Design Story
An exclusive design story behind the XF, the new flagship model of the DAF trucks line-up.
With the design of the new XF long-distance truck, the team led by DAF’s Design Director Bart van Lotringen, set themselves the challenge of designing an impressive and attractive truck that takes into consideration the technical implications of Euro 6.
“Euro 6 engines require a lot more cooling, which automatically meant that a larger grille was required. For us, this grille was therefore the starting point for developing a new image that looks impressive, proud and refined “
“We arrived at the basic shape of the grille by taking the lines of the traditional recognizable DAF lower grille and continuing them upwards” explains van Lotringen.
The new grille gives the truck one coherent design, rather than making it look like a chassis with a cabin on top, like other trucks you see on the road.
The horizontal chrome elements give the truck a high-quality appearance, as you would expect from a flagship model.
This integrated look also gives the truck more of a vertical orientation and shows therefore confidence by standing more upright.
The panel above is large, to be able to have the operators logo well placed there.
Looking at the truck, you immediately notice that the grille appears to be closed – and one might wonder whether that would create issues in terms of cooling.
But by applying louvers that are positioned perpendicular to the viewing angle you can’t see through them. It’s a clever optical illusion where the grille is in fact completely open when viewed from below.
On a truck it is extremely important to have good bright light, both while moving or at relative low speed for maneuvering or at crossings.
The DAF XF is equipped with optional LED headlights, a truck-industry first, using reflector-technology instead of lens-projector type. Together with the optional fog- and cornering lights it provides excellent vision around the truck in the area’s where it’s needed.
“We integrated a venturi into the headlight casing – it is barely visible. The air that flows through there keeps the sides of the cabin clean, so the driver won’t get his hands dirty when getting into the truck.”
The grille contour as a visual element of the design has been incorporated into many elements of the interior. The steering wheel, with its logically positioned buttons, is just one example.
Even the rear wall of the cabin is dominated by the flowing lines found in the grille, worked out into the storage panel.
The dash has a precise instrument look and contains the so-called Drivers Performance Assistant.
This device assists the driver positively to drive more fuel-efficient, as this factor can make up to 10-15 % difference in fuel economy.
At the back of the interior the rear wall storage panel was created with more storage space to provide plenty of room for magazines. It also includes cup holders and a charging point for the mobile phone.
“A bed, by the way, is always a one-piece unit at DAF. We will never do it any other way”, says van Lotringen.
“A one-piece mattress is much more comfortable [...]. Our beds set the standard in the industry and we intend to keep it that way.
“We do not change things just for the sake of it. We retain the good elements and make improvements where there is scope to do so.”, explains van Lotringen.
(Image Courtesy: DAF for Car Body Design)