Exclusive: DAF XF – Design Story

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.

The new DAF XF

“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 “

DAF Design Director Bart van Lotringen DAF Design Team

“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.

New DAF XF - Design Sketch

DAF XF Front end detailThe result is an image that is completely new, but still recognizable as a DAF.

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.

New DAF XF - Design SketchWith the large DAF logo placed centrally at eye-level, within the aluminum-look panel, we created a proud impression that befits DAF’s position in the market.

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.

DAF XF - Scale model preparation DAF Design Studio

LED headlight

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.

DAF XF - LED headlight design meeting DAF XF - LED headlight details

“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.”

Interior Design

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.

DAF XF - Exterior keylines DAF XF - Exterior keylines

The dash has a precise instrument look and contains the so-called Drivers Performance Assistant.

DAF XF - Interior design sketch DAF XF - Interior keylines

This device assists the driver positively to drive more fuel-efficient, as this factor can make up to 10-15 % difference in fuel economy.

DAF Instrument Precision look DAF Driver Performance Assistant

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.

DAF XF Interior DAF XF Interior

DAF XF Interior - view on bedThis freed up space at the head end of the bunk, which allowed to extend the bottom bunk to 2.2 meters”

“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)

Image Gallery

Exclusive: DAF XF - Design Story - Image 7
Exclusive: DAF XF - Design Story - Image 23
Exclusive: DAF XF - Design Story - Image 6
Exclusive: DAF XF - Design Story - Image 15
Exclusive: DAF XF - Design Story - Image 9
Exclusive: DAF XF - Design Story - Image 22
Exclusive: DAF XF - Design Story - Image 4
Exclusive: DAF XF - Design Story - Image 20
Exclusive: DAF XF - Design Story - Image 19

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