17 Jul 2018


At the beginning of the summer VDL Bus & Coach introduced in the hilly part of the Netherlands near Maastricht, the new generation of the VDL Futura. On the outside nothing has changed, but underneath VDL has done a complete make-over. The Futura is now equipped with a new DAF MX-11 engine and comes standard with the ZF TraXon robotised gearbox.

Also the VDL engineers succeeded in making the coach 100 kg lighter, gained after the rear axle resulting in an excellent handling and higher passenger capacity. New is also the "Predictive Powertrain Control", an intelligent cruise control system that takes into account the topographic driving situation. The engine compartment layout has been redesigned for greater efficiency and better accessibility, making easier to perform service work which makes it possible to save 6% on repair and maintenance.


Busworld had the possibility to try the new combination on the road. The first thing that is noticeable is that the Futura is much more quiet, at the outside as well inside. Also the extra power the MX engine and the TraXon are delivering can even be felt as a passenger. The Futura single-deckers are equipped with the Paccar/DAF MX-11 engine, available with various power ratings. The ZF TraXon robotised gearbox is standard, but VDL has the option for the fully automatic 6-speed ZF Ecolife. The maintenance intervals of the MX-11 and MX-13 have been increased to 100,000 km, with the possibility of an oil change interval of up to 200,000 km using synthetic oil.


DAF has managed to obtain the peak power at just 900 rpm. Depending on the power variant, the MX engines have 50 Nm to 300 Nm of extra torque. The combination of the 12 gears of the ZF Traxon and the new rear axle reduction of 1:2.71 results in a reduction of up to 100 rpm at a cruising speed of 100 km/h. This contributes to a fuel efficiency improvement with 3%.


The internal friction in the DAF MX engines has been reduced. The engine block, cooling, air inlet, bearings and pistons have been completely redesigned, and the compression ratio is increased. A new, more efficient turbo provides greater torque. The engine-driven components, such as the oil, water and power steering pumps, are of the continuously variable type and are only engaged when they are needed. This saves fuel and reduces wear.


The ZF Traxon is developed to reduce shifting times to avoid loss of traction power during the shifting moment. Sensors detect the speed to smoothen the shifting process. The Traxon features "Hill start.


The layout of the engine compartment is arranged for greater efficiency and better accessibility. This makes performing service work even easier and faster.


The VDL Futura with the new generation of DAF MX engines is also suitable for running on HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil). In comparison to ‘regular’ diesel it reduces CO2 emissions by up to 80%.

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