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ZF presents successor to top-selling EcoLife Offroad transmission

With EcoLife Offroad 2, ZF says it is bringing forth a worthy successor to its top-selling transmission in the heavy-duty emergency vehicles segment.

The seven-speed automatic transmission delivers robust power transmission in the toughest off-road conditions. With numerous improvements, ZF claims EcoLife Offroad 2 offers better performance at lower costs.

The permissible motor-side torque has been increased to 3,000 Nm (over 4,000 Nm behind the integrated torque converter) and that of the two engine-dependent PTOs to 1,000 Nm.

One of the most striking upgrades compared to the predecessor is a new optional interface for a directly mounted transfer case. In this way, EcoLife Offroad 2 saves valuable installation space and gives OEMs free rein to install and develop new platforms.

Furthermore, the model range is now start-stop capable – which is an important function considering stricter emission regulations.

That’s also the purpose of the optimised torsional damper. It ensures smoother operation, less noise due to engine vibrations, and lower target engine speeds – which, again, reduces fuel consumption. The torque converter is available in different versions for more flexibility, allowing the transmission to be optimally adapted to the characteristics of any given engine.

In addition, the EcoLife Offroad 2 has a specially developed transmission stepping. Thanks to the seamless transitions, drivers won’t ever have to forgo the shifting comfort ZF is famous for, even on tough terrain.

In the search for a lightweight solution, the forged converter cover carries some weight too – and quite literally so. Thanks to its optimised design, it renders the transmission four kilograms lighter. The transmission housing made of special high-performance aluminium is another novelty. It has been specially designed and tested for extreme loads in off-road operation.

The cooling performance has also been improved. The optimised dual cooling system – comprising a newly developed transmission oil cooler and a separate heat exchanger for the integrated retarder – cools the transmission in tough off-road use and increases braking power through the retarder in many situations.

The transmission cooling circuit is now designed for higher coolant pressures in order to meet the increased requirements of state-of-the-art engines. Thus, it also satisfies the demands that come with heavier vehicles.

Tried and true, the high efficiency and power-to-weight ratio, fording capability and ZF Smart Driveline Torque Control remain unchanged. The latter intelligent transmission function detects and processes the torque generated even in more powerful engines so that the driveline is never overloaded.

Moreover, the oil level sensor, which is now installed as a standard feature, ensures greater comfort and safety as it puts an end to the tiresome fiddling around with the oil dipstick that is often difficult to use. The new transmission electronics comply with the latest legal requirements and are protected against potential cyber attacks.

ZF Aftermarket will be exhibiting at this year’s Auto Trade EXPO, which takes place alongside the CV Workshop EXPO from Saturday and Sunday, October 15-16 at the RDS Simmonscourt in Dublin.