The unusual combination of high hardness and very low friction coefficient are the most attractive tribological parameters of DLC (diamond-like carbon) layers. However, their usability is strongly restricted by the limited thickness due to high residual stress. The main goal of the presented work was to obtain thick, wear resistant and well adherent DLC layers while keeping their perfect friction parameters. As a proposed solution a Ti-TixCy gradient layer was manufactured as the adhesion improving interlayer followed by a thick diamond-like carbon film. This kind of combination seems to be very promising for many applications, where dry friction conditions for highly loaded elements can be observed. Both layers were obtained in one process using a hybrid deposition system combining PVD and CVD techniques in one reaction chamber. The investigation was performed on nitrided samples made from X53CrMnNiN21-9 valve steel. Structural features, surface topography, tribological and mechanical properties of manufactured layers were evaluated. The results of the investigation confirmed that the presented deposition technique makes it possible to manufacture thick and well adherent carbon layers with high hardness and very good tribological parameters. Preliminary investigation results prove the possibility of application of presented technology in automotive industry.