The German fair for medium and heavy duty road vehicles, IAA, is an event that is occuring every second year. After the economical crisis the last couple of years not much is new at the bus stands. However, Volvo sticks out as one of the few that has managed to develop new products during the recession.
The first day of IAA, 22nd of September, Volvo Bus Corporation simultaneously launched the new Volvo 8900 low entry bus and the new Volvo 9500 coach. Volvo Bus CEO Håkan Karlsson presented the thinking behind our new products and Noel Reculet, Senior Vice President and managing director of the European Market explained how the new buses will meet the future demands for efficient and high performing buses.
The new Volvo 8900 to the right and the new Volvo 9500 to the left
The 8900 is built with an aluminium body that reduce the weight further 800 kg, when compared to the 8700 with the D12 engine on three axles. My personal favourite engine the D7 engine (because of the excellent fuel consumption in busses all over the world) is now available also in our low entry buses with three axles, the Volvo 8900. Even if the strongest dicipline of the long 8900 with the D7 engine is and will remain the versatility from city to intercity it is still surprisingly strong also in up-hill driving. When sufficient declanation sets back the speed to 70 km/h for the old 8700 with a D12 engine the new 8900 will still defend its position with 65 brave km/h going up the same hill.
For the new 9500 coach the challenge will be to compete with the larger brother the Volvo 9700 coach. As opposite to the the 9700, the 9500 will be equipped with our fuel efficient 9-liter engine instead of the 13-litre engine for 9700.
We have now received the statistics from the first year with the D13 litre engine that we introduced in 2009 to meet Euro V. We find that the fuel consumption has decreased another 3% relative the B12B with a Euro IV engine in the same operation. It is no surprise since in the coach operation the strong engine torque together with the I-shift gearbox makes it possible to lower the rear axle ratio, to allow even lower engine speed for the D13 engine.