Marking a significant milestone in its over two-decade-old India journey, Volvo Buses India, a division of VE Commercial Vehicles Limited, launched the next-gen Volvo 9600 platform. The first offerings on this platform are factory-built sleeper and seater coaches in 15m 6×2; and 13.5m 4×2 configurations.
Setting a benchmark in luxury and comfort, the Volvo 9600 has been derived from award-winning European design. The distinctive tall boy design marries fine aesthetics with generous space. The 15m seater coach has a passenger capacity of 55, whereas the sleeper coach has 40 berths. The seater and sleeper applications incorporate 15.1 cu.m and 9.2 cu.m of luggage space respectively. The 13.5m coach seats up to 47 passengers, while the sleeper variant hosts 36 berths. The corresponding luggage space for the seater and sleeper variants are 13.6 cu.m and 8.1 cu.m respectively.
Speaking on the occasion, Vinod Aggarwal, MD & CEO, VE Commercial Vehicles, said, “The goal of our bus division at VECV is to shape the future of the Indian bus industry, and to transform public mobility. I am proud to present the Volvo 9600 which takes the next step in luxury, comfort, and safety – values that all of us associate with Volvo Buses.”
Akash Passey, President, Bus Division, VECV, said, “The Volvo 9600 platform merges award winning bus design, technology and manufacturing processes with our successful ‘Make-In-India’ journey. As the bus industry recovers from a very tough period, Bus Operators continue to count on us to deliver solutions that address the aspirations of inter-city passengers for safe, luxurious, and globally contemporary coaches.
Like its predecessors, the coaches on the Volvo 9600 platform will be manufactured at the state-of-the-art Hosakote plant, that has a track record of producing fully built Volvo premium buses since 2008.
At the heart of the Volvo 9600 platform is the tried, tested, powerful and fuel-efficient Volvo D8K (8-litre) engine, delivering a power of 260kW (350hp) @ 2200 RPM and a torque of 1350 Nm @ 1200-1600 RPM. The fuel-efficient engine along with its purpose-developed drivetrain is designed to minimize TCO and maximize uptime for bus operators. The chassis includes the I-Shift automated manual gearbox, electronic braking system (EBS) Hill start aid and Electronic Stability Program (ESP) systems.
The 9600 platform is extremely driver friendly. It has an all new ergonomically designed curved dashboard with controls for easy accessibility. Further, air-suspended seats with adjustable headrest ensure a fatigue-free experience for the driver.