VOLVO BUSES REBOOTS 9400 RANGE IN SYNERGY DRIVE
When the Bengaluru-based Volvo Buses launched its new 9400 intercity coach range some weeks ago, it was part of a strategic business plan, in which also the Volvo-Eicher joint venture VE Commercial Vehicles was involved, and which concerned replacing also some engines in the current fleet
The 12, 13.8 and 14.5-metre coaches within the 9400-brand umbrella have had engines of seven, nine and 11 litres that are BS III-compliant and imported from Europe. With the new BS IV regime coming into force from April this year, Volvo Project work was then carried out for two years to see how this engine, which is already Euro 6-compliant, could adapt to the 12-metre coach. It is a Volvo engine being made at VECV with extra horsepower and better torque characteristics than the earlier seven-litre engine. The next task on hand was to cater to the 13.8 and 14.5-metre buses being powered by nine and 11-litre engines each. They had to be upgraded to BS IV too, and this is when Volvo decided to have 11-litre engines for both. Hence, the 13.8-metre coach would get 370 hp while its 14.4-metre sibling would belt out 410 hp.The idea was to ensure that any new offering from Volvo should be better better than its predecessor in terms of performance characteristics. Using the same engine and hp would mean compromising and the company, therefore, decided to increase the hp quotient so that the 11-litre performance parameters would be different. In addition, there are a number of features in the new range which include styling in the front and rear. And while the bus body code is still not in force, the company says it is fully compliant when it is ready to roll. This thought process extends to performance and safety where the idea is to be future-ready.