A relaunch of the Iveco Bus range to coincide with Euro VI-E showcases the Daily and its new accessible variant alongside integrated mobility solutions

As Euro VI Step E legislation took effect on new engines built from September, Iveco Bus took the opportunity to showcase its revamped model range in Milan in October at an event titled Enlight Your Way.

The models on display which will be of interest to UK and Ireland operators are the Daily integral offerings. In this case that includes the facelifted Tourys – the touring variant which Iveco says will be available in right-hand drive in the UK and Irish market – and the Access CNG, a low-entry variant currently available only in left-hand drive, designed around wheelchair users.

Iveco Daily Access CNG

As with the previous generation, the luxurious 7.5m Tourys features 19 comfort reclining passenger seats, upholstered in velvet and ecoleather with footrests, magazine nets, armrests on the aisle side, and two-point belts as standard (with optional three-point belts).

The dropped luggage compartment still holds 2.5m3 capacity and is accessed by a pantograph boot lid. LED-lit internal luggage racks provide what Iveco describes as best-in-class interior storage. Access for passengers is via a plug door. The interior features a glazed electric roof escape hatch and optional USB plugs. A flat floor version for accessible transport is also available.

Accessible newcomer

The Access is available in three versions in 7.1-8m lengths: A 7.1m central low-entry van-derived model, which features a 1.2m wide electrically operated double door in the centre of the vehicle and accommodation for 28 passengers and one wheelchair user. Joining it is an 8m central low-entry chassis-derived model, which features the same double door but accommodation for 25 passengers and wheelchair user.

Finally, a 7.5m rear low-entry model features a central single door and a double door in the rear overhang, with accommodation for 35 passengers and wheelchair user. Manual ramps are fitted as standard while an optional electric ramp can be specified.

The first European deliveries of the Daily Access are scheduled for early 2022, while discussions on a right-hand drive variant are ongoing. Such a variant according to Iveco bosses may reasonably be expected in the UK and Irish market by 2023, though that date is not firm.

However, Central Product Manager for the minibus Alessandro Giuliani reveals the UK market remains of keen interest to Iveco following Brexit and the pandemic.

In particular, there is space to grow registrations of the Daily in that market. “We could be doing better,” he admits. “We are interested in the UK market. I don’t need to tell you that the UK represents a large number of registrations for the minibus segment. But the UK market has some specific requirements in terms of accessible vehicles and this has led us to build a relationship with bodybuilders in the past years.

“Our engineering staff have been involved with the product development of the Daily Access, and for this reason we integrated the vehicle to be serviced by the Iveco network in the field. This in terms of tender bidding is a plus for us, because we understand that the larger operators would like to have just one interface.

“For this reason Iveco wanted to put this vehicle in the market with servicing around it, not just to sell it.”

That servicing forms part of the wider Iveco On offering, a series of digital services which aims to sell not just a product, but a service. This follows the publication of mobility as a service (MaaS) goals outlined by Iveco. Alessandro sees the vehicle being favoured for local authority tenders and for school transport. In the meantime, panel van and chassis units will still be provided to bodybuilders for conversion.

Enclosed driver’s cab on the Daily Access

New design and features

Diesel and natural gas engines power the Daily range with some hope for battery-electric applications in the future. Right now the range is available in two diesel power ratings at 180hp and 210hp and a 136hp compressed natural gas (CNG) version as in the Access. CNG engines are fully compatible with biomethane.

Two transmissions are available. Hi-Matic eight-speed automatic transmission is fitted as standard, giving the Daily best-in-class performance for environmental friendliness when mated to the CNG engine. A new six-speed manual gearbox also complements the range. The oil change interval for the manual gearbox has been extended to 350,000km, contributing to a maintenance and repair cost reduction of 4% according to the manufacturer.

Additional changes to the vehicle coming in the second quarter of 2022 include a new rear camera integrated into the infotainment system, and new Air-Pro adaptive rear air suspension with a continuous damping control unit to replace the outgoing WABCO setup. Iveco claims the system lowers vibrations by 25%.

“This represents an evolution in terms of rear air suspension for the Daily,” Alessandro says. “For us the model year 2022 has been an opportunity to put our hands on the fundamentals of the Daily in order to improve several aspects: The comfort for the driver, the comfort for the passenger with the Air-Pro, and the manual gearbox.”

The driver’s area within the Access variant is separated and features a touch screen integrated into the dashboard for vehicle functions. A technical compartment, accessible from the cabin, features on-board equipment. The door is equipped with a small window which allows the driver to complete manual ticketing.

One criteria that drove the cab design for the Access is the possibility for the end user to stow electrical equipment safely beside the driver. “This gives the customer the opportunity to install video surveillance, ticketing machines, or an amplifier for information to passengers,” Alessandro says.

The front door is thus only opened by personnel for maintenance purposes. The electrically operated double doors offer the same speed as pneumatic designs used in earlier applications. OEM air conditioning is available to the driver, while passengers benefit from a roof-mounted Webasto unit. Heating is by convector on the left side of the vehicle with an optional second fitted on the right-hand side.

All Dailys feature a suspended adjustable driver seat with lumbar support and headrest and memory foam cushioning.

New business models

The Daily, like all other Iveco Bus products, will be available with the full range of Iveco On digital services designed to reduce total cost of ownership, manage uptime and improve safety.

Iveco On promotes proactive maintenance and fleet management and features a telematics box connected to a dedicated “bus control room”. Data from the box is fed in real time to the control room allowing proactive support to operators.

Two packages are available. Smart Pack is included on all factory vehicles, giving access to smart reports, driving style evaluation data and the Iveco On customer portal.

An optional premium pack features modular and integrated services, including Verizon Connect Portal for real-time fleet management and a web application programming interface with ITxPT standard telediagnostics interoperability.

“At Iveco we’re dedicating a strong focus on reduced total cost of ownership and a shift from selling a product towards selling a service solution,” says Iveco Customer Service Director Marco Franza. “In order to achieve this objective, we’ve developed our Iveco On service. Iveco Bus is offering connected servicing designed around the needs of public transport operators to drive a significant improvement in total cost of ownership, uptime management, safety and security.”

These solutions are already available to customers while the online portal will be activated by the end of 2021.

“Iveco connected services are a step change in the shift from purchasing a vehicle to purchasing a complete transport solution,” adds Marco. “With a bus that is more than a vehicle, it is also part of the exchange of data in real time. And it comes with services that turns Iveco Bus into the customer advisor in fuel efficiency, proactive maintenance and safety.

“Iveco On continues to develop and grow as we constantly expand our offering with new services integrating new technology and the expansion into a MaaS ecosystem.”