Volvo is to introduce the tri-axle B8L double-decker bus chassis to the UK in partnership with bodybuilders Alexander Dennis, MCV and Wrightbus as a niche product that will seat up to 100 passengers.
The B8L was developed for Hong Kong and Singapore as a replacement for the Euro 5 B9TL. Its arrival in the UK marks a return of a tri-axle double-decker bus option to Volvo’s range after a multi-year gap.
The B8L is 600kg lighter like-for-like than the B9TL. When combined with an offset, in-line engine, that gives a fuel efficiency gain of 10%, says Commercial Sales Director Phil Owen.
A variety of body layouts will be available, including one or two doors. Air-conditioning will be optional.
Power is from the D8K engine rated at 350bhp coupled to a ZF EcoLife gearbox, and Volvo foresees annual volumes of between 20 and 50. Front and centre modules are shared with the established B5TL chassis.
Besides fleet buyers, Volvo predicts a demand from the retail sector for the B8L. An unbodied chassis will be displayed on Volvo’s stand at Euro Bus Expo next week.