Van Hool has presented the successor to the T8, T9 and TX generations of coach with the unveiling of the new Van Hool T range.
A preview of preproduction models of the Van Hool T single-deck coaches took place in the manufacturer’s facility in Koningshooikt on 21 November, after being revealed to customers on 17 November. The new series will replace the existing TX series within the portfolio of Van Hool luxury coaches alongside the EX and TDX series, and “set the tone” for the brand over the next decade.
Models in 2023 will initially be marketed as the two-axle T Alicron in 12-13m, the T Acron in two-axle or three-axle variants in 10-14m, and the three-axle T Astron in 13-14m. All are set to be introduced in right-hand drive in 2024. On display were the T 15 Acron in 12.5m, The T 17 Acron in 14m, fitted with wheelchair lift; and the T 17 Astron in 14m.
Power comes from Euro VI PACCAR-DAF engines in 11 and 13 litres with a power range of 270kW/367hp to 390kW/530hp. A choice of manual automatic and automatic gearboxes from ZF TraXon, ZF EcoLife and Allison are available.
Aerodynamic calculations have been used for the first time in Van Hool’s history and have led the redesign, with the most striking feature being a raked convex windshield, combined with integrated fairing fins, roof spoiler and wraparound design which ensures “optimal streamlining” and fuel consumption reduction. Further reductions in drag can be achieved with the specification of optional “MirrorCams”, Van Hool’s digital wing mirror offering, which joins a raft of other safety measures.
Interior specification sees a new dashboard environment for the driver with touch points and multimedia system, and plenty of storage space. Also fitted is a new generation of passenger seats with a weight saving of 5-6kg per seat; newly designed luggage racks with inward-hinging doors, tilted to increase storage volume, and to provide more cabin space at the aisle level and at adjacent seats – allowing passengers in middle seats to stand without being obstructed. There is a wider staircase at the front, with a folding guide seat and larger grab handles.
“It’s a further evolution of our range based on the 75 years of Van Hool, and we continue with quality and craftsmanship,” says Chief Executive Filip Van Hool. “We engineered the T model in a sustainable way – 90% of the materials are recyclable – and its stainless steel construction gives a long lifespan. With the T, we lowered the fuel consumption thanks to its aerodynamic form of the front, the rear, and the bottom. And for the first time in history, during the COVID-19 period, we started to use aerodynamic calculations.”
A full report will be available in the December issue of routeone.