Volvo Bus has unveiled its new B8 bus chassis and revealed it will offer both a Euro 5 and a Euro 6 version of the new bus which is set to replace the marque’s current B7 as the year rolls on.

The B8 both in Euro 5 and Euro 6 versions is powered by Volvo’s own family eight-litre turbo diesel replacing the seven-litre Deutz sourced powerplant in the B7 and Volvo claims a three to five per cent fuel efficiency improvement over the older bus, depending on application and environment.

The B8 can be specced in a range of engine outputs with the choice of either 250 hp or 330hp in the Euro 5 version or 280hp, 320hp and 350hp in the Euro 6 version.

Volvo will take orders for the older B7 up until the end of June with production set to finish for that model in Sweden by the middle of November this year.

The B8 shares a common architecture with the B7 forward of the rear axle. The Euro 5 B8 gets a new exhaust, new AdBlue tank and compressed air injection dosing system, different engine venting and body build beams fabricated into the chassis structure at the factory.

The Euro 6 version has an entirely different rear frame structure with a new cooling system, exhaust AdBlue system, Air Conditioning along with updated engine bay insulation,  battery system and fuse panel along with a new electric over hydraulic power steering that delivers better steering feel and less weight and complication.

The Euro 6 also uses a combination of DPF. SCR and EGR to meet the more stringent exhaust emission standards and a raft of strategies to meet noise protocols such as more insulation, a thermally controlled hydraulic fan.

Euro 6 B8s can be specified with a choice of Voith, ZF or Volvo’s IShift while Euro 5  can be specced with either Voith or ZF.

Service intervals have been extended considerably and can be tailored to the individual vehicle’s operating environment with some operators already reporting intervals of as much as 60,000km for major service.

Boss of Volvo Bus in Australia Sean Copeland told C&B that the new Euro 5 B8 will be offered at the same price as the B7  while the Euro 6 versions will carry a $12000 to $14,000 premium.

“The new B8 has some fantastic technology and when you consider the Volvo 8 litre family engine produces similar horsepower to a bigger Volvo 10 litre did a decade ago but with drastically improved fuel economy, service intervals and emissions,” said Sean Copeland.

Copeland says that he is confident the new B8s will be on the NSW Transport procurement panel list by 1 July and he is pressing ahead with six Euro 5 and six Euro being pre-ordered for delivery in July and another 20 B8R Marco Polo coaches set for arrival before the end of this year.

Volvo has also announced a new range of Telematics and Service agreement options to coincide with the introduction of the B8 and we will have a full rundown and details in Issue 28 of C&B in coming months.