Busworld Europe 2017

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Busworld Europe 2017 was held for the last time at Kortrijk, Belgium, on October 20-25.

Story & Photos: Ashish Bhatia

Opening its doors to the stakeholders of the bus industry the world over, the 24th edition of Busworld Europe 2017 was held for the last time at Kortrijk, Belgium, on October 20-25. With temperatures hovering between 16 to 20 degree Celsius, visitors from the warmer regions of the world were in for a pleasant surprise. Kortrijk was never this warm some frequent visitors were overheard saying. If comments like these hint at global warming, they also point at the need to cut down emissions, and deploy greener mobility solutions. As if in response to this, the highlight of Busworld Europe 2017 was a diverse display of safe, efficient and green buses. Held over an area of 51,240 sq. m, Busworld Europe 2017 attracted 37,241 visitors. The premier show attracted 376 participants. Expressed Mieke Glorieux, Exhibition Director at Busworld, that the fair was moving to Brussels from the next edition. With the 24th edition of Busworld to be held in Brussels, participants could look forward to occupying twice the exhibition area of what they have been availing at Kortrijk. Despite expanding over an artificial pond to accomodate as many exhibitors as it could, the organisers were compelled to turn down the request of 90 companies.

Reflecting upon the most recent and the best in buses, Busworld Europe 2017 had 231 vehicles in exhibitor stalls. With more buses than coaches on display, the biennial show, for the first time, put on display 80 vehicles outside the premises. Said Glorieux, “We have had an overwhelming response from exhibitors. We have had 90 companies on the waiting list. We ran out of space to the tune of 10,000 sq. m. We have lost an opportunity.” Hoping that they will run short of space at Brussels as well, Glorieux stressed upon a healthy growth Busworld has been enjoying show-after-show. At the core of the Busworld exhibitions that are held the world over, including India, Busworld Europe continues to be the most popular. It reflects upon the changes the bus industry the world over is going through like no other. Highlighting sustainable mobility solutions and last mile feeder solutions, the organisers of Busworld Europe 2017, in association with UITP (International association of public transport) organised an International bus conference to advocate the benefits of public transport. The introductory session of the conference delved upon electrification of buses and coaches, and how the same could be mass produced. Drawing attention to research and innovation projects like ‘ZeEUS’ and ‘Ebsf’, the conference focused on ‘true’ sustainable mobility solutions. Over 450 delegates attended the conference.

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The Busworld Awards night (erstwhile European Coach and Bus Week) saw leading bus and coach manufacturers win awards across various categories. The Irizar i8 coach won the Coach of the Year 2018 award. VDL Citea Slfa Electric won the ‘Sustainable Urban Bus 2018’ award. Iveco Crossway LE Natural Power won the ‘Sustainable Intercity Bus 2018’ award. Setra S 516 HD/2 won the ‘Sustainable Coach 2018’ award. MAN Lion’s Coach won the prestigious award in the coach category. Mercedes-Benz Citaro hybrid of Daimler buses won an award in the bus category. Iveco Crealis and MAN Lion coach won award under the ‘comfort’ category. The design label award was won by Mercedes-Benz Tourismo M/2, BMC Neocity and MAN Lion coach. In the area of safety, the Tourismo M/2 and Citaro hybrid won awards. In the ecology category, the VDL Citea SLF-120 Electric and Yutong E12 won an award each. Alstom Aptis won the innovation award.

India Day

The India Day marked a round table conference at Kortrijk. Discussion centred on India’s passenger mobility, and attracted bus and coach industry stakeholders. Ananth Srinivasan, Senior Consultant – Mobility, Frost & Sullivan, expressed that the mobility market in India is booming. “There’s huge potential,” he mentioned. Drawing attention to the opportunities that global manufacturers could tap, Srinivasan averred, “The liberal policies of the Indian government are boosting the bus and coach industry growth. This is particularly the case with staff and school bus segments.” Drawing attention to a 2014 report sourced from the Planning Commission, ‘Transporting India – a 2032 projection’, Srinivasan said that the Indian bus and coach market peaked in 2000. After experiencing a dip in 2014, sales have continued to pick-up, and are largely driven the staff and school bus segment, he said. By referring to a recent study by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufactures (SIAM), which expects growth to continue for the next three years, Srinivasan mentioned that growth is expected to follow policy changes in the run up to Lok Sabha elections in 2019. Attributing demand in the Indian bus and coach market to inter-city transport space, Srinivasan expressed that inter-city fleet replacement (with State Transport Corporations at the fore-front) accounts for 20 per cent of the market. School, labour and sub segments amount for 15 per cent, he informed. Bucking the trend of cyclic demand, Srinivasan stated that operators are buying buses even during the off-season period.

Describing the bus and coach market trends in India as positive, Akash Passey, Senior Vice President, Business Region International, Volvo Bus Corporation, expressed that they are yet to see actual industry growth. “The challenge,” said Passey, “is to transition from high volumes to high quality.” MG Group executive director Prakash Kalbag stressed on the market’s progression from building bodies on truck chassis to building bodies on dedicated bus chassis. He drew attention to the government encouraging standardisation. Remarked Kalbag, “Bus building has been brought under the Central Motor Vehicle Act.” A Scania Group representative averred that the bus and coach market in India is yet to take off in terms of safety and quality.

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MAN Truck & Bus

Under the ‘Mobility of Tomorrow’ theme, MAN Truck & Bus AG displayed five buses at the Busworld. The Lion coach was the highlight of the display. The Lion coach is now available in 13 m length, and can seat six more people. Powering the coach is a 460 hp (D2676 LOH) six-cylinder diesel engine. Complying with ECE R66.02 safety standards according to Jan Aichinger, Vice President, MAN Truck & Bus AG, the Lion coach offers ‘efficient cruise’, ‘efficient roll’ and ‘attention guard’. MAN also displayed the Lion Intercity and City Hybrid.

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Volvo

With electromobility and safety as a theme, Volvo Bus Corportaion displayed a 12 m 7900 electric bus with the OppCharge charging system. The bus offers superior operate-ability, courtesy a higher battery power (three times more) of 250 kWh. The earlier model came with a 150 kWh battery pack. Offering a host of charging options, the 7900 electric bus reflects on the direction of bus technology development. Premiering ‘Thinking Bus’ tech (about how a bus can think and learn from its surroundings), Volvo showcased dynamic steering technology, pedestrian and cyclist detection technology, and bus docking solutions. Highlighting its intention to test electric articulated buses in Gothenburg, Hakan Agnevall, President, Vovo Bus Corporation, expressed that Euro5 and Euro6 technologies are the most sustainable from an environmental, financial and social point of view.

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Daimler Buses

The theme at Daimler Buses was safety, economy and comfort. The company premiered the Citaro Hybrid urban 12 m two axle bus; Tourismo right-hand-drive high-deck touring coach (two and three-axle); left-hand-drive Sprinter City 45 13-seat mini-bus. The Setra S 531 DT double-decker bus (Top Class 500) also debuted at the fair. Showcasing active brake assist and pedestrian detection tech, Daimler announced Omniplus, a service for Mercedes-Benz and Setra buses. Said Martin Biewald, CEO, EvoBus, that Omniplus supports efficient fleet operations. Biewald expressed that they are looking for higher localisation in India.

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EasyMile

French high-tech start-up company EasyMile displayed the EZ10 electric driverless shuttle. Autonomous, and capable of operating within a precinct or confined area, the EZ10 is aimed at last mile connectivity. The EZ10 is powered by an electric asynchronous motor fed by a Lithium-ion (LiFeP04) battery. Capable of attaining speeds of up to 40 kmph, the shuttle, measuring four-metre in length, has no steering wheel nor a front and rear. Either end of the shuttle can act as a front or the rear. Capable of changing the direction of travel, the EZ10 can accommodate 12 passengers (six seating and six standing). Easymile claims that the EZ10, since 2015, has been deployed at more than 50 sites, in 14 countries across Asia, North-America, Middle-East, and Europe.

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Scania

Emphasising on alternate fuel technologies like natural gas, bio-gas, ethanol, biodiesel, and Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), Scania showcased the 12.9 m HVO ‘Touring HD’ bus; 14.9 m bio-gas ‘Citywide LE Suburban’ bus; electric ‘Citywide LF’ bus; 13.2 m biodiesel/HVO ‘Interlink LD’ bus, and a 12.8 m HVO ‘Interlink HD’ bus. Keen to offer tailor-made solutions to address the needs of different markets, Christian Levin, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Scania, mentioned that they want to make public transport safe and attractive.

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BYD

Elctric bus torchbearer, BYD unveiled an electric midi-bus for the European market. First of its kind from BYD, the midi-bus will be made in Hungary, and measures 8.7 m in length. Capable of accommodating 58 commuters, the low-floor midi-bus has a travel range of 200 km on a single charge. Other than the midi-bus, BYD displayed the 12 m ebus (first BYD vehicle built 100 per cent in Europe). Announced Isbrand Ho, Managing Director of BYD Europe, that others will find it hard to match their integrated supply chain. Stressing upon his company’s design prowess and capability as a battery manufacturer, Ho said, “Anyone without their own battery design capability will find it hard since battery is at the core of an electric bus.” Managing to carve out a significant presence in Europe, BYD is invading numerous global markets with a promise to offer green mass mobility solutions.

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Neoplan

MAN subsidiary, Neoplan displayed the Classic Skyliner double-decker touring coach. It is celebrating 50 years of success, and has found 5000 takers in various markets. At the Busworld, Neoplan announced the delivery of the 5000th Skyliner. Displaying a 13 m long two-axle Neoplan Tourliner, which is aimed at business travellers, Neoplan revealed that it will commence series production of 100 per cent electric city buses in 2019. Mentioned Jan Aichinger, Vice President, MAN Truck & Bus AG,“We will unveil a pre-series bus version of a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV), and test a demo fleet with various European operators.” “In India,” said Aichinger, “we are waiting for a strong business case.”

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Yutong

China-based Zhengzhou Yutong Bus Co., Ltd., premiered a 12.1 m electric bus called the E12. Capable of travelling 320 km, the E12 is powered by a 324 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Accommodating between 23 and 37 people depending on the variant, the E12 makes an attractive bus. Apart from the E12, Yutong also displayed an electric inter-city 12.3 m bus called the Ice12. It has a 270 km drive range, and seats 59 people. It is powered by a 258 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Yutong also displayed a Euro6 12.2 m long T12 grand tourist coach.

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Anadolu Isuzu

Anadolu Isuzu launched the Novociti Life, a new generation low-floor bus that addresses the travelling needs of disabled people and elderly passengers. The 9.5 m Visigo coach the company displayed, measures 9.5 m in length and contains Mobileye Shield Plus, an advanced collision avoidance system. Displaying the Citiport, Citibus, Novo Ultra and the Turquoise, Anadolu Isuzu attracted a good number of visitors to its stall. It is anticipating big bus market to pick-up. Expressed Tugrul Arikan, GM, Anadolu Isuzu, “We want to build an export championship title in the midi-bus segment. We are targeting 60 export markets by 2020.”

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Iveco

Iveco showcased a new generation Daily mini-bus. Available in school bus guise, inter-city bus guise and tourist bus guise, the Daily mini-bus, in tourist bus guise, measures 7.4 m, and is powered by a 180 hp three-litre Euro6 diesel engine. Iveco also displayed the next generation Daily Tourys, Daily Line and Daily Start. The Daily mini-bus Blue Power range that the company displayed is powered by a natural gas engine. The electric version offers a range of 100 to 160 km with two or three high density sodium nickel chloride batteries that are combined with high-power ultra capacitors. On display were the Iveco Crossway 14.5 m low-entry city and an inter-city bus powered by a Cursor 9 diesel engine. Iveco also displayed the upscale Euro6 Evadys coach, and the Magelys.

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Temsa

Turkish bus and coach builder Temsa unveiled a MD9 tourist coach and a LD SB Plus school bus. It also displayed the TS45, and the flagship Marathon bus. Apart from the HD 12 and MD7 Plus, the company showcased an electric bus called the Avenue Electron. Competing in most segments on the basis of a diverse product range, Temsa, said Acar Kocaer, International Sales Director, is aiming at a 43 per cent rise in exports by the end of this calendar year.

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VDL Bus & Coach

VDL Bus & Coach (VDL) showcased the 12.7 m Citea LLE, 14.1 m luxury Futura double-decker (FDD2-141) and the MidCity midi-bus. Also displayed was a 18.1 m VDL Citea SLFA Electric articulated bus aimed at the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system. The VDL Citea SLF-120 Electric bus measures 12 m in lenth, and is a low-floor concept bus for urban use. The Citea LLE-99 Electric is a low entry 9.9 m bus with a start-stop function, and an integrated regeneration system. Suitable for city and regional operations, the Citea LLE can avail of rapid charging infrastructure. Despite proliferation of electric technology, VDL is confident of diesel engine technology continuing to play an important role in the future.

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Sileo GmbH

Sileo GmbH showcased a 12 m Sileo electric S12 bus with a travel range of 400 kms. It is powered by a 300 kWh battery pack, and can accommodate 108 passengers. Claimed to consume 0.7 to 0.8 kWh per km, the bus, with an efficiency level of 98 per cent, could be charged by plugging in. Capable of a top speed of 75 kmph, the Sileo is equipped with Standard Charging Technology (SL), which includes a mobile device to charge a single vehicle. The Dynamic Charge Matrix (DCM) technology enables the charging of 10 vehicles simultaneously. The 18 m S18 bus that Sileo displayed, has a 400 km range, and is powered by a 450 kWh battery pack. It can seat 136 passengers, and consumes 1.1 to 1.3 kWh per km. Sileo, at the show, also showcased energy efficient heating and air conditioning solutions for the electric bus range.

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Solaris Bus & Coach

Solaris Bus & Coach premiered the fourth generation Solaris Urbino 18 electric, Solaris Urbino with a serial hybrid drive, and Solaris Urbino 10.5. The Urbino 18 measures 18 m in length, and is a vestibule bus. It is fitted with a 240 kW central traction motor, and has a battery capacity of 240kWh. Charged by plugging-in or via a pantograph, the vestibule bus can seat 140 passengers. The Urbino hybrid bus uses a BAE HybriDrive, and can recuperate kinetic energy under braking. The Solaris Urbino 10.5 is powered by a 209 hp Cummins ISB6.7E6C engine, and measures 10.5 m in length. It can seat 23 passengers.

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Irizar

Displaying the i8, which won the ‘European Coach of the Year’ award, Irizar also showcased the 6s and i4H (hybrid). It also displayed a 12 m (ie) electric city bus and a 18 m (ie) trambus electric. The new virtual cockpit that Irizar displayed with a 12.32 inch dynamic display attracted a lot of attention. Keen to offer custom made coaches that provide the driver a comfortable working environment, Irizar is working on new engines. It is also working to optimise cooling, and on a new steering pump to achieve superior fuel savings. The company’s emobility subsidiary is working on integrated electromobility solutions. The new plant Irizar has commissioned in Spain, will build 1000 units per annum.

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Van Hool

Van Hool of Belgium manufactures approximately 1,400 buses and coaches, and as many as 4,000 commercial vehicles annually of which 80 per cent are exported. It offers a complete range of buses for public transport for international markets, ranging from a 9 m midi bus to a 25 m double articulated low floor bus. At Busworld, Van Hool unveiled a 18.6 m Exqui.City electric trambus (Glider vehicle) in the presence of The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillar Nuala McAllister. Designed for Belfast, the Exqui.City combines the flexibility of a bus with efficiency of a tram. It can accommodate 107 commuters, and has a range of 120 km. Van Hool also displayed a 14 m version of Exqui.City. Both the trambuses are engineered to run on electricity or hybrid (diesel-electric and CNG-electric) propulsion systems. The electric version is equipped with a 215 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Van Hool also displayed the TX11 Alicron, TX16 Astron, TX17 Altano, TDX27, EX16 M, EX15 H and EX17 H at the Busworld.

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Cummins Inc

Cummins Inc. reiterated its ambition to become a powertrain provider of choice. The engine maker displayed diverse solutions – from diesel hybrid to fully electric powertrains. A fully electric powetrain that Cummins displayed, could be employed in either a full Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) or a Range Extended Electric Vehicle (REEV). A REEV combines battery power with a compact engine generator, and is aimed at buses that ply over longer distances, and well beyond the availability of city charging. A battery pack of three enclosures (210 kWh) can provide a zero-emission range of up to 135 km in REEV. Evaluating battery lease programmes apart from the production of complete powertrains and ancillaries by 2019, Cummins is also looking at opportunity charging technologies.

Its Adam Lacko

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Adam Lacko won the fifth race of FIA European Truck Racing Championship at Hungary, driving a Freightliner for team Buggyra.

Team CV

The fifth round of FIA European Truck Racing Championship at the Hungaroring saw Norbert Kiss clock the fastest lap in his tankpool24 Mercedes in the first race, a day prior to the final race. The two other drivers that came close were an Englishman Ryan Smith in a MAN truck, and German Iveco pilot Jochen Hahn. As the Hungarian fans streamed into the paddock with the sun shining bright, Steffi Halm managed to close the gap between her and the leader to around eight tenths of a second. She was placed fourth. Warm air tilting the scale in favour of tyre conservation, Adam Lacko, David Vršecký, and Sascha Lenz followed Kiss, Halm and Hahn into the pits after a single flying lap. The Portuguese José Rodrigues, Englishman Shane Brereton, Spaniard Antonio Albacete, and German Iveco pilot Gerd Körber stayed on track, in pursuit of a second hot lap. None managed the breakthrough into the top six. They were good enough for the Top 10. Ryan Smith saw his best times erased for exceeding track limits, and was classified only on the basis of his slow out lap. Lacko continued to improve on his qualifying time. Kiss took the pole position with Hahn, Halm, Lacko, Albacete, Brereton, Vršecký, Lenz, Rodrigues, and Körber behind him.

Race 2 saw Norbert Kiss dominate. Racing on his home circuit, the Mercedes pilot simply increased his lead over Hahn. Hahn increased the gap between him and Steffi. Action followed behind Halm for the fourth place. Shane Brereton held off Lacko and Albacete in trucks more powerful than his. Lenz took the seventh place until he was displaced by Smith in the last lap. Englishman Smith moved ahead of Rodrigues in Lap 3. Rodriges was also overtaken by Körber, Vršecký, Kursim, and Vojtíšek. He finished 13th. A number of drivers were penalised for overspeed infringements, tossing the classification. There were major changes in the finishing order behind Kiss, Hahn and Halm. Lacko, followed by Lenz, Smith, Körber, and Vršecký, came fourth. The two final places in the points went to Kursim and Brereton, who dropped from 4th to 10th as a consequence of his 10 second penalty. Albacete came 11th whereas Kursim took the Promoter’s Cup win, ahead of Brereton and Vojtíšek.

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Race 3 saw Vršecký move quickly. He proved to be quicker than Körber. Lacko overtook Schwabentruck Iveco and came up right behind his Buggyra teammate to overtake him. Not far behind, Smith’s MAN collided with Kiss’s tankpool24 Mercedes. Kiss lost several places as a result, and had to pull into the pits. The crowd clearly weren’t happy. Hahn at front raced past the Buggyra Freightliner of Vršecký. He began exerting pressure on Lacko in no time. Lacko held on till the end. Vrsecky and Smith battled fiercely for the third place, and until the end of the race. Taking the inside line just before the chequered flag, Smith edged himself just about ahead. Vrsecky came fourth and Steffi Halm came fifth. During the qualifying race on the final race day, Norbert Kiss set the pace with a lap time of 2:17.403. To conserve his tyres, the Mercedes driver returned to pit lane. Many other drivers followed the Hungarian. The ones that did not were Englishman Ryan Smith (MAN), Iveco pilot Gerd Körber (GER), and two MAN teammates Antonio Albacete and José Rodrigues. An amount of caution seemed to have been exercised by the drivers in the wake of a rise in temperature. Kiss took the pole position followed by Lacko and Halm. She was followed by Hahn, Albacete, Lenz, Brereton, Smith, José Rodrigues, and Vršecký.

In the final race, Lacko took the lead coming out of the first turn. Vrsecky could not hold back Lacko even though the two entered the turn at the same time. Smith, Kursim and Kleinnagelvoort made contact at turn one. With severe damage to his Scania, the Dutchman had to retire. Smith, in his smoking truck, covered the next lap before going into the pit lane. Kursim was the only one who emerged without a baggage. The leading duo continued to pull away from the rest of the field. The Hungarian spectators hoped for the tankpool24 Mercedes to overtake Lacko’s Buggyra to take the lead. It was not to be as Lacko kept the lead till the end. Steffi Halm took third position. Albacete took the fourth position displacing Hahn. Several trucks collided at turn-two and scattered across the track. Lenz and Albacete were the most affected. Albacete could resume only after everyone had disappeared into the distance. Lacko and Vršecký benefitted and shot up to the very front. Körber continued to exert pressure on Lacko, but Lacko did not relent. He bagged his third successive win with Körber and Steffi behind him. She was followed by Vrsecky who fend off an attack from Hahn. In a battle that ensued earlier between Körber and Vršecký, the two made contact. Korber suffered and fell back. He eventually resignedly into the pit lane. Hahn came fourth.

The executive board on summer escape

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Two V8 engine automobiles – fine automobiles that they are, were invited to the Austrian Alps for a show down.

Story & Photos by:

Florian Engel

To compare a Bentley and a Scania could be as impractical as it gets. It may also sound as weird, or look as out of place. An exercise to this effect was carried out in the Austrian Alps, and the result was not less startling, it was interesting and rewarding in fact. The process was more interesting than the outcome. Invited to the picturesque Austrian Alps along with its ‘cousin’, the all-new Bentley Bentayga Diesel, was the 2017 International Truck of the Year, the Scania S730. The two met at the famous skiing resort Kitzbühel. Helping to reanimate the tradition of summer vacations in the mountains, the two fine automobiles, like the emperors of former ages, turned the small medieval town into an automotive festival of a different kind. Powered by a V8 engine, the presence of the most powerful European diesel SUV added to the plot. And, as the saying goes ‘What is good enough for the kings and queens, is perfect for the king of the road,’ the Scania S730 and the Bentley Bentagya Diesel made for a great Austrian symphony. If the picturesque scenery with giant mountains, bright sunshine and pure white clouds made for a great day, it also reflected upon the fact that the two are not that different after all.

V8 at heart

Both, the Scania S730 and the Bentley Bentayga Diesel, are equipped with big V8 engines. For Scania, it is an absolute and unique selling proposition. The engine produces 730 hp and 3,500 Nm of torque. The 4.0-litre V8 engine of the Bentagya, on the other hand, produces 435 hp and 900 Nm of torque. If the big Swede takes the lead over the Bentley, solace is had in the fact that the distinguished Brit is in sync with its close cousin, the Audi SQ7, with whom it shares the engine. While each pot has the size of half a litre, the volume of each cylinder multiples by four in the case of the Scania. A parallel is nevertheless achieved at the rpm level. Both the automobiles deliver their maximum torque at 1000 rpm. The Scania engine make does with a single turbocharger. The Bentley has two of them. These are variable in nature. There’s an additional electric compressor too. Its primary task is to ensure that there is no turbo lag. An impressive V8 machinery there!

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The lounge

As fine as it gets, the interior of either automobile turned out to a big surprise. The big Swede reflected upon the new era of truck design that has been the subject of discussion in the recent times. The cockpit of the Scania, it was found out, made an excellent example of workmanship. When compared with the interior of the Bentayga, the cockpit of Scania highlighted at once, that the opulence of similarities is truly amazing. One of Bentley’s core values is the rich craftsmanship heritage. The most powerful SUV thus flaunts the finest leather, wood, aluminum and steel. They are arranged like the suite of famous German-British composer George Frideric Handel. Most components including the steering wheel are covered in the finest handcrafted leather. Even the contrast stitching is handcrafted. So also the woodwork by the Bentley owned carpentry in its hometown, Crewe in England.

Elegant chrome and aluminium inserts complete the picture. If the aluminium rings around the air deflectors are milled out of a solid block, like their control levers in valve optic, the heartwarming quotations to the rich Bentley tradition are the massive ashtrays and the beautiful analogue dashboard clock. Optional is a Breitling mechanical time piece with automated tourbillon movement. The catch is, the price tag of the Bentayga rises by Euro 150,000. By approximately 50 per cent.

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Elevating comfort are the two electric seats in the second row. They can be plenty adjusted to serve the personal needs, and offer extra comfort through heating, cooling and massage functions. Two tablets address modern communication and information needs. A ‘mirror app’ replaces the traditional make-up mirror. While it is quite unlikely that any one will dare to take a Euro 300,000 SUV off the road, the Bentayga is capable. It comes with eight driving programs. The air suspension delivers perfect comfort and variable ground clearance. If the two are enough to draw a comparison with the Scania S730, decent amount of sportiness was displayed by the Bentagya on the winding and sometimes challenging mountain roads around Kitzbühel. Weighing 2.5-tonnes, the Bentley, thanks to the rear axle orientated all-wheel drive and active roll stabilisation, never feels like a motor yacht in fast corners. A comfortable picnic bench unfolding out of the huge trunk marked the celebration of a journey. It gave an impression of being the lord’s high seat or VIP stand at a polo tournament. For the complementary culinary delights, a special picnic box by Mulliner could be ordered.

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Culinary delights and the ultimate benchmark

Having classic features like a fridge, coffee machine or a micro wave, the Scania S730 outshone the Bentley in this area. There may not be the option to order a 150k watch for the dashboard, the Scania S730 set a benchmark with many new features. The International Truck of the Year 2017, the Scania S730 impressed with its deep black high gloss instrument panel. It sets a new standard in the truck industry. Like the Bentley, the Scania also comes with a huge digital display between the tachometer and the rev counter. Leather applications with a contrasting seam are standard for the strongest V8 variant. Showing off the V8 status through a sign all over the truck, the Scania draws a parallel with the Bentayga, which has embossed logos on the headrests and a link with ‘Flying B’ stitched. The rich technology and safety features both the vehicles possess, don’t have to be listed in detail. They are there. And, for the record, the Bentley does not offer a GPS controlled cruise control.

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The difference

The price tag of Euro 300,000 makes the Bentley cost almost double than what it takes to buy a Scania S730 truck. This is despite the many commonalities the two have. If the difference in payload is big, the Bentley weighs ridiculously less than the Scania S730 at 2.5-tonnes. Worth having the two in the fleet, the Bentley Lodge at Kitzbühel is serviced by Kitz Country Club, and accommodates up to eight guests in perfectly designed rooms with traditional names like “Mulliner” or “Bentley Boy”.

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CV is an associate member of the International Truck of the Year (IToY). As part of this association, the magazine provides exclusive articles, written especially by IToY jury members.

Comtrans 2017 is successful

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A biennial show for commercial vehicles held at Moscow, Comtrans 2017 was bigger, better and successful.

Story & Photos:

Bhushan Mhapralkar

Opening its gates to the media on the morning of September 04, 2017, commercial vehicle fair Comtrans 2017 got off to a good start. Held at the Crocus Expo Centre in Moscow, the biennial show saw the participation of commercial vehicle industry from many parts of the world. Part of the shows under the aegis of OICA, the CV fair attracted 1324 participants from 41 countries. Spread across three halls, and over 40,000 sq. m., the commercial vehicle show witnessed the participation of foreign delegates and visitors. With a good number of premieres taking place at the show, the highlight of Comtrans 2017 was the Moscow Commercial Vehicle Summit held for the first time. The expo, organised by ITEMF Expo, a joint venture between Messe Frankfurt and ITE Group, saw the awards for the best commercial vehicle in Russia among others presented on the evening of the Press Day. The function was attended by the who’s who of the commercial vehicle industry. With a strong international flair, Comtrans 2017, recorded growth over the 2015 show, reflecting a strong growth potential the domestic and foreign commercial vehicle manufacturers have come to observe. Ever more keen to tap the Russian CV market, which is Euro5 emissions compliant and is estimated to be 70000 units strong as far as trucks above 16-tonnes are concerned, Comtrans 2017 saw homegrown manufacturers as well as global players — termed as ‘B7’ (Big Seven), display trucks, buses and vans. Also present were trailer manufacturers, specialists, and component manufacturers. With German and Chinese components manufacturers and specialists participating under the German and Chinese pavilion, Comtrans 2017 will be remembered for its quality, the emergence of alternate fuel propulsion technologies, and global flair. Expressed Sergey Alexandrov, General Director of ITEMF Expo that the revival of the commercial vehicles market since the second half of last year has contributed to Comtrans 2017. He opined, “Compared to 2015, companies have expanded their exhibition booths in-line with the market revival and increased competition. With gradual recovery of the economy and deferred demand since 2015 bringing a promising 40 per cent growth in the first half of 2017 compared to the same period last year, manufacturers are expecting that the market will continue to grow.”

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Mercedes-Benz

The highlight of the Mercedes-Benz stand were the new Actros range of heavy-duty trucks in Euro5 guise. Complementing the range of classic Actros and Arocs range of heavy-duty trucks, the arrival of new Actros range marks a step ahead for Daimler Kamaz Rus, a joint venture between Daimler AG and Kamaz Russia. Operating an assembly operation for the last seven years within the Kamaz manufacturing complex at Naberezhnye Chelny for the manufacture of Actros, Arocs and Fuso Canter range of trucks, the joint venture also offers buses under the Setra brand, and used trucks under the Select Trucks brand. On display at the Mercedes-Benz stand were the Actros all-wheel drive 3341K tipper with ‘S’ day cabin, Actros 4141k tipper, Actros 1844LS tractor, Actros 1848LS tractor, Actros 1840LS tractor, Arocs 4142K tipper, Actros 3341K tipper, Atego 1218L, Arocs 3345K tipper, and an Actros 2545L.

The Unimog U529 premiered at the show. Expressed Heiko Schulze, CEO, Daimler Kamaz Rus, “We want to take a lead in the B7 market with a deep focus on customer satisfaction. The new Actros range will add a new dimension in terms of reliability, efficiency and comfort. Stating that the Arocs will be discontinued in 2018, Heiko mentioned that the new Actros with a cabin built locally will be offered from 2019. Almost complete, the cabin plant at Naberezhnye Chelny, measuring 59,600 sq. m., will be operational by 2019. It will build 55000 cabs per year and employ 790 people in three shifts. The cabs will not only support the new Actros range assembled in Russia but also the new Kamaz range of heavy-duty trucks. Enjoying the status of a local supplier according to Schulze, the company won a tender for delivery of 50 Setra ComfortClass 500 coaches to the city of Moscow.

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Fuso Canter

Fuso Canter medium-duty trucks have been available in Russia since 2010. They are assembled at the Daimler Kamaz Rus joint venture plant at Naberezhnye Chelny from SKD kits sourced from Japan. At Comtrans 2017, Fuso premiered the Canter TF. Light in weight, and suitable for a wide application spectrum with an ability to consume less and carry more, the Canter TF is claimed to be the first truck in the world to feature a compact Duonic dual-clutch transmission that causes less wear to the auxiliary equipment, reduces the burden on the driver, and combines the convenience of an automatic transmission with the economy of a manual transmission. The Canter TF is available in 3.5-tonne and 7.5-tonne segments.

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Ford Trucks

Ford Trucks launched new construction and tractor series in the form of 3542D tipper, 1848T and 3542T tractors. More powerful, efficient and technologically advanced, the new trucks are equipped with an all-new 330PS and 480PS Ecotorq engines that ensure up to 8.5 per cent fuel economy improvement according to Emrah Duman, International Markets Director, Ford Trucks. With service period extended to 90,000 km, and up to 1,000 hours, the new trucks are available with cold packs that include cold pack fluids, cab heater, heated windshield and power mirrors.

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Hyundai Truck & Bus Rus

Hyundai premiered the HD35 City, which is intended to take the place of the legendary Porter for city operations. Offering high durability, economy and maneouvrability, the HD35 City features an increased wheelbase of 2810 mm when compared to the Porter. Displayed as a chassis and an isothermal van, the HD35 City is powered by a 130 hp, 2.5-litre D4CB engine. Hyundai also displayed the Mighty isothermal version apart from the HD350 LCV, HD78 food truck Naz, and a HD78 AGP-22T long chassis lift truck.

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Volkswagen

Volkswagen premiered the Crafter van. Available in a wide range of cargo and passenger versions, the Crafter van range, according to Volkswagen, is practical ad economical. Also displayed were a Transporter van, Amarok pick-up truck, Caddy ambulance aid van, Caddy refrigerated truck, Crafter35 mobile service van, Crafter35 cargo van, a highly customised version of Caravelle, and a much loved vintage Camper van.

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Isuzu

Isuzu displayed a heavy-duty tractor on the GIGA chassis, a medium-duty ‘Forward’ 18.0 long chassis with a refrigerated van and a hydraulic lift, an all-wheel drive NM85 chassis, a NPR82 chassis with a CNG engine, and an ‘Artic’ version of the D-Max pick-up. Drawing attention to a sales growth of 43.8 per cent in January-July 2017 at 1766 units, Fabruz Horlie, CEO, Isuzu Rus said that production increased at the Ulyanovsk plant by 81 per cent during January-July 2017.

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Renault Trucks

Renault Trucks displayed

T Series trucks in the form of a 520 hp T high 4×2 tractor, 430 hp T 4×2 tractor and a 460 hp K 8×4 dump truck. The T High rage is a luxury truck with a sleeper cabin and a flat floor for maximum driver comfort. Powered by a 13-litre engine, the truck is equipped with an automated 12-speed Optidriver gearbox and an Optibrake.

To ensure comfort, the driver’s seat is air-suspended and electro-heated. The T 4×2 tractor is powered by a Euro5 11-litre engine and a 12-speed Optidrive transmission.

The dump truck, at the other end, is equipped with a 20 cu. m. Weilton body, and is powered by a 11-litre engine. The transmission is a 14-speed manual unit. The dump truck also features an enhanced braking and a reinforced chassis.

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MAN Truck & Bus RUS

MAN Truck & Bus RUS LLC displayed the current range of trucks it offers in Russia. On display were six TGX trucks – 4×2 (19.440), 6×2 (28.360), 6×4 (33.360) and 8×4 (41.440) tractor and special superstructure guise. Also on display was a TGX33.540 6×4 tractor, and a D2066 (280-360 hp, 10.5-litre) and D2676 (400-520 hp, 12.4-litre) truck engine. The highlight was a TGX 18.640 4×2 LLS performance ‘collectors’ long-haul tractor with special trim and a MAN D3876LF09 640 hp engine mated to a ‘tipmatic’ auto transmission, and a 12 m inter-city rear engine Lion’s coach with LED headlamps and an aerodynamic structure. The coach is powered by a D26 EEV 440PS Euro5 SCR engine and a ‘tipmatic’ transmission. MAN also unveiled a range of services to address the needs of its customers.

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Volvo Trucks

Illustrating superior design and cutting-edge technology in safety, fuel efficiency, and performance, Volvo Trucks displayed FH Viking powered by a 540 hp 13-litre engine; Volvo FH Ocean Race truck with Globetrotter XL sleeper cab; FH 6×2 powered by a 13-litre 500 hp engine; FMX 8×4 Tridem with 16 cu. m. Wielton Konish tipper body; FMX 6×6 with a reinforced 16 cu. m. Meiller tipper body; FM 6×4, and the speed record holder Iron Knight race truck that does 2400 hp and is equipped with I-Shift dual-clutch automated transmission. Also displayed were an I-Shift transmission with crawler gears; dynamic steering, D13 engine; Globetrotter cab cross-section, and a FH/FMX simulator.

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GAZ Group

The GAZ Group displayed the legendary Ural Next heavy-duty trucks in the guise of a drop-side 6×6 rigid, a 6×4 T25.422 tractor, and a 6×4 C25.330 16-tonne tipper with a 14 cu. m. body. The highlight were the aspiration vehicles in the form of Sobol, an amphibious vehicle, and Vepr Next, an expedition vehicle and a pick-up truck based on GAZ-33088 Sadko platform with a body of Gazelle Next. Apart from an electric 20-seater minibus bus Vahtan based on Gazelle Next minibus platform, and an electrobus prototype, developed with the participation of the Bauman Moscow State Technical University based on the large class LiAZ-5292 low-floor bus, the GAZ Group displayed the Gazelle Next and Gazon Next range of pick-ups and vans. Also displayed were a Kursor 9.5 m long, two Vector Next midi-buses, and a Gazelle Next version that offers 700 m more space due to an increase in wheelbase and the rear overhang. An agreement for the distribution of GAZ vehicles in the Philippines was signed with Eastern Petroleum, which is engaged in the development of a system of environmentally friendly transport in the Philippines and actively participates in the state program of public transport renewal. Eastern Petroleum will market Gazelle Next 17-seater and Gazelle Next Cityline 20-seater minibus in the Phillipines.

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Scania

Scania displayed the next generation truck that won the International truck of the Year 2017. Judged the 2017 Russian CV of the year, three models – S730 A4X2NA, R500 A4X2NA and G410 A6x2/4NB were displayed. Trucks with three types — base G, luxury cabin R and flagship cabin S with flat floor, were presented. Offering superior aerodynamic performance, which helps to reduce fuel consumption (by five per cent) and noise, the next generation trucks get new engines with renewed fuel injectors, a thermostat in the engine lubrication system and an optimised combustion process. Scania also displayed a G340 LA4x2HNA CNG tractor, G480 CA6x6 EHZ tractor, P400 CB6x4 HN2, P440 CB6x6 EHZ dump truck with a KH-Kipper body for non-metallic material, P440 CB6x4 EHZ truck with a KH-Kipper rock body, and a 12 m Touring 4×2 coach based on a K-Series bus chassis. The coach, powered by a 380-440 hp 12-litre engine mated to a revised 12-speed Opticruise automated transmission, is said to be built by Higer at its Suzhou plant in China.

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DAF Trucks Rus

DAF premiered the XF480 FT 4×2 Super Space cab tractor. It is powered by the PACCAR MX-13 engine with high injection pressure of 2500 bar. Available in three versions, and doing 412 hp, 462 hp and 510 hp respectively, the engine is mated to an efficient automatic TraXon transmission. Claiming fuel saving of up to 7 per cent, the XF had another XF 4×2 tractor in yellow and a CF85.460 FTT 6×4 tractor for company. Said Ari Hendricks, DAF Trucks Rus, “We have presented models that set new quality standards, have low operating costs and high productivity. We are confident that they will be appreciated.”

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Minsk Automobile Plant (MAZ)

MAZ displayed a 430 hp 643029-1420-012 6×4 tractor with ZF 16-speed transmission, and a 170 hp 4381CO 4×2 rigid truck with a ZF 6-speed transmission. The company also displayed a 231185 12 m long 18-tonne 47-seater city bus with an Allison auto transmission.

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Iveco Russia

Displayed were an Evadys inter-city bus, which is aimed at a position between the Iveco Crossway and the Iveco Magelys. Available in 12 m and 13 m lengths, the Avedys can accommodate up to 57 people and is powered by a 400 hp cursor 9 Euro6 engine. Also on display were the medium-class VSN bus based on an Iveco chassis manufactured in Russia, and an Iveco Daily minibus with a unique Iveco Daily Business Up Application.

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Schmitz Cargobull

Winning the Russian Trailer of the Year 2017 for its refrigerated S.KO Cool Complete reefer with telematics system, Schmitz Cargobull displayed a range of trailers it offers, including the celebrated S.KO cool trailer and the S.CS international trailer. Banking on the growth the Russian truck market has come to show, the company, celebrating 125th anniversary of its existence, is confident of doing good business.

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Kogel Trailer Rus

Kogel displayed a variety of trailers it offers. The Kogel Cargo on display is the company’s best selling trailer. It is praised for its robust build and an extensive range of standard equipment. The Kogel three-axle tipper trailer features 27 cu. m. load volume and a five-mm-thick floor as well as a four-mm thick hydraulic tailgate.

The KTA Kogel trailer axle is a new standard feature for many variants of the Kögel Cargo, Kögel Lightplus, Kögel Cool – PurFerro quality, and Kögel Box product ranges, along with various chassis. It promises low-maintenance, and is designed to enhance driving properties thanks to its double suspension concept.

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Foton

Displayed were a series of new generation trucks including the Foton Auman EST A BJ4189 4×2, designed to operate as part of a road train with a gross weight of up to 44-tonnes, and two Aumark M4 medium-duty trucks of 6 and 8-tonnes. Replacing the M3 series, and created in cooperation with Cummins, ZF, Bosch and many other leading companies, one of the Aumark M4 trucks on display was equipped with an isothermal superstructure.

The six-tonne Auman M4 is powered by a 150 hp 2.8-litre Cummins turbo diesel engine mated to a mechanical five-speed ZF gearbox. The 4200 mm wheelbase 8-tonne Auman M4 is powered by a 156 hp 3.8-litre turbo diesel Cummins ISF engine mated to a six-speed ZF gearbox. The Auman EST A 44-tonne tractor, at the other end, is a product of global alliance, which includes Cummins, ZF, Continental, WABCO, Knorr-Bremse, Baidu, and others. It is assembled at the Foton Daimler plant and has a 413 hp, 11.8-litre Cummins ISG1 engine mated to a ZF TraXon 12TX2420TD adaptive auto transmission. Equipped with disc brakes all-round, the Auman EST A comes with a a wide range of electronic security systems and assistance to the driver, including ABS, ASR, ESP, AEBS, LDWS. In Russia, Foton will also offer the 12-tonne S5 range in 2019.

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Kamaz

Unveiling the new generation K5 cabin, which looked uncannily similar to the cabin of the new Mercedes-Benz Actros displayed at the Daimler Kamaz Rus stand, and will be produced at a cabin plant being erected by Daimler Kamaz Rus joint venture at Naberezhnye Chelny, Kamaz displayed a wide range of CVs it offers. If the rally Kamaz truck made for an exciting product display, also present were a Kamaz 5490 Neo tractor and its gas diesel version; Kamaz 54901; Kamaz 54909 with pluggable front hydraulic wheel drive, and the hybrid Kamaz 65208 with garbage superstructure. Kamaz also displayed an electric bus of the second generation with a new interior and exterior; a station for ultra-fast charging; an unmanned vehicle called Hamm, dump trucks and a wide range of special purpose vehicles. Kamaz also displayed the Cummins G-Series engine, Cummins L-Series engine, and its own Euro5 910.10-550 engine.

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UAZ

The UAZ Profi single-cab pick-up truck took the centre stage at the Ulyanovsk Automobile Plant stand. The 1.5-tonne Profi is about load capacity, power, efficiency, and comfort. Also interesting was the display of a cutaway Profi with what looked like a hybrid architecture. A new generation offering, the Profi is available in a double-cab four-wheel drive guise too. Aimed at diverse applications, the Profi could be also had with an hydraulic hoist mounted on a four-wheel drive chassis with a twin-cab, with a crane-manipulator installation on the all-wheel drive chassis, and as an isothermal van with nine-cubic meter capacity.

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Lada

Taking part for the first time, Lada displayed the Vesta CNG; Largus, which is claimed to be a leader among SW cars designed for commercial use; 4×4 pick-up based on the Niva, and the Granta pick-up. Apart from the Vesta CNG cab, the pick-up and van line-up of Lada is aimed at serving the needs of different production targets.

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JAC

JAC Motors displayed its entire range of CVs, including an isothermal truck based on the JAC N56 chassis, a truck with a full berth and a sandwich panel van with a multi-temperature partition based on the JAC N75 chassis, and a side tilt platform and fully sliding elements based on the JAC N120 chassis. What drew most attention was the 3.5-tonne JAC X200 light truck that boasts of high manoeuvrability, economy and a competitive price.

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Volgabus

Two new buses — long-distance ‘Marathon’ and gas-engine powered ‘CityRithm-10CNG2’ – were displayed by Volgabus. Serial production of these buses is planned to start in early 2018 at Volzhsky, and in the Vladimir region. Engineered to offer high level of comfort and safety, the two buses, according to Anatoly Bakulin, the general director of Volgabas Volzhsky, will offer different options of engines (280 to 300 hp), suspension, gearbox and additional equipment starting with the base version. The ‘Marathon’ can seat up to 53 people. The ‘CityRithm-10CNG2’ can seat up to 65 people, and is also equipped with special equipment for the carriage of wheelchair users. It is a low-floor bus with low cost of ownership.

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Jost

Displayed were vehicle connection systems, modules and components for trucks and trailers. These included fifth wheel couplings, trailer axle systems, telescopic landing gears, tipping hydraulics, and accessories for semi-trailers, etc.

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Wabco

Showcased were a range of innovative technologies that improve vehicle safety, efficiency and connectivity. These included Maxx single-piston Air Disc Brakes (ADB), modular Braking System Platform (mBSP), advanced driver assistance systems, and OptiLock security systems. Wabco also introduced the ProVia brand of safe and reliable budget aftermarket spare parts for CVs.

Hyva

On display were a range of systems the company offers, including an hydraulic system for tipper superstructure.

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Knorr-Bremse

Knorr-Bremse displayed a wide range of CV offerings in an interesting display.

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Yutong

Two inter-city buses were displayed, and follow on the heels of a Yutong electric bus starting trial in Moscow as part of a plan by the Russian capital city to have an all-electric bus fleet in the next three years.

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ZF

ZF Friedrichshafen AG, which since 2005 has a joint venture ZF Kama with Kamaz at Naberezhnyeye Chelny, displayed the range of transmissions, disc brake modules and retarders/intarders. The range of transmissions included an automated and automatic version.

Golden Dragon Golden Dragon displayed two long-distance – XML6957 and XML6126JR — buses powered by 340 hp Dongfeng Cummins ISL8.9 engine.

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FAW

Witnessing strong growth at home, and in Russia of about 50 per cent in the January-July 2017 period, FAW displayed two updated CA3310 and CA3250 dump trucks with Euro5 377 hp CA6DL2-37E5 and 390 hp CA6DM2-39E51 engine respectively. The trucks also get an improved J6 cockpit with LCD instrument panel and four-point suspension mount. In Russia since 2008, FAW according to Alexei Lazarev, Deputy Head of Marketing, is confident of growth, and in-line with the growth of CVs that offer superior price and quality equation. FAW also displayed the CA3250 chassis that allows the installation of a variety of superstructures.

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Hino

Displayed were a refrigerated van, a tow truck with a sliding platform, and a refrigerated van with a load-carrying side. Also displayed was the Hino 500 dump truck. The refrigerated van with a 4×2 wheel-side loader is based on the Hino 300 XZU650L chassis (3.5-tonne.), and has a carrying capacity of 1278 kg. It is powered by a diesel engine mated to a 5-speed gearbox. The evacuator with a sliding platform is based on the Hino 300 XZU720L, and was developed in association with the SMARTEKO-NN company. The 500 dump truck is equipped with a 16 cu. m. Body, and powered by a six-cylinder engine. The refrigerated truck displayed was equipped with a diesel engine mated to a nine-speed Eaton gearbox.

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Mercedes-Benz vans & pick-ups

The Mercedes-Benz X-Class pick-up truck premiered at Comtrans 2017. The exterior styling bears traditional Mercedes-Benz cues including a centrally positioned star and the twin-louvre radiator grille. Measuring 5,340 mm long, 1,920 mm wide and 1,819 mm tall, the X-Class has a wheelbase of 3,150 mm and a maximum payload capacity of 1,042 kg. Flaunting a premium interior, the pick-up truck shares the platform with Nissan Navara and Renault Alaskan. Built on a ladder-frame chassis, the X-Class is powered by a 163 hp 2.3-litre, and a 190 hp 2.3-litre diesel engine mated to either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed auto gearbox. AWD is optional. Also displayed on the stand were a wide range of Sprinter vans in panel and passenger guise. The Sprinter vans are made at the GAZ facility in Nizhny Novgorod, which also makes the Gazelle Next and Gazon range of light and medium CVs. The Vito vans were also displayed.

COMTRANS aims at yet another successful edition

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To be held at Moscow, Russia, between September 04, 2017, and September 09, 2017, the COMTRANS CV show is aiming at yet another round of success. The biennial event, supported by the Ministry of Trade and Industries of Russian Federation and the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Volkswagen, Scania, MAN, Volvo, Renault, Mercedes-Benz, Ford Sollers, Isuzu, Hyundai, Hino. DAF, JAC, Foton, FAW, Yutong. Jost, Lohr, CIMC Trailer, Weilton, Koluman, ZF, Wabco, Binotto, Hyva, Knorr-Bremse, Krone, SAF-Holland, Thermo King, BPW-OST, Fuwa, BorgWarner, and many others showcase their achievement. Spread over 40,000 sq. m. area, the fair, also supported by the Association of European Businesses (AEB), will include many premiers and innovations from CV majors. To highlight trucks, vans, buses, trailers, all-terrain vehicles, components, lubes, tyres, tools and workshop equipment, leasing and insurance services among others, COMTRANS 2017, will conduct business programmes and host the 17th annual award ceremony of the “Best Commercial Vehicle of the Year in Russia”. Also awarded will be the Truck of the year, Van of the year, Bus of the year, Prospect of the year, and a Special award. For the first time, the awards will include two new categories – Trailer of the year and Person of the year. Attracting 214 companies from 13 countries, the CV fair, included in the official calendar of automotive transport exhibitions of the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA), will have the CEOs of manufacturer-companies, representatives from professional associations (OICA, OAR, RAS, Russian Engineering Union, IRU) together with the governmental authorities (Ministry of Trade and Industries, Ministry of Transport, the Committee of Transport of the State Duma of the Russian Federation) participate in the business summit (business programmes) held September 05 and September 06, 2017.

Adam Lacko shines at Nurburgring

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In the third race of FIA European Truck Racing Championship, Adam Lacko, driving a Freightliner for team Buggyra, took a well deserved win on Nurburgring’s Eifel track.

Team CV

Adam Lacko, driving his Buggyra International Racing System Freightliner, took a commanding win in race three of the Nürburgring round of the FIA European Truck Racing Championship on July 02, 2017. Braving rainy weather, Lacko, the three-time winner at the Truck Grand Prix, extended his growing point’s advantage over his competitors, continuing his quest for a first FIA European Truck Racing Championship (ETRC) title. He now leads by 46 points. Tankpool24 Racing entrant Norbert Kiss finished second in his Mercedes-Benz whereas Lion Truck Racing’s MAN of Anthony Janiec took the third place. Anthony took the third place for the second time this season. For Lacko, the win at Nurburgring marked the second win after he clinched the title at the earlier round at Misano, Italy.

With weather conditions improving slightly overnight, indicating clearly that a dry surface could end Lacko’s wet weather domination in his Freightliner, Kiss won the Super Pole session. Norbert Kiss and Antonio Albacete – two drivers involved in a collision in an earlier race, set the pace in the Super Pole session held on the morning of July 02, 2017. The Tankpool24 Racing Mercedes-Benz driver initially recording 1:54.725 and his closest rival, Albacete, in the Truck Sport Lutz Bernau MAN being just 0.099 seconds down on his time. But it was local man Jochen Hahn who performed a late lunge with just seconds remaining in the session to claim second, a mere 0.051 seconds and push Albacete down to third on the grid. Fourth fastest, Adam Lacko, taking a clean sweep the day before, was met with much-improved conditions. It meant the playing field was level. David Vršecký, in the second of the Buggyra International Racing System Freightliners, qualified just behind his team-mate and had Steffi Halm in Reinert Racing MAN for company on row three of the grid. Row four of the grid was taken by MAN drivers, with Sascha Lenz in the SL Trucksport entry having a similar machine for company. It was a Lion Truck Racing Team entry for Frenchman Anthony Janiec. The earlier podium finisher, Gerd Körber, qualified ninth, with his compatriot André Kursim alongside. The Tankpool24 racer also topped the Promoter’s Cup category with his closest rival José Rodrigues starting 12th after being knocked out in the earlier timed practice.

While Kiss started from pole, Lacko started from the fourth position. With a storming start, Lacko grabbed the lead from Kiss, Antonio Albacete, and Jochen Hahn at the end of turn one. Albacete emerged as a surprise leader from the scrap with Sascha Lenz in the SL Trucksport MAN making a remarkable leap from seventh to second. It turned out to be a very brief second for the German. The Spaniard’s lead didn’t last long as he spun and took Lenz with him at turn three. Both managed to continue, but their chances of a decent result were over. Capitalising on the situation, Kiss made progress. Lacko in second continued to push hard, and build pressure. Third placed Körber, moving up from ninth position, exerted good pressure as well. Kiss and David Vršecký ran wide exiting the final corner. Kiss re-joined in fifth and Vršecký lost further ground after a lengthy trip through the gravel. Lacko grabbed a firm lead and stayed in control for the rest of the race. Gradually extending his lead to a point where he was 12-seconds in front, the grid behind Lacko continued to re-arrange. There was plenty of action. Several drivers regained lost ground in the opening stages, chief among these, Norbi Kiss.

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Kiss moved up to the second position after an entertaining scrap with Anthony Janiec’s Lion Truck MAN. Iveco lost ground with Körber slipping back and dropping from third to tenth. This was followed by Hahn suffering a similar experience. In the latter stages of the race both Ivecos were on a mission to get back into the points positions. It was the same with Antonio Albacete and David Vršecký. André Kursim put on a strong performance and stayed out of trouble to take fourth overall, his best ever result in the FIA ETRC.Vršecký managed to come back into fifth position in the second of the Buggyra Freightliners with Steffi Halm in Reinert Racing MAN, who experienced a rather quiet race, one place behind in sixth. Hahn and Körber recovered to seventh and eight position respectively. Albacete, who was dead last after the lap one incident stormed through the pack to ninth place following a late lunge on Jeremy Robineau. The final point’s position went to José Rodrigues in his Rebonconorte MAN.

Kursim takes the Promoter Cup

The Promoter’s Cup class saw a second consecutive win for André Kursim. The German youngster took control from the second lap onwards. The Tankpool24 Racing driver made further in-roads into José Rodrigues’ points advantage with a well-judged drive. Rodrigues took the runners-up position after managing to drop Jeremy Robineau after he temporarily fell behind him after a mid-race excursion. Robineau led at the end of the first lap but was quickly usurped by Kursim and Rodrigues and eventually came home third ahead of Heinz-Werner Lenz’s Mercedes-Benz. Buggyra 1969 claimed the Teams’ honours in race three as Adam Lacko and David Vršecký combined to beat the Tankpool24 Racing pairing of Norbert Kiss and Andre Kursim. The Die Bullen IVECO Magirus pairing of Jochen Hahn and Gerd Körber claimed the final rung of the podium.

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Volvo Trucks and Renova test autonomous refuse truck

170331-AB Volvo Förarlös sopbil. Best. av Anna Arbius Bild: Cicci Jonson, Bilduppdraget

Refuse trucks operate in cities and towns. Their operating cycle is typically urban, and with almost a stop at every household to collect refuse. The stop-go operating cycle of a refuse trucks leads to an amount of fuel wastage as well as increases the amount of exhaust gases the truck emits. That is not the only issue with refuse trucks. These trucks also pose a challenge to the driver with their duty cycle. The stop-go operation often results in driver fatigue, and especially in an urban environment. Making a perfect candidate for alternate fuel technologies, like buses, refuse trucks have also been a subject of research for some time now. The effect of their operating cycle on the driver is also prompting companies that build, and operate refuse trucks, to look at making it better and efficient. It does not come as a surprise therefore, that a Swedish waste management company, Renova, and Volvo Trucks, are currently testing an autonomous refuse truck with particular attention to safety. The two are researching on how automated vehicles can contribute to safer, more efficient refuse handling and create a better working environment for drivers. The automated systems being tested are in principle the same as those fitted to the autonomous Volvo truck operating in the Kristineberg Mine in northern Sweden since autumn 2016.

According to Carl Johan Almqvist, Traffic & Product Safety Director, Volvo Trucks, that the automated refuse truck is driven manually in a new area for the first time with an on-board system constantly monitoring and mapping the route with the help of sensors and GPS technology. “The next time the truck enters the same area, it knows exactly which route to follow and at which bins it has to stop,” he expressed. Stating the reason behind why his company embarked on this exercise, Almqvist mentioned, “Driving a heavy commercial vehicle in an urban residential area with narrow streets and vulnerable road users imposes major demands on safety, even when the vehicle’s speed doesn’t exceed a normal walking pace. The refuse truck we are now testing continuously monitors its surroundings and immediately stops if an obstacle suddenly appears on the road. The automate system, at the same time, creates better prerequisites for the driver to keep a watchful eye on everything that happens near the truck.” At the first stop with the automated system activated, the driver climbs out of the cab, goes to the rear of the truck, brings out the wheelie-bin and empties it exactly the way the job is done today by operating the relevant controls. When the operation is completed, the truck automatically reverses to the next bin upon receiving the driver’s command. The driver walks the very same route that the truck takes and thus always has full view of what’s happening in the direction of travel.

An odd bit is the truck reversing. It is unheard of that a refuse truck reverses as it goes about picking up refuse at every door step almost. There’s a reason why this refuse truck reverse from one bin to the other, said Hans Zachrisson, Strategic Development Manager, Renova. He stated, “By reversing the truck, the driver can constantly remain close to the compactor unit instead of having to repeatedly walk between the rear and the cab every time the truck is on the move. And since the driver doesn’t have to climb in and out of the cab at every start and stop, there’s less risk of work related injuries such as strain on the knees and other joints.” Reversing is otherwise a fairly risky manoeuvre as the driver may find it difficult to see who or what is moving behind the vehicle, even if it is fitted with a camera. In certain areas it is not allowed to reverse a heavy commercial vehicle for safety reasons, in others it is a requirement that a co-driver must stand behind the truck to ensure that the road is clear before the vehicle reverses. In this case, the truck – Volvo FM, is designed to eliminate these issues. Sensors monitor the area all around the refuse truck, no matter the direction in which the vehicle is moving.

If a car or any other obstacle is blocking the street, the refuse truck will automatically drive around it provided there is enough space. The automated systems, according to Almqvist, optimise gear changes, steering and speed, fuel consumption, and reduces emissions. Said Almqvist, “The technical scope already exists. However, a lot of research, testing and development remains before self-driving refuse trucks can become a reality.” The current project will continue until the end of 2017. It will be followed by an extremely thorough evaluation of functionality, safety, and how well this type of a vehicle is accepted by drivers, other road users and local residents. “Vehicles with varying degrees of automation will probably be introduced earlier in other applications, where transport assignments take place within strictly confined areas such as mines and cargo terminals,” signed off Almqvist.

170331-AB Volvo Förarlös sopbil. Best. av Anna Arbius Bild: Cicci Jonson, Bilduppdraget

170331-AB Volvo
Förarlös sopbil.
Best. av Anna Arbius
Bild: Cicci Jonson, Bilduppdraget