Volvo Buses has been in India since 2001 and is largely known in the country for its high-performance bus applications and modern fleet of buses. Right from public transports to private fleet, the bus maker has found an integral space in the Indian market. Recently the automaker introduced two new models to its 9400 coach line-up - the 12 metre Volvo 9400 and the 14.5 metre Volvo 9400 at the 2016 Busworld Exhibition in Bengaluru. Incidentally, this year Volvo Buses also completes 15 years in the Indian market and has sold over 6000 buses in the country.
In fact, a couple of weeks back Volvo Buses India took us to their Bengaluru manufacturing facility to give us a closer look at the two new products. We even got to drive Volvo's two new offerings and let us tell you it was a unique and fun experience. Both the models come with some decent design updates and several mechanical additions and upgrades as well, including an all-new powertrain for the smaller one.
Coming to the buses itself, the first one of the two new 9400 coaches introduced by Volvo is the 12-meter long, single axle bus that comes powered by an all-new 8.0-litre engine. This new powertrain has been built in India at the VE Commercial Vehicles' Pithampur plant and generates a maximum of 330 horsepower and about 1200Nm of peak torque. This engine comes mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox as standard and is BS IV complaint.
Its elder sibling, on the other hand, is the larger 14.5 metre multi-axle 9400 coach shares its underpinnings with the bus maker's popular 13.8-metre coach, which will also continue to be on sale. The 14.5-metre 9400 coach is currently one of the most powerful and premium offerings from the Swedish automaker in India and comes with a bigger 11-litre BS IV compliant diesel engine. The updated motor churns out a maximum of 410 horsepower and develops a massive 1980Nm of peak torque. Also, this particular model comes mated to Volvo's 12-speed I-Shift AMT gearbox.
Both the buses come with ABS as a standard fitment along with a host of other safety features that Volvo has to offer as an option. Some of the safety features that we got to see were - three-point seatbelt for all seats, emergency brake glass function for all windows, a special fire/heat suppressant system, and Volvo's signature Alcolock system (we saw it only in the 14.5-metre model) among others.
Like all the buses offered by Volvo, these two also come with an array of customisation option for the cabin. Right from the standard reclining fabric seats to high-end leather seats you get a lot to choose from. The coach we got to see came with a 2+1 seating layout with dedicated USB charging points for all seats. It comes with a three-point seatbelt for each seat similar to cars along with a pantry table and a chemical toilet, all of which are offered by Volvo Buses as an option.