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Low-floor bus first out in Scania's new bus range

September sees the launch of Scania's new city bus, the Scania OmniCity, featuring an aluminium body and all-through low floor. The OmniCity heralds a whole new generation of Scania buses, with new design and engineering principles leading to lower weight, higher passenger capacity, greater comfort and increased safety. All this while increasing the potential for tailoring buses to suit each customer's individual requirements.

The new city bus is of an entirely modular design. As far as possible, standard components from Scania's truck range have been used. The result is a vehicle which can easily be adapted to suit local regulations and specific customer needs.

The modular system also simplifies parts handling and service, which results in further savings for the customer with shorter standstill times for maintenance and repairs.

Radical new approach

With its new city bus, Scania makes a radical shift from steel to aluminium bodywork. The result is a weight saving of 600 kg compared with the current MaxCi city bus. One benefit of this weight saving is an increase in passenger capacity.

"The use of aluminium gave our designers considerable artistic freedom in the creation of an exciting, modern shape," explains Per Hallberg, head of development and production within the Buses & Coaches business area.

The body can be manufactured and maintained more rationally, and aluminium is an environmentally suitable material which can be recycled and reused time and time again.

The Scania OmniCity has an exterior which clearly differs from the boxy shape of conventional city buses. The design team, which consisted of designers, production specialists and customer/market representatives, worked together to give the bus gently rounded lines and large glass panels.

The result is a bus which passengers find attractive, with a light, airy interior which comes into its own in the city environment.

Low floor all the way through

The Scania OmniCity has a low floor throughout its length, with a row of seats at the very rear above the engine. Another unique feature is that there is no platform at all between the axles. The seats are attached to the wall to aid cleaning.

The centre aisle is 120 mm wider than normal and 880 mm wide at the front to aid quick and convenient boarding. The entry step is low, 320 mm at the front door, and it can be lowered a further 90 mm with the kneeling function.

Another rational detail is that the conventional interior heating radiators have been replaced with convectors. The engine compartment has a factory-prepared section for an engine-propelled air conditioning unit.

Efficient and safe driver's environment

The driver's cab is well thought out. The ergonomically designed driver's seat can be specified with an optional integrated seat belt. The instruments and controls are designed to ensure that everything is conveniently within the driver's reach. A separate heating and ventilation unit supplies the driver with a comfortable and draught-free working climate.

With its monocoque body, the Scania OmniCity does not have a traditional chassis. Instead, the chassis consists of two main modules, the front axle section and the rear axle section. At the front there is a newly designed live axle which permits a low floor and a 880 mm wide aisle between the wheel housings. The fuel tanks are positioned above the front wheel housings.

The rear axle is designed to permit the same floor height throughout the bus. Both axles are lighter than their predecessors, giving the bus a lower unsprung weight and more comfortable progress on the road.

All-round disc brakes

Safety is integrated into the Scania OmniCity from the initial design stage. The braking system consists of an integrated retarder and disc brakes on all wheels. Per Hallberg emphasises that Scania chose disc brakes because they are effective and provide even and reliable braking performance.

The disc brake pneumatic system is activated by three separate circuits. Full braking power is always available even if there is a pressure drop in one circuit. The brake linings feature built-in wear indicators which activate a lamp on the instrument panel when the linings are due for replacement. In addition, the Scania OmniCity has ABS anti-lock brakes as standard.

Easy access for service

The new city bus is equipped as standard with Scania's new 9-litre engine, which passes the Euro 2 norms by a wide margin. The engine produces 220 hp (985 Nm), 230 hp (1050 Nm) or 260 hp (1180 Nm) and it has a higher torque level than Scania's previous 9-litre engine, while at the same time consuming less fuel.

The new engine produces lower emissions, employs better injection technology, has a longer service life and utilises fewer components than its predecessor. It is installed transversely and inclined 60 degrees. Drive to the rear wheels takes place via a four-speed or five-speed automatic gearbox. The entire powertrain can be lifted out for maintenance by undoing a single beam in the engine compartment. On the left side, undoing another beam makes it possible to remove just the gearbox on its own, through the left-side engine compartment hatch.

The large engine compartment hatch features parallel suspension arma and it lifts up when opened, entirely out of the way. With this hatch open, all the daily service points are immediately accessible on an eye-level bracket.

The bus has a socket for connection to the computerised Scania Diagnos fault-tracing system.

Quiet and environmentally suitable

The engine meets the very highest environmental standards, and the exterior noise level is just 77 dB.

For customers who so want, the bus can be supplied with a ethanol further enhancing the bus's environmental benefits. Ethanol-powered versions are equipped with four fuel tanks. They are made of plastic, with a capacity of 400 litres, and they are positioned above and behind the front wheel housings.

Scania is one of the world's leading manufacturers of trucks and buses for heavy transport applications, and of industrial and marine engines. With 22,000 employees and production facilities in Europe and Latin America, Scania is one of the most profitable companies in its sector. In 1995, turnover totalled approx. SEK 34,800 million and profits after depreciation approx. SEK 4,800 million. Scania products are marketed in about 100 countries worldwide and approximately 95% of total production is sold outside Sweden.

Bus manufacture takes place in Sweden, Brazil, Denmark and Poland.