Irizar-VolvoB7R coach

Allen Matzel tests the first Irizar-bodied Volvo B7R chassis to hit the road in Australia.

Victorian bus operator Popes Consolidated Bus Lines of Timboon has taken delivery of the first Irizar bodied Volvo B7R coach with a second unit on the way with a basic Irizar school bus body.

These are the first Irizar buses in to the Popes fleet and they are joining a number of other Volvo B7Rs already on the road.

ABC met up with the Irizar-Volvo and Irizar’s Guy Pex for a run through the Dandenong ranges to see how the B7R which is Euro 5 compliant handled the terrain.

Well I can say it handled it reasonably well, the Irizar Century 3500 body sits well on the Volvo B7R chassis and the 290hp of the B7R proved adequate for the job.

The test route took us through Emerald, Monbulk and surrounding areas with a photo stop at the Cardinia Reservoir.

There was even an opportunity to test out the cruise control (which works well).

The ZF auto provided a smooth gear change and the retarder works so well that the brakes don’t need to be touched until you come to a halt.

This first B7R is to a full charter spec with reversing camera, full audio visual system with two TV screens; Popes have had McConnell 2/3 Educator seats fitted to this bus which allows for 3×2 seating when carrying primary school students.

There is ample bin space with full thru bins and the standard ribbed bin floor (there is a flat floor option).

Inside the bus is very neat and up to the typically high Irizar standard, with an easy to clean flat floor and aircraft style luggage racks.

The cooling system is the standard Hispacool heat cool unit.

In the driver’s seat the driver has the standard leather ISRI air ride seat and a very well set out dash, the Volvo steering column is fully adjustable and can be adjusted better than some others.

There are three stalks protruding from the steering column, one on the left hand side operates the indicators, high beam and cruise control.

On the right hand side there are two stalks, the upper one operates the amount of retardation required while the lower one operates the wipers and the dash computer.

The Volvo B7R is powered by a Volvo D7E 290hp seven litre turbocharged engine with electronically controlled injection, common rail fuel system.

This puts out 213kW (290hp) at 2100rpm and develops an impressive 1200Nm of torque between 1050-1650 rpm.

Volvo uses SCR Ad Blue to comply with Euro 5 and has a 40 litre tank for the Ad Blue.

The transmission on the B7R is a ZF 6AP1400B six speed automatic with torque converter, hydraulic retarder and NBS (Neutral at Bus Stop).

Gear ratios on the ZF are; torque converter 1.968, first 3.36, second 1.91, third 1.42, fourth 1.00, fifth 0.72, sixth 0.615 and reverse 4.24.

The B7R rides on full air suspension with two air bags, two double acting hydraulic telescopic shock absorbers and two leveling valves on the front axle and four air bags, four double acting hydraulic telescopic shock absorbers and two leveling valves on the rear axle.

A neat package that gives the bus operator another chassis option when looking at Irizar bodies.

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