Jag provkör Volvos nya dubbeldäckare – Volvo 9700 DD
It’s 7 am, 13th of February. I’m visiting my hometown Borås! Electric bus ! As you may notice this isn’t my parents house. I’m staying at Quality Hotel Grand in Borås. I was invited by this dude: – When people ask you what your job is,
what do you answer? – In Swedish I just say ”PR officer”. My fancy title in English is ”Head of
Media Relations and PR” but I never say that. He reached out to me and asked if I wanted to attend
a pre-launch media event They’re launching a new coach model. Can you believe it?? I’ll get to see a brand new coach! This is the first time it’s shown to the public. And I’m there and you’ll tag along ’cause this is gonna be SO AWESOME! I’m heading down for breakfast and… wait… I almost forgot my schampoo. Heading down for breakfast, and then whe’re off to Hällered outside Borås That’s where we’ll get to see the new bus,
and take it for a test drive too. I’ll get to sit behind the wheel! It’s not just any bus – it’s a double-decker coach!
How awesome is that?? I’ve never driven a double-decker before. It’s height is 4,25 meters (13,9 ft) I’m just hoping I don’t break it. Let’s go! – Good morning!
– Good morning! – Do we get a coach deluxe today?
– Haha, yeah Here we are in Volvo’s VIP coach on our way to the Hällered Proving Ground We’ll get to see a presentation
of the new double-decker coach and then take it for a spin I’m so excited! I’ve never driven a double-decker before. How will it feel with that height? It’s not that windy today, so I won’t feel any significant difference I guess but I’m still looking forward to the overall feeling of it. But also, I mean… I’m used to driving city buses. They’re not super sofisticated really. So it’s gonna be great to drive a coach
that’s a bit more expensive, and engineered for superb comfort. I’m excited to see what the passenger comfort is like as well as in the driver’s seat. What’s special about this is
that it’s super secret right now. We’re filming this one week before publishing. To get a sneak peak like this
before anyone else is incredibly exciting. It’s a special feeling! And tagging along I have Pro Tobbe!
Hey there, Pro Tobbe! A little busy. You’ve hung out with
bus people for a while now. – How’s it been? Are you a bus nerd now?
– It’s… fun. This is Hällered Proving Ground… …Volvo’s huge test facility in Sweden. We’re at one of thirteen test tracks
where they test all kinds of thing. different road conditions: gravel, asphalt,
bumpy bumpy roads. You’ve got skid pads, everything to test
every aspect of different vehicles. Not just buses like today. You’ve got Volvo cars and trucks, everything’s here, even other manufacturers rent these facilities. That’s why there’s such secrecy around this because we might happen to catch
a glimpse of unofficial cars and vehicles that hasn’t been released yet. So it’s important. But now it’s time to run a few laps
with the coach and see what it’s like. Here I am, inside the Volvo 9700 DD! It’s the first time I get to sit behind
the wheel of a double-decker and to do it in a brand new coach… This is a world-exclusive opportunity
to take a look at it before the official launch. So great! Adjusting my seat. We have… We have similar seats in our city buses So I should find… the right settings. As you can see, it’s incredibly spacious I can pull my seat all the way back against the wall I’ve never seen this much space in a bus before.
It’s amazing. I’m quite short so I’ll move forward a bit. The steering wheel is huge but maybe that’s a good thing? Gonna adjust it as well. There we go… The engine is running… let’s roll! No traffic today. The first thing to remember when
driving a coach as a city bus driver is to NOT put the pedal to the metal. We’re used to doing that it with
our slow-moving articulated buses They’re not that powerful,
one of the reasons being running on biogas I mean, they… They’re not that fast. When you drive a coach, especially those with brand new, efficient engines you have to… take it easy with the accelerator. To drive this vehicle is an amazing feeling Volvo has a great reputation about them I’ve driven an older model of the regular 9700 and… I gotta say… I have to bow to the sense of quality you get. It’s just… You feel so safe and secure. Sure, it’s a 4,25 m (13,9 ft) double-decker coach That’s pretty high but there’s almost no wind today and generally you don’t think about… what an enormous coach this is. Again, I have to reiterate The amount of space in the driver’s cabin is striking. It’s so roomy and nice. I feel really spoiled. It’s, you know… The buttons are laid out at just the right reach and still room to spare. In some of the buses I drive, you can hardly fit your bag. “Where the heck do I put my bag?” That’s not a problem in this one! Cup holder… It’s the little things I’m picking up on. We don’t have that either. Little things like that actually make a difference. Of course this is standard equipment in a coach but I don’t drive coaches so… … this is so much fun on so many levels! Another thing… … when comparing coaches with city buses is the transmission. Sure, our newer MAN models from 2018 and 2019 run smoothly and are well-calibrated but otherwise they’re a little wonky and jerky I mean, you can’t always blame
the bus driver for jerky rides. That’s night and day here, obviously. It’s incredibly smooth and agile You just touch the accelerator, and you’re off. It’s incredibly optimised in every way. One cool fact about the 9700 DD is the fact that it’s Volvo’s first bus
equipped with virtual side mirrors. They’ve done away with the
regular side mirror “antennas” and replaced them with external
cameras and electronic screens inside. There are several benefits. At first I was skeptical to this new technology which several manufacturers are introducing right now. Like, what about ice formation? How does it work in the dark? But in these cameras, they… They generate a little bit of heat themselves. But they’re also coated with a special kind of plastic which simply prohibits the formation of ice crystals. So that shouldn’t be a problem. And at night the visibility is
far better than with the naked eye. Like, if you drive by night,
especially in rainy or foggy conditions you can hardly make out
the sideline in the right side mirror. That won’t be a problem here. This coach has a 11-litre engine running on diesel or biodiesel. You’ve got 460 horsepower So… if you want to get going, you won’t have to worry Let’s just say that. Volvo Buses are known for their reliability using components that last. Even older models, they’re… You can trust them. And I guess Volvo 9700 DD won’t be an exception. It would’ve been interesting to see
what it feels like in windy conditions and to feel the bus tossing around a bit. Because… I guess that’s when you fully appreciate that you’re driving a double-decker coach. But… next time. Today we have beautiful weather, sun is shining and… it couldn’t have been better. How is it to actually ride the bus as a passenger? I think it’s really comfortable. You could easily spend several hours here. The suspension has a nice bounce to it. The engine noise is a bit louder than other models but it does have that characteristic
Volvo sound, and it sounds great. And over here… there’s a child safety seat both upstairs and downstairs for toddlers. It’s a trend among bus makers right now that I like. It’s so great, because as a parent… that’s what you’re thinking: “How are
we supposed to take the bus with our kid?” So you’re forced to take the car. When this is adopted more and more it’s absolutely wonderful. Upstairs there’s so much space! I’m standing up straight, I’m 176 cm (5′ 9″)
and I have so much room. The Setra double-decker coaches
operating the Bus4You routes you have to hunker down on both floors. Volvo really nailed it with the height. The Norwegian bus trade magazine
“Bussmagasinet” also attended this event. Magne and Tom are real bus and coach experts, reviewing buses all day long. It’s actually their JOB. I’m just a liiiitle jealous. I wanted to hear their thoughts. – How is it, Tom? – It feels really stable and… … a joy to drive. Well-balanced steering. But… you feel every bump in the road. – Alright.
– You do. Especially in the last bend
where the pavement is rough. I very much notice the unevenness of the road. – What did you think of the coach? – I love that Volvo has built a double-decker. I’ve ridden Carrus buses all my life
(bus body builder for Volvo) and I’ve never seen a Carrus double-decker before. It was nice to drive, nice to sit in, and I’m
looking forward to seeing it on the road and hearing what the customers will say. – Yeah, the stability was striking just the way it felt on the road.
– Indeed. – It has to be the weight, right?
– Low center of gravity. A lot of the weight are towards the lower
parts of the coach, which reduces seesawing You get a greater level of stability You notice this when driving a regular 9700. When you’re driving with empty luggage compartment it makes it a bit unstable…
– Oh, alright! – but when the coach is packed the weight pushes down
on the road and you get a smoother ride. – Yeah, alright. – It’s a whole different experience
driving a coach at maximum capacity. In this one you have the stability from the get-go. It hugs the road simply because of the
low center of gravity in a double-decker bus. – You have a lot more coach experience than me. – Yes.
– And you’ve driven double-deckers before. If you compare other models like Setra, and so on…? This one is much taller, and this is…
built for the express bus market made for one or two hour trips. Setra coaches for example are more luxurious. You can sit in them for hours, days going for a 10-day trip to the Alps… … to the northern end of Norway This one is more of a flexible solution
to take you from point A to point B taking you to the next town over, or wherever. But it’s… It is so nice. I wanna say the driver’s seat is the best seat. – It’s…
– Yeah, that’s true! – Yeah, it really is.
– Cool. Alright, guys, if you haven’t already,
you’ve got to check out bussmagasinet.no especially their Youtube channel.
Magne is the man behind it. It’s awesome stuff. I try to top them,
but it’s impossible. I’ve given up. So check them out. And that’s it, that’s all we got. We’ve had a great day here… … two days here, so much good stuff. So yeah, I hope we return someday. – I hope we’ll meet again.
– I hope so! – I’m coming to Linköping…
– You have to! – … to film together.
– I think so! – Check out Bussmagasinet
and watch our videos and… have a good one!
– Goodbye! – Here you can see how the pros do it. The Norwegian way of filmmaking,
how we do it in Norway. How do you do it in Sweden? – In Sweden we think about safety. But uh…
– What should I say? – Do you have any questions for the Norwegians? – Well uh… what’s it like being such bus pros? – You’ll have to answer that, Magne.
– Uh… – You’d think there’d be like
10-15 guys producing their stuff but oh no, it’s that guy over there! Filming and editing and… – You can see how pro I am. Lying in the trunk of a car… – That’s dedication!
– So it’s… And now I’ve got extra help, this is amazing. The staff has increased by 100 percent!