The new Van Hool T coach, shown in exclusive previews to customers and trade-press, will set the tone for the Van Hool brand over the next ten years. Van Hool T will be positioned between the Van Hool EX and TDX series. The most striking design feature of the new coach is the particularly convex windscreen for a maximum air flow together with a new front underside to minimise air turbulence. The new T-series will carry the familiar Van Hool model names: T Alicron, T Acron and T Astron.
At the press conference it was explained that the development of the Van Hool T is guided by four main themes: Aerodynamics, Design, Comfort and Safety. Aerodynamics for optimal efficiency by reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions as result of the integrated fairing fins and the roof spoiler guiding the air flow, thus reducing turbulence. Because of the new aerodynamic streamlining Van Hool states that wind noise is also kept to a minimum. The design of the new T is meant to be timeless but with a recognisable Van Hool design complete with horizontal lines front and rear and the chrome strip on the side of the vehicle. The front and rear lights make full use of LED technology and complement the new design. Fog lights and cornering lights have been fully integrated into the design.
To make the entrance easier the stairs in the T have been widened giving access to a new interior. Surfaces are finished in black, such as the window framing, seat frames and rails. Newly designed luggage racks are placed more sideways and slightly tilted, increasing the storage volume. Passengers seated in the aisle seats can stand up straight without being obstructed by the racks. A new generation of seats completes the interior. They are lighter, saving weight of 5 to 6 kg per seat. The roof liner above the driver’s seat is finished in a light colour and is indirectly illuminated by the LED interior lighting to avoid disturbing the driver and his view outside. The driver has a new work environment with a new dashboard, ergonomically fully designed and rearranged, a digital display. Van Hool has also developed a new more energy efficient climate control system with antiviral capabilities. The new systems produces 6 to 10 decibels less noise.
With the Van Hool T rollout, the brand is also introducing new safety equipment, the Mobileye Shield+ safety programme with Turning Assist which detects the presence of vulnerable road users next to the vehicle, Pedestrian Collision Warning (PCW), Speed Limitation Indication (SLI), Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR), Highway Monitoring Warning (HMW) and Driver Drowsiness Indication (DDI). PACCAR-DAF again supplies engines from the EURO VI NG generation (11 and 13 litres) with a power range of 270kW (367hp) to 390kW (530hp). A choice of automated gearboxes (ZF TraXon) and automatic gearboxes (ZF EcoLife and Allison) is offered.