Volvo Super Olympian

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Volvo Super Olympian
JG3533.jpg
KMB's Volvo Super Olympian 12 m (3ASV44) with Walter Alexander ALX500 body.
KMB 3ASV intr.JPG
Interior of KMB's Volvo Super Olympian (ALX500 body).
Overview
Manufacturer Volvo Buses
Body and chassis
Doors 2 doors
Floor type Low floor
Powertrain
Engine Volvo D10A285
Power output 285hp
Transmission Voith/ZF
Dimensions
Length 10.6m and 12.0m
Width 2.5m/2.55m
Chronology

Volvo Super Olympian, also known as B10TL, is a low-floor double-decker bus which replaced the 3-axle version of Volvo Olympian (the 2-axle version was replaced by Volvo B7TL).

It was unveiled in 1998, with one chassis being sent to Hong Kong for a motor show held by UITP in the same year. The chassis was later returned to the UK.

Chassis design[edit]

The design of the Super Olympian chassis is based on the Volvo Olympian. The front radiator was moved behind the front axle on the 12m version, or in front of the second axle for the 10.6m version (due to its shorter wheelbase). In order to lower the chassis further, the auxiliary passive steering function of the middle axle was cancelled. The suspension system has also been largely modified so that it is electronically controlled instead of moving passively. One special feature is that after turning, the suspension unit does not return to normal, remaining tilted to either the left or right, until the bus becomes stationary.

An option for 11.3m version of Super Olympian was also available, but no orders were received.

The engine used on these buses is the Volvo D10A285 (Euro II or Euro III), with a maximum power of 285 hp (213 kW), lower than 305 hp (227 kW) of the Cummins M11-305E used on Neoplan Centroliner and Dennis Trident 3, or the 335 hp (250 kW) of the later Cummins ISMe Euro III used on Dennis Trident 3/Enviro500s.

Its somewhat insufficient engine power has earned some mildly derisive nicknames in Hong Kong. The most common are "豬" (pig), "扒" (meat cutlet) and "豬扒" (pork chop, derived from the pronunciation of the word "Super").

Initially, the Super Olympian chassis were built in Volvo's factory in Irvine, Scotland. After the closure of the factory in mid-2000, production was moved to Wrocław, Poland.

Hong Kong[edit]

Kowloon Motor Bus[edit]

12m version[edit]

KMB's Volvo Super Olympian 12 m (3ASV442) with Volgren body.

Kowloon Motor Bus ordered the first batch of 61 Super Olympians with ZF 4HP590 transmission, Alexander ALX500 body and roller shuttle route displays in 1998. The first bus passed the tilt test of the Transport Department in May 1999 and was licensed in August 1999. They were numbered 3ASV1-61, entering service in 1999. All except the prototype 3ASV3 had narrow 2+2 seats on the upper deck.

A total of 80 Super Olympians (3ASV62-141) entered service between 2000/2001. These buses have electronic route displays and ZF 5HP590 transmission. 3ASV78 was the 3000th Walter Alexander-bodied bus supplied to KMB, and 3ASV141 was the first KMB bus to meet Euro III emission standards.

The last 351 Super Olympians (3ASV142-492), including 21 which were fitted with Australian Volgren CR223LD bodywork, entered service between 2001/2002. All of these buses had their chassis built in Poland. Their D10A285 engines were built to meet Euro III emission standards and had aluminium alloy front wheels supplied by ALCOA. 3ASV297 was coated with special metallic paint, which shows different colours (mainly green and purple), depending on the angle of light reflection.

10.6m version[edit]

KMB's Volvo Super Olympian 10.6 m (ASV83). The radiator of the 10.6 m Super Olympians are moved backward as a result of shorter wheelbase.

Kowloon Motor Bus is the only buyer of 10.6m Super Olympians. The first 49 10.6m Super Olympians (with Alexander ALX500 bodies, numbered ASV1-49) were introduced in 2001. They are equipped with D10A285 Euro II engines and had ALCOA front wheels.

ASV50, which was put into service in 2002, is a prototype short-wheelbase Super Olympian (chassis built in 1999), and also the only short-wheelbase Super Olympian built in Scotland. It is equipped with a Euro III D10A285 engine and ZF 4HP590 transmission rather than the previous 5HP590 as fitted to older ASVs.

ASV51-100 are also equipped with the Euro III D10A285 engines. They are almost identical with ASV1-49, except for minor interior differences. Only the first 24 were put into service in 2003. The remaining 26 were stored for more than a year, with their engines tuned to increase their power outputs, and they were put into service between September 2004 and March 2005.

12m wider version[edit]

KMB's Volvo Super Olympian 12 m (AVW35) with Wright body.

In January 2003, Kowloon Motor Bus received the first Super Olympian with Wright 2550mm-wide body (once known as the Wright Explorer). Like the TransBus Enviro500, it featured a straight staircase and plug exit door. It was numbered AVW1 and was registered on 20 March 2003.

The next 49 buses (AVW2-50) with a slightly different design followed shortly after AVW1, they entered service in 2003/2004. One of them (fleet number AVW47) had participated in Coach and Bus 2003 and EFE Showbus 2003 in UK before being delivered.

The last 50 buses (AVW51-100), which are almost identical to AVW2-50, entered service in 2004/2005.

Early withdrawal[edit]

On 3 July 2008, two of KMB's 12-metre Super Olympians with Alexander ALX500 bodies [Fleet numbers 3ASV49 (JG5355) and 3ASV311 (KK2883)] and one with Wright body [AVW55 (LP771)] were written off after being burnt out in KMB's depot in Tin Shui Wai on 31 March 2008.

On 13 September 2011, one Super Olympian (3ASV181/KD4129) was destroyed (along with a Volvo Olympian 3AV269/HE8161) in a suspected arson attack in Tsz Wan Shan (South) Bus Terminus and was written off one month later. Another bus (3ASV75/JP5720) damaged in the same incident re-entered service not long afterwards.

On 1 February 2012, one Super Olympian (3ASV304/KJ6035) was written off after being burnt out at Po Lam Road North near Tsui Lam Estate. The bus was written off two months later.

New World First Bus[edit]

A NWFB Super Olympian (5090, left) with a NWFB Dennis Trident 3 (1214).

New World First Bus bought 103 Super Olympians in five batches, all are 12 metres long and were fitted with Alexander ALX500 body.

The first 40 Super Olympians (5001-5040), with electronic route displays, were introduced in 1999. The next 20 (5041-5060), with their side route number boxes moved to a lower position, entered service in 2000/2001. The chassis of 5060 was the first to be built in Poland.

The next 19 Super Olympians (5061-5079), with Euro III D10A285 engines and ALCOA front wheels, entered service in 2001. To mark the occasion of meeting the Euro III emission standard, New World First Bus designed a full body advertisement for one of them (fleet number 5070) to state that they were environmentally friendly.

They were followed by 10 similar examples (5080-5089) later that year. Among these buses, 5080-5086 had their registration numbers originated from ex-CMB buses and service cars.

The last batch of 14 Super Olympians (5090-5103), introduced in 2002, had their rear electronic route number displays raised above the emergency window to form a box, the design being unique among all similar vehicles in Hong Kong.

Singapore[edit]

SBS Transit[edit]

SBS9888Y, which was Singapore's first Volvo Super Olympian bus, is mostly similar to the production buses. This bus was destroyed in a fire in March 2010.
An SBS Transit Volvo Super Olympian (with Volgren bodywork) in Singapore.
Lower interior of the SBS Transit's Volvo Super Olympian.
SBS9889U is an Volvo Super Olympian demonstrator bodied by ComfortDelgro Engineering and is owned by SBS Transit.

Super Olympian buses are also in service in Singapore with bus operator SBS Transit. In late 1999, Volvo delivered one Volgren CR222LD-bodied Super Olympian (body assembled in Australia) to the then Singapore Bus Service as a demonstrator. This bus had an electronic route display and the chassis was built in UK. It was registered SBS9888Y and entered service in October 1999. The electronic route display was removed on 1 December 2005.

Singapore Bus Service then ordered a further 51 Volvo Super Olympian chassis. They had Voith DIWA863.3 transmission, rather than ZF 5HP590 transmission as in SBS9888Y. Only the chassis of SBS9810X was built in UK, the others in Poland.

Among these 51 buses, 50 of them were fitted with Volgren CR222LD bodywork and registered SBS9800A to SBS9849K. The body of SBS9810X was assembled in Australia, and it was equipped with Transit Media Electronic Display System(EDS), while other bodies were delivered to Singapore as kits. SBS9800A entered service in April 2002 and SBS9801Y - SBS9849K entered service in early 2003. Originally equipped with the Voith DIWA863.3 transmission, SBS9805L, SBS9806J, SBS9812R, SBS9817C, SBS9825D and SBS9834C was retrofitted with the ZF 4HP500 transmission. The last was fitted with ComfortDelGro Engineering bodywork; it was registered as SBS9889U and finally entered service on Monday 21 March 2005. Unlike other operators, none of SBS Transit's Super Olympian are wheelchair accessible and no wheelchair equipment is installed. Retrofitting of LECIP EDS on these buses are complete.

On 7 March 2010, SBS9888Y was burnt in a bus depot fire and was de-registered on 2 November 2010.

Replacement[edit]

Production of Volvo Super Olympian ended in 2004 after completion of the last order from Kowloon Motor Bus. Its successor was the Volvo B9TL.

See also[edit]

Competitors: