Colombiabus newsroom – William Marroquín
THE CURRENT GENERATION 7 WILL CONTINUE IN PRODUCTION
The replacement for Marcopolo’s Generation 7, the best-selling road bus in the entire Western Hemisphere and present in more than 80 countries, has been the subject of speculation since 2018. It is not easy to find a replacement for a model that has been so successful in sales and that also has created a school with its design oriented to aerodynamic fluidity, faired surfaces and interior comfort. A bus that from day one was a winning proposal, conquering transporters, passengers, drivers and fans.
Well, the work of nearly five years researching, developing new solutions, gathering the experiences of transporters in the road and freight (rental) segment and preparing to receive a transport reactivation, has culminated with the worldwide launch of Generation 8 or simply «G8»from Marcopolo, the Brazilian bus giant.
«For more than 70 years, innovation has been in our DNA, and today we open an important chapter in a company that does not stop growing, being a world reference in the manufacture of bus bodies offering comfort and technology for passengers, as well as profitability to As customers, we are prepared for the future, which will be on board a Marcopolo », says James Bellini, CEO of Marcopolo.
This new launch will mark the history of Marcopolo and another leap for road passenger transport. Its front is exclusive for this Generation 8, with a larger surface of the panoramic that is integral design and its nibs do not interfere with the driver’s vision when they are not turned on. The silhouette of the G8 allows better aerodynamic penetration compared to that offered by the G7, which was already very good, reducing drag and helping to improve fuel consumption.
It is also accompanied by a new generation LED optical units, with a specific design and longer range to improve visibility, especially at night, the main headlights have a wedge shape. The rear was oriented to find the appropriate proportions in the forms, to maintain that family resemblance, although the play of lights occupies a greater surface.
When approaching it, an illuminated staircase on each step and a handrail covered with antibacterial material, facilitate access to both the cockpit and the passenger lounge. In the driving position you have to stop, as it is one of the areas that received the most improvements, highlighting the new control panel, where a touch screen stands out that integrates the functions that were previously in the multiplex panels and is complemented by buttons, which allows the operator to operate the controls in two ways, improving precision.
Another interesting detail is the larger glazed surface on the access doors, which helps to identify objects and especially reduce blind spots, facilitating safer maneuvers for the peace of mind of drivers.
A more enveloping chair, with a wider backrest and built in a single piece since the headrest is integrated, seeks to reduce the fatigue of the professional who directs the vehicle. The passenger seats, which were one of the most appreciated components of Generation 7, were revised with new tones, foams and materials combining dark colors and stitching that give it a more modern air, also to recline is softer.
«The proposal of the driver’s cabin sought to provide a better user experience, we increased the field of vision to provide greater safety and peace of mind on trips, the instrument panel is completely new, with fluid shapes and incorporating new technology, with a new operating concept including colors and shapes that allow a quick understanding of the controls »highlights Alexandre Garcia, UX Interior Designer at Marcopolo.
On the other hand, the outputs for the USB ports and the headphone inputs were relocated, now remaining in the seat bags, preventing them from being dispersed, the luggage racks debut fully LED lighting sets, they grow in space to house objects, in addition to an attractive style proposal for the light and air conditioning diffusers, the reading lights come on automatically. The toilet combines black and white tones to improve identification, in addition to offering more space with a wider door, aimed at ease of use.
Marcopolo challenged himself to build an even better vehicle, also in terms of safety: higher-strength steel was used in the construction of the structure, the section of the side columns was increased by 25%, new production methods and more demanding tests of collision and rollover, first digitally simulated and later taken to the real test with prototypes, achieving a high preservation of the cabin and therefore, fewer chances of injuries and fatalities.
For Generation 8, work was done on creating a passive safety system to protect drivers and walkers, frontal impact tests were simulated with rescue interventions by fire brigades. The tests showed that the new passive protection kit saves up to 30 minutes in the tasks to free the driver, extract him from the bus and transfer him to an assistance center.
The vehicle offers cameras instead of the classic exterior mirrors, to be able to capture all angles, avoid blind spots, have vision in any weather or light conditions and anticipate maneuvers, even with infrared technology to see at night. For markets such as Colombia, this option will be offered, which the transporter should consider as standard equipment.
Marcopolo spoke with numerous Brazilian transporters, who joined the contributions of many clients in Latin America, helping to build the new model, of which some features had been seen in February 2021. A reality that will soon be on the roads Rodoviarias de Brazil, with the Aguiabranca Group as the first client, which will operate it between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, from September 2021.
In any case, to facilitate the transition and allow greater choice for customers, Marcopolo will keep Generation 7 on the market, which will be seen in other markets gradually, starting in 2022.
A bus with many details of design, safety and comfort expected by transporters and lovers of the brand that will also lead passengers to an enhanced travel experience. It is also close to European creations, a market where Marcopolo will surely want to reach, because in the other continents the Brazilian giant is present, Generation 8 will continue to strengthen the brand’s position as a benchmark in the bus industry.