SB220 spearheads Des single-deck bus attack
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• Daf Bus has confirmed that it will be entering the UK single-deck city bus market with its long-awaited SB220 underframe, which will be available by the second half of the year.
A right-hand-drive prototype SB220 was originally shown to British bus operators last March, and since then Daf Bus has been making a number of minor revisions to the chassis to suit the UK market.
The company says that it will officially announce its plans for the single-deck market before the end of the month, when it will reveal which coachbuilder will be bodying the SB220. So far it will only say that it will be a British company. Because of the integral design of the SB220, its frame and the body shell have to complement each other structurally. Daf Bus has been talking with a number of UK coachbuilders, including Plaxtons, Duple and Northern Counties since it exhibited its prototype early last year; another contender could be Optare, the Leeds-based bodybuilder which is due to launch a new lowfloor single deck bus body soon. The Optare body could also be used on the West Yorks PTA ElectroBus project (CM 12-18 Nov '84).
Regardless of which bodybuilder gets the contract, the 5.3-metre wheelbase SB220 is likely to have a body around 11.3 metres long.
The rear-engined SB220 is fitted with the horizontallymounted 11.6-litre Daf LC engine which is rated at 162kW (218hp) and has a peak torque of 970Nm (7151bft) at 1,300rpm. Partial engine encapsulation has helped keep drive-by noise levels down to 77dB(A).
Operators will have the choice of a four-speed ZE4HP500 automatic gearbox (which with the 4.1:1 rear axle gives a maximum speed of 85km/h) or a 5HP-500 overdrive version, which offers a maximum top speed of 106km/h for interurban operations. A Voith transmission will also be offered.
The SB220 will have full air suspension which can be deflated to give a low entry step height.