Volvo 9700

The Volvo 9700 is a range of coaches introduced by Volvo in 2001 as a replacement for the Carrus Star and Vector/Regal models. There are three main models in different heights; 9700S (3.42 m), 9700H (3.61 m) and 9700HD (3.73 m). The 9700S is only available in the Nordic countries. In addition there is the stripped down 9500 and the 9900 with theater seating. The coaches come in a variety of lengths up to 15 metres, depending on models and markets. Volvo 9700 is currently sold in most of Europe and North America (including Canada, United States and Mexico). In 2015, the Volvo 9800 was launched as a replacement for the Mexican market, followed by the double-decker 9800DD in March 2018, and an all-new generation of 9700 and 9900 were launched in May 2018 with the same styling as the 9800.

Carrus had for many years great success in the Nordic countries with the Star model range descending from the Delta Star and also the Vector/Regal model range from Ajokki. After Carrus was acquired by Volvo in 1998 the models also came available in other European countries under a variety of different names like Volvo 7450 and 7550. In 2001 Volvo gathered all the different models to one name, Volvo 9700, and on one single platform, the Volvo TX, inheriting most of the visual characteristics from the Star models. Serial production of 9700H and 9700HD started in the summer of 2001, while 9700S came into production in the autumn. All three heights were built by Carrus Oy Delta in Lieto, while Carrus Oy Ajokki in Tampere only built 9700H and 9700S. In 2003 production also started at Volvo Polska Sp. z o.o. in Wrocław, Poland, where only 9700H and 9700HD are built. Ever since the start the plants in Finland have served the Nordic markets, while the Wrocław plant has served the rest of Europe, including the UK. As always there has been a few exceptions to this rule for various reasons.

For the Nordic markets they were fitted on both B12B (rear-engine) and B12M (mid-engine) chassis, with both configurations proving to be nearly equally popular. The B12M being the most popular among old Volvo customers, while the B12B became the choice for new customers. Many customers who earlier had their Carruses built on Scania or Mercedes-Benz chassises chose to become Volvo customers to still be able to get their coach body of choice. In the Wrocław plant they were built on B12B only. Even if not being a general offer, a small batch of 9700S were built on B7R chassis in 2004 for a Finnish operator. Also a very small number of the first generation 9700 were built on B9R chassis, but this may have been entirely for testing.

There is also a difference between the Finnish-built and the Polish-built 9700s when it comes to lengths. While they build it to just about any custom length in Finland, those built in Poland are limited to a set of standard lengths; 12 m, 13 m, 13.8 m and 15 m. From the beginning the Nordic 9700S and 9700H were available as two-axle between 12.0 m and 13.7 m, and as tri-axle up to 15.0 m. However, in 2003 the European Union and European Economic Area limited the maximum length of a two-axle vehicle to 13.5 m, also affecting these models. The 9700HD as a tri-axle came in lengths between 13.0 m and 15.0 m, and as a two-axle they came in lengths around 12 m and a super-short 10.32 m, which was only available on the mid-engine B12M chassis.

In 2004 the model received a minor facelift. That year the Finnish plants were renamed; the Tampere plant became Volvo Bus Finland Oy Tampere Factory and the Lieto plant became Volvo Bus Finland Oy Turku Factory. Turku being the nearest city to Lieto.

In 2001 and 2002, the body model was also available on other chassises as the Carrus Star 503 (9700H) and Star 603 (9700HD) in Finland, Sweden and Norway. A handful of Star 503 were built on Scania K114EB/K124EB and Scania K114IB/K124IB chassis. In Norway they were all sold as Scania Classic. Two Star 503 were built on Mercedes-Benz OC500RF for Norwegian operator TIRB. Only two Star 603 are known to have been built on Scania chassis. A K124EB 6x2 to Norway in summer of 2001 and a K124EB 4x2 to Finland in early 2002.

This page was last edited on 23 May 2018, at 17:27.
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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