RICHMOND, Va. — Blue Bird will offer a new compressed natural gas (CNG) school bus, a new Cummins diesel engine and a new Eaton transmission in 2016.
The school bus OEM announced the new offerings at the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) trade show in Richmond on Tuesday.
“Along with the gasoline-powered Blue Bird Vision that we announced earlier this year, Blue Bird’s four all-new powertrains in 2016 demonstrate our commitment to new products that customers want and value,” Blue Bird President and CEO Phil Horlock said. “This represents an unprecedented pace of new product launches and is an exciting time for Blue Bird and our customers.”
Blue Bird will begin production of its first Type C Vision school bus fueled by CNG next year. The new model will utilize Ford’s 6.8L V10 engine and 6R140 transmission with ROUSH CleanTech’s fuel system. The CNG-powered Type C, which joins Blue Bird’s CNG-powered Type D bus, will be available for delivery in late 2016.
Another new Blue Bird offering is the Cummins ISV diesel-powered Vision, which will be launched in the summer of 2016. Company officials said that the quiet, compact ISV 5.0L V8 diesel will provide customers with the lowest acquisition price of all Blue Bird diesel models.
Also new for 2016, Blue Bird will offer the Eaton Procision dual-clutch, seven-speed automatic transmission. Company officials said that the Procision provides efficient acceleration, optimizing shift points to reach the highest gear as early as possible. It will be an option on Blue Bird ISB diesel models and will be available for delivery in the summer of 2016.
“Our customers want and value reliable, affordable and safe bus options that reduce their operating costs,” Blue Bird Chief Operating Officer John Kwapis said. “Our innovative Blue Bird Vision CNG, Blue Bird Vision ISV and ISB diesels, and Eaton Procision transmission will provide a strong return on investment and more choices for our customers.”