Volvo B7L

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Volvo B7L
Arriva NWW Volvo B7L Wright Eclipse 1.jpg
Arriva North West Wright Eclipse bodied Volvo B7L serving routes in Eccles.
Interior of an Arriva North West Wright Eclipse bodied Volvo B7L
Manufacturer Volvo
Production 2000–2006
Body and chassis
Class Bus chassis
Body style Single-decker bus
Single-decker articulated bus
Double-decker bus
Doors 1 door, 2 doors, 3 doors or 4 doors
Floor type Low floor
Chassis Volvo
Engine Volvo D7C
Transmission Voith D864.3E/ ZF Ecomat 5HP502
Length 12.0m, 12.5m and 18.0m
Width 2.55m
Height various from 3.0m to 4.4m
Predecessor Volvo B10L
Volvo B7LA

The Volvo B7L was a fully low floor single-decker bus, double-decker bus and articulated bus chassis with a rear engine mounted vertically on the left of the rear overhang, it was built as a replacement for the Volvo B10L. It was used as both a single-decker bus and a double-decker bus chassis largely in Continental Europe.

The B7L was also available as an integrally-constructed Volvo bus - the Volvo 5000 (later renumbered 7500, with aluminium structure) and Volvo 7000 (later renumbered 7700, with stainless steel structure).

Whilst similar to the B10L in design, both featuring a side-mounted engine, the B7L's engine was a Volvo D7C unit mounted vertically, as opposed to the horizontally mounted Volvo DH10/GH10 engine of the B10L; the radiator was mounted above the engine instead of the right-hand side, allowing the floor to be lower behind the rear axle. As with the B10L, B7L was also available in its articulated form named the B7LA.

Outside Continental Europe, the B7L was introduced in the United Kingdom in 2000, as a replacement for the Volvo B10BLE single-decker. It could be fitted with Wright Eclipse body (and Eclipse Fusion body for B7LA), but proved unpopular due to the arrangement of engine and radiator limiting seating capacity, with FirstGroup being the only major customer. Volvo responded by introducing the B7RLE for the UK market. In Ireland, Bus Éireann purchased 25 B7L's between 2001 & 2003. The double-decker version of B7L was also sold in UK, used as public bus (East Lancs Nordic body) or sightseeing bus (Ayats Bravo City open-top body).

Volvo B7L and B7LA-based buses are used in Greece. In Athens, Volvo B7LAs constructed by Saracakis have been used since 1999. In Thessaloniki, the local operator OASTH introduced 22 B7LAs in 2004 with 34 more coming in 2005 and 35 more in 2006, while 54 B7Ls were introduced in 2004 and 47 in 2005 together with 15 11m B7Ls also in 2005 all constructed by ELVO.

In 2005, Wrightbus unveiled the Wright StreetCar which is a tram-like articulated bus built with modified B7LA chassis. The chassis has a shorter front overhang, the driver's cab relocated to above the front axle and the radiator relocated to the roof, giving a full-width rear window.

The Volvo B7L was superseded by the Volvo B9L in 2006.

See also

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