Blue Bird unveils new gasoline-powered school bus

Blue Bird introduced its newest product offering at the School Transportation News (STN) Expo Conference and Trade Show in Reno.

“The Blue Bird Gasoline-Powered Type C Vision School Bus is designed to make ownership more affordable and to provide easier maintenance for school districts and contractors, and will utilize Ford Motor Company’s modern and highly efficient Ford 6.8L V10 gasoline engine,” the company said.

Utilizing much of the same proven technology and engine architecture as its propane-autogas powered bus, Blue Bird notes its new gasoline bus will offer the same reliability and durability that customers expect — at a lower acquisition cost.

“With an attractive upfront price, Blue Bird’s new gasoline-powered Vision bus will provide a very affordable option to customers and keep the total cost of ownership as low as possible,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO. “Maintenance and service of this proven and modern gasoline engine is simpler for technicians, while the bus is powerful and quiet to drive. This product is another example of our commitment to bringing innovative and affordable class-leading products to the school bus market that customers want and value.”

According to the company, Blue Bird’s partnership with Ford and ROUSH CleanTech, the same team that brought the Blue Bird propane-powered Vision to the industry, has allowed Blue Bird to produce a Type C gasoline bus featuring the same proven 6.8L V10 engine and 6R-140 transmission used in more than 5,500 Blue Bird Propane Vision buses.

“Ford Component Sales is excited to continue to partner with Blue Bird and ROUSH CleanTech in creating innovative products. We started with our class-leading propane engine and now our gasoline engine will also be powering Blue Bird’s Vision bus,” said Ford executive Jamy Rankin. “The gasoline-powered bus will utilize the same powertrain as Ford’s medium-duty commercial F-650/F-750, tailored for school bus applications, providing industry-leading engine performance and durability to Blue Bird’s customers.” Ford has produced over 1.3 million of these engines, making it one of the most prevalent commercial duty engines on the market today.

According to the company, customers will find the benefits of the Blue Bird gasoline bus include:

•             Lower upfront price

•             Minimal emissions hardware to maintain

•             Outstanding cold weather starting capability

•             Familiarity of engine for mechanics

•             Quiet, smooth operation

•             5 year/unlimited mileage warranty

The Blue Bird gasoline-powered school bus will be available in 2016.

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