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GPN’s Strategic Partner, VDL is delighted to introduce you the New VDL Futura double-decker: a milestone in Futura family

GPN’s Strategic Partner, VDL is delighted to introduce you the New VDL Futura double-decker: a milestone in Futura family

– Comfortable double-decker carries up to 96 people
-Low fuel consumption means low CO2 emissions
– Modular lightweight construction contributes to excellent profitability

VDL Bus & Coach introduces their new double-decker coach, the VDL Futura FDD2 – a tremendous new asset for intercity and holiday transport. As the successor to the successful VDL Synergy, the VDL Futura FDD2 is the next step in the evolution of double-decker coaches. With a capacity of up to 96 passengers, VDL Bus & Coach offers both the discerning holidaymaker and the intercity business passenger a comfortable and suitable transport solution. With its sophisticated, streamlined, modern design, the VDL Futura FDD2 is the next milestone in the high-end VDL Futura family and a perfect companion to the FHD2 and FMD2. The fuel-efficient powertrain in combination with the aerodynamic styling guarantee low fuel consumption and thus low CO2 emissions. The VDL Futura FDD2 is the coach that not only optimally contributes to ‘Profit of Ownership’ but will also become the showpiece of many coach companies.

In 2010, VDL Bus & Coach launched the luxurious New Futura FHD2, which in 2012 was crowned with the prestigious title ‘Coach of the Year’. It formed the basis for an entirely new line of coaches, with the FDD2 as the current – and with a height of four metres, literal – high point.

Following in the tracks of the FHD2 and FMD2, the new FDD2 is the third branch in the Futura family. The Futura design language is clearly recognizable in the FDD2, yet this double-decker also has its own distinctive design features. The height of four metres gave the designers the opportunity to create a beautifully aerodynamic front – one that appears to be a single, continuous, curved window. In truth, however, this windscreen consists of multiple sections, to keep replacement costs down if it is ever damaged.

The design is accentuated by the daytime running lights in the dynamically designed, arrow-shaped headlight units and the contour lights above the windscreen. The interior is characterized by round corners, good workmanship, modern, light colours and lightweight materials. It radiates unity and harmony, making the traveller feel at ease during the longer commutes for which double-deckers are mainly deployed.

Design language

The new VDL Futura FDD2 is a true member of the Futura family, with the instantly recognizable VDL identity. The FDD2 is another fine example in the long tradition of VDL-built coaches. With its distinctive design and height of four metres it is a real eye-catcher on the road. The Futura family history is tangible in the prominent and very recognizable logo and the design language, as seen in the front, headlight units and design elements in the sides and back.

Luxurious limousine

The Futura FDD2 is available in two lengths: 13,085 mm (FDD2-130 for up to 84 passengers) and 14,145 mm (FDD2-141 for up to 96 passengers), both three-axle coaches. With wheelbases of 6,195 and 7,255 mm respectively, this results in tight turning radii of 21,450 mm and 24,300 mm, thanks in part to a maximum wheel deflection of 52°. With a front overhang of 2,280 mm for both models and a rear overhang of 3,110 mm, this new Futura FDD2 remains a highly manoeuvrable double-decker. The integral construction is similar to that of the FHD2, naturally with the necessary modifications for strength and stiffness that are required for a double-decker. The electronically controlled air suspension of the VDL Futura FDD2 is not purely for passenger comfort. The FDD2 combines excellent road holding with a high level of comfort, as its family members, the FHD2 and FMD2, have already amply proven. The VDL Futura FDD2 offers passengers the comfort and safety of a luxury limousine.
Modular construction as new standard

VDL Bus & Coach has taken the modular construction of coaches to great heights. The synergy between the FHD2 and FMD2 is a striking example of this. With the development of the FDD2, VDL Bus & Coach has further perfected this approach. The back of the new FDD2 is the spitting image of that of the FHD2, only a little higher. The arched shape has been retained, as have the aerodynamics. The FDD2 also shares the dynamically styled rear lights with the FHD2.

The modular construction system developed by VDL Bus & offers many synergistic benefits. For example, the basic front and rear axle modules for the FDD2 are identical to those of the FHD2. The modules are produced in the production halls at VDL Bus Modules in Valkenswaard. Then the modules are preassembled, after which they are joined together on a short production line. The separate manufacturing of the various components of the Futura coaches makes it possible to remove the raw material processing – welding, sawing, cutting – from the assembly area so assembly can be performed in an extremely clean and efficient manner. The modular construction techniques used by VDL Bus & Coach provide the highest possible level of optimization and efficiency.
Sandwich technique

The VDL Bus & Coach modular design approach makes it possible for the FDD2 to also take advantage of the latest techniques used in the FDH2 and FMD2, such as the exceptionally lightweight sandwich panel roof. VDL has further refined this technique, and in the FDD2 it is also used for the floor of the upper deck. As a result, the headroom on the lower deck has increased to a spacious 1,855 mm. The necessary strength of this floor element is achieved through use of an aluminium extrusion profile. Construction with a lightweight roof and upper-deck floor lowers the vehicle’s centre of gravity, which results in excellent road-holding. One of the features of the lower-deck floor is its excellent insulation value, keeping road and engine noise to an absolute minimum.

Lightweight construction means savings

Modular construction results in considerable weight savings. Besides in the sandwich panel floor and roof, that VDL developed in-house, weight savings can also be found in the furnishings, the newly designed lavatory and the kitchen unit, all achieved through the use of lightweight materials and an optimized floorplan, even though the toilet has a large 80-litre septic tank for the storage of waste water.