Presented at Bus World, the first Van Hool TX Altano with an Allison Automatic sold in Italy was delivered to IAS Touring in Cosenza, Italy
TORINO, Italy – The journey is long from the south of Italy to the north. For comfort, fuel efficiency and ease of driving, IAS Touring in Rossano (Cosenza, Italy) chose the new Van Hool TX Altano equipped with an Allison fully automatic transmission. Delivered in early August, the coach was immediately put to work along the highways linking Calabria, a region in southern Italy, to Torino, Bergamo, Milano and Bolzano in the the country’s north.
Dealing with a vast network of regional and inter-regional coaches, IAS Touring covers over 4 million miles (7 million km) per year, employs 170 people, and has a fleet numbering 120 buses and coaches. Rental activity is key for the company, which is widely acknowledged as a reputable, reliable hired-coach company.
“The company chose the new Van Hool coach with great care, prioritizing a quiet, relaxing passenger experience because of the distances covered running the length of Italy,” said Cosimo Sposato, fleet manager for IAS Touring. “Having to travel for so many kilometers, it was key for the coach to be comfortable and silent.”
After several journeys operating the coach, Francesco Antonio Sposato, an IAS driver, offered his opinion of the vehicle: “The Allison-fitted Van Hool Altano is silent and very easy to drive,” he said. “Passengers arrive in the north of Italy relaxed, having traveled along the whole Italian Peninsula.” Sposato added that the automatic transmission is very reactive even at full load, an opinion shared by the others who have driven the coach.
Improved fuel economy has been another benefit. “Fuel consumption has been reduced thanks to Allison’s automatic transmission,” said Cosimo Sposato. “In our experience, for a bus like this, it is excellent. Considering that this Altano travels an average of 7,000 km a week, it means big savings for our company.”
Manlio Alvaro, EMEA marketing director for Allison Transmission, said Allison used the best fuel-saving technology available in the Van Hool coach.
“FuelSense® optimizes a vehicle’s fuel consumption in any working condition, based on both the load and road conditions,” said Alvaro. “The automatic, powershifting transmission assures a continuous flow of power between the engine and drilveline, allowing for the most efficient use of fuel. Moreover, its patented torque converter multiplies engine torque at vehicle launch, reducing engine revolutions during travelling.”
Van Hool and Allison have worked together for many years supplying automatic transmission equipped coaches for the North American market. This cooperation has now expanded into European coaches. The 14-meter-long TX Altano 18 is the first in Italy with an Allison transmission. Equipped with a 510-horsepower DAF engine, the coach is fitted with an Allison Torqmatic® model T 525 with retarder. Engineered for efficient operation with six forward gears and one reverse, 5th Generation electronic controls allow for better performance and include advanced prognostic features. A fully integrated transmission retarder allows the vehicle to slow quietly and gradually.
“The coach has made a great impression on IAS Tours, not only because of its comfort and smooth ride, but because they appreciate how easy it is to drive, how well it maneuvers and its silence on long journeys,” said Frank Donato of Van Hool After-Sales in Italy.