Whitelaws, who were one of the first to pilot the 9700 two years ago, opted for the tri-axle version this time in order to provide greater passenger and luggage capacity while maintaining the same high standards, and it has proved a very wise move.
“For us the 9700 combines the ultimate in comfort and safety – factors which are hugely important to us - with the peace of mind of knowing that it is Volvo throughout,” explained Sandra Whitelaw.
The 13m Volvo 9700 Prestige Plus is specified with the popular and fuel efficient 12 litre DH12E engine – rated at 460bhp - coupled to the I-Shift gearbox. Enhanced safety features fitted as standard include the latest in preventive and protective measures, such as Front Underrun Protection System (FUPS), Front Impact Protection System (FIPS), Knee Impact Protection System (KIPS), the new generation of Electronic Braking System, Volvo’s Electronic Stability Program and reversing camera.
The UK’s 9700 “Prestige Plus” model boasts an all-inclusive, high specification. The stylish interior, with theatre-style flooring ensures that all 53 passengers have excellent viewing, while the comfortable seats, climate control, servery, toilet and Volvo Sound & Vision entertainment system – comprising CD, DVD player and TFT monitors - mean that every luxury is guaranteed.
The ergonomic driver’s area provides the driver with an excellent overview and enhanced control. The instruments are easy to monitor with a comprehensive, yet clear, information display panel in the middle of the main instrument binnacle. The instrument panel itself features gently flowing lines and logically positioned controls whilst large window areas and rear-vision mirrors, with integrated wide-angle mirrors, provide excellent visibility throughout.
The new vehicle is being used for UK and European tours as well as private hire and the response from drivers and passengers so far has been the same. “They love it!” says Sandra. “The drivers think it’s one of the best coaches they’ve ever driven while as far as the passengers are concerned, the quality finishing, comfort and safety features leave them with a great impression of coach travel which is exactly what we set out to provide – coach travel at its best.”
“It’s fair to say that this vehicle has definitely lived up to our expectations. In every aspect - from safety, performance and fuel economy to on-board luxury and sheer ease of driving - it is definitely one of the best coaches we’ve ever had in our fleet – and that’s saying something!”
5th March 2009
Caption for photograph:
Whitelaws Coaches of Stonehouse, Scotland have taken delivery of their first tri-axle Volvo 9700 Prestige Plus