Marcopolo, leader in the manufacture of bus bodies in Brazil, with a 51.6% market share, presents the launch most awaited by the national and international coach markets, Generation 8. The new family represents a breakthrough in innovation for the brand, with unique standards of safety, comfort, connectivity, handling and ergonomics, for passengers and driver.
Composed of the traditional models of the Viaggio and Paradiso lines, in their different versions, Generation 8 was developed for the chassis models of the biggest automakers and, from August onwards, they will leave the assembly line at the Ana Rech unit, in Caxias do Sul.
“Marcopolo always seeks to create innovative and truly valuable transport solutions for customers, passengers, collaborators and business partners. Generation 8 is a representation of this purpose. A concept designed to make buses safer, more comfortable, more efficient and more profitable. Our goal was to design a vehicle capable of transforming the travel experience”, James Bellini highlights, CEO of Marcopolo.
Generation 8 stands out for its striking appearance, following the Marcopolo design DNA that values the fluidity of lines, clean and modern design to convey a sense of speed and lightness. The design of the project was premised on offering attributes of excellence to operators, drivers and passengers.
All the details of the vehicle were carefully thought out, based on integrated work carried out between the areas of Design, Engineering and Industrial Operations at Marcopolo. “We seek to bring buses as close as possible to the automotive concept in standardizing the manufacturing and assembly processes. The result is a bus focused on quality and profitability for the operator, comfort and connectivity for passengers, as well as ease of maintenance and repair”, Luciano Resner emphasizes, director of Industrial Operations at Marcopolo.
The executive adds that, with customer satisfaction and appreciation always in mind, the current road bus lines, the New G7, will continue in production and sales, receiving updates and innovations. “With strong efforts to optimize industrial processes, it will be possible to maintain the production of both lines simultaneously. Thus, we will be ready to increase Marcopolo’s share in the markets where we are already present, in addition to generating opportunities in new markets”, he points out.
Innovation, comfort and safety
Working together to develop Generation 8 resulted in the creation of a family of vehicles that show an 11% improvement in drag coefficient. The initiative is a great attraction for transport companies, as it reduces operating costs, resulting in fuel savings and a consequent reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases.
Another concern of Marcopolo is passenger comfort, in this sense, to make the experience even better when boarding the Generation 8 models, the company invested in research and development to design the entire internal environment. About 100 company engineers traveled by bus in all regions of the country, in total over 44 thousand kilometers traveled to understand the different needs and preferences of customers. This work provided a careful look at issues such as the width and spacing between seats, circulation inside the vehicle, length of stay on board and use of electronic equipment.
Based on this perception, changes were made, such as the creation of access stairs with wide steps, indirect LED lighting and a new design for the door opening system, which is more efficient and robust.
To expand the interior space and better accommodate passengers and luggage, Marcopolo worked on different fronts. The seats gained a new structure and ergonomic design, optimizing leg space. A new way of distributing the foam composition of the seat and backrest was also adopted, the proposal is to ensure even more comfort and support. Another point considered was the reclining system, which has easier and smoother activation, allowing numerous positions according to the user’s biotype.
The concept of sustainability was also present in several stages of the Generation 8 creation process. One of the company’s priorities was to reduce the use of fiberglass by 80%, replacing it with raw materials from special polymers used in the manufacture of bumpers, front grills and back covers, among other components, resulting in lighter and more resistant parts. The parts offer greater flexibility and impact absorption, and can be easily repaired or recycled.
To bring the standardization and quality level of the automobile industry to the manufacture of buses, Marcopolo optimized the production processes at the Ana Rech unit, where new vehicles are manufactured, and prioritized sustainable actions, such as the use of welding machines with inverters and the use of gas with less impact on the operator and the environment, which provides a reduction in energy consumption.
Founded 71 years ago in Caxias do Sul (RS), Marcopolo S.A is the leader in the manufacture of bus bodies in Brazil and ranks among the largest manufacturers in the world. The company continually invests in improvement, technology, design and expansion, producing solutions that contribute to the development of collective passenger transport and the future of mobility. With factories on five continents, the vehicles produced by the company drive on the roads of over one hundred countries.
Generation 8 presents new features that give a new look to the coach segment
– There are over 140 new attributes that translate into positive impacts for drivers, passengers and operators
– Unique design with an aerodynamic coefficient of just 0.379
– Lights are 3.5 times more efficient than models currently on the market
– Cabin protection structure increases passive safety for the driver
– Focus on operations for customers to achieve even better business results
Optimized production processes
In order to provide the standardization and quality level of the automobile industry to bus manufacturing, Marcopolo optimized the production processes at the Ana Rech unit, where the new vehicles are manufactured.
Conception of the new generation resulted in over 60 patents that generate gains in Comfort, Reliability and Operating Cost. As examples, we can cite external air conditioning piping that simplifies and facilitates maintenance, increasing the vehicle’s availability to operate and assemble the seats, which allows the seat height to be adjusted and easily adapted to the bus for different services and applications according to the operator’s need, facilitating access to maintenance of all the seat systems without the need to remove the seat from its position in the vehicle.
State-of-the-art design with Marcopolo DNA
All the details of Generation 8 were designed to optimize the experience of passengers and drivers, so the model has changes that make the vehicle safer, more technological and more comfortable.
Among the innovations is the front grill and the bumper, which gained a new design with greater volume and robustness. The use of raw materials to manufacture the external finish components also reduces the risk of breaks in small collisions by up to 50%.
At the rear of the vehicle, where the brand was repositioned to be more apparent, and the Generation 8 buses also received a new design of a lighter porthole and hatch, developed with a totally flat structure and a latch built into the finish and a large maintenance area. The model also has new rear air intake cover, which is more efficient and improves cooling.
The side windows are now curved, which provides less vibration, and easier maintenance, with a new fitting system.
Generation 8 will continue to use Marcopolo Biosafe, a platform designed to make public transport safer against viral and bacterial contamination and together offer solutions focused on biosafety. Items such as disinfection of the restroom and air conditioning using UV-C light, antimicrobial curtains and covers, 1x1x1 layout and hand sanitizer dispensers are available.
New light set
In Generation 8, Marcopolo focused on developing an unprecedented light set. The result achieved is evidenced by greater safety and drivability at night compared to any other model of bus sold in Brazil, with expansion of the night vision area and reduced driver fatigue.
The headlights, available in full led and hybrid versions, are produced by the German brand Hella, a light system manufacturer for motor vehicles, and offer efficiency up to 3.5 times greater compared to other models currently on the market, increasing nighttime driving for the driver and providing more safety for occupants as a result. The set has a light articulation system to provide easy access during maintenance and quick bulb replacement.
The models have highly resistant polycarbonate lenses and withstand impacts from objects of up to 100 grams at a speed of 80 km/h. Due to their five-part parabola design, they generate up to 80% less glare on vehicles coming from the opposite direction. As an option, a new LED fog lamp with an integrated maneuvering light is also offered.
The taillights are also LED with polycarbonate lenses and have polycarbonate lenses and a new design, created to facilitate viewing at different angles and provide more safety,
The new LED break-lights offer a 176% larger illuminated area and the fog lights, also in LED, have an integrated retro-reflector. The changes offer greater light efficiency and ensure increased safety, as they allow them to be seen from a greater distance.
The delimiting lights gained a new attachment system using screws, which makes maintenance more practical and does not require the use of sealing material.
One of the highlights is the electrical design, designed and simulated in 3D to optimize the installation, with decentralized architecture, which allows remote monitoring through state-of-the-art telematics, an initiative capable of optimizing maintenance and increasing vehicle availability.
Generation 8 models have four electronic modules, all installed in strategic and easily accessible locations: two for the body (one on the roof of the passenger area and one in the luggage compartment), another for the chassis (in the lower luggage compartment) and a fourth on the driver’s dashboard. The format facilitates access to equipment in each part of the bus and reduces electrical harnesses, with greater rationality, efficiency and weight reduction.
To simplify the work of mechanics in garages, Generation 8 also received a new air conditioning pipe routing system, installed on the outside near the roof, with a retractable system for easy maintenance and quick change. This ensures an increase in speed for maintenance tasks, which are now carried out from the outside, just by loosening screws, without the need to remove the luggage rack.
Also with a focus on practicality and maintenance speed, the company developed a new system for the front grill. In G8 models, it is easy to open and provides ample access to the internal area of the front, the objective is to facilitate maintenance on the defroster. In this sense, the new design of the wheel rim with a tilting system also facilitates maintenance and provides better cooling, reducing tire wear.
Maintenance of the seats was also a point of attention, the seating area has a system to quickly remove the seats and change the pistons. The change eliminates the need to disassemble the entire set, which simplifies operation and optimizes repair time.
New safety level
Generation 8 places Marcopolo at an unprecedented level of safety. All models meet the demanding R66.02 international standard for tipping, including the Paradiso 1800 Double Decker, which is not required in Brazil. In the construction of the body, a new concept of safety through mounting rings was developed in all columns of the structure, which provide much more resistance to impacts and roll overs.
Focused on passenger safety, Marcopolo increased the width of the section of the side columns by 25% and raised the side sill of vehicles by 70mm, which ensures greater protection in case of accidents and tipping.
One of the main advantages of Generation 8 in terms of safety is the new concept of protection for the driver’s cabin, with a triple “B” column structure, which provides 78% less deformation than required by Brazilian standards. The engineering area carried out over 2,600 hours of testing over two years to develop the new protection system.
In practical frontal impact tests at a speed of 40 km/h, carried out in a test field and under the supervision of an external auditing company, the system was able to absorb the energy, with controlled deformation, significantly increasing protection of the driver.
Regarding the driver’s safety and visibility, blind spots were eliminated and the height of the panel was lowered by 70 mm to facilitate visualization of the road. The “A” column was also repositioned 50mm towards the rear to improve visibility of the mirrors. The bottom of the access door is glazed to aid in viewing objects on the road, pedestrians and boarding platforms.
Rear-view mirrors, with new design and 6% increase in reflective lens width, also ensure a wider field of view. With a smaller number of components, it facilitates maintenance, reduces vibrations and provides more stability and safety for the driver in more severe and bumpy terrain.
Another advantage is the ERV system, offered as an option, with cameras that replace mirrors, eliminate blind spots and provide more safety in driving, with infrared technology for night vision.
Right at the entrance of the vehicle, to ensure more safety and comfort during boarding, the handrail is integrated, with a seamless and uniform profile with antimicrobial additives, a solution from the Biosafe platform. The separation door between the driver’s cabin and the passenger area has been redesigned, with additional sealing to reduce the noise level inside and increase acoustic comfort. The lock system and castors were also remodeled, with the use of bearings and self-aligners, which make the operation smoother, safer and requires less effort.
The passenger area gained an LED lighting system with different configurations and indirect light that changes color and intensity according to the time.
For passenger entertainment, the inside of the new G8 models feature high-definition monitors and a new collective sound system with high-quality speakers. Images can be played back at the driver’s control center. In addition, audio and video controls are positioned on the sides and offer four-channel digital sound.
The luggage rack was also designed to make travel more comfortable and safer, with a 23% increase in space. Designed to be more robust, it has support that reduces vibrations and noise. The set has a totally free area, without obstacles, for the passenger to accommodate their luggage above their seat. The middle light has an automatic activation light. And the seamless hand rail for moving up and down the aisle provides safety while accommodating travelers and also has antimicrobial additives.
The seats gained a new fabric cut design and a new combinations of colors and patterns, and their maintenance was also a point of attention. Through studies, it was possible to develop a new concept for the distribution of foam compositions for the seat and back, ensuring even more comfort and support. The reclining system is also completely new, with the adoption of shock absorbers, with easier activation, smoother and that allow infinite positions, according to the user’s biotype. Audio and video controls are positioned on the sides and offer four-channel digital sound, plus control of the reading light. The seating area has a quick seat removal system. The change eliminates the need to disassemble the entire set, which simplifies operation and optimizes repair time.
The refrigerator was developed with an exclusive design, with more comfort and ease of use.
The new toilet was designed to create a more comfortable and ergonomic environment, with the installation of supports inside to help the passenger and offer safety while using the toilet. The inside is climate controlled with air conditioning, has a flat door with an automatic closing and flushing system with an Ecoflush system, with the option of vacuum suction, as used in airplanes, for better efficiency and elimination of possible odors. In addition, both the lid of the toilet and the handgrips have antimicrobial additives in their composition.
Natural lighting has been increased, with windows five times larger, as well as the mirror. The interior decoration gained new colors and design to provide a more pleasant experience, such as the stainless steel sink, which facilitates cleaning and provides durability. Optional UV-C light with antimicrobial action is available to eliminate microorganisms.
Attributes for those who drive
Among the studies carried out by Marcopolo to develop Generation 8, the ergonomics of the driver’s cabin was one of the points that received the most attention, with the adoption of a new internal finish standard, with injected parts for better finishing, strength and beauty, and “soft touch” finishes for sophistication and internal noise reduction.
The space has a newly designed speakers, positioned at the top, indirect lighting in fiber optics, which allows the light level to be controlled without compromising safety when driving.
The driver’s seat was developed with an Ergodesign concept and a shell-shaped design for greater comfort and ergonomics for the driver. It also has a Neoprene finish on the neck region to mold itself to each professional’s biotype.
On the instrument panel, more accessible controls were developed, with a new concept of command interface on the control panel. The Generation 8 control centers (Head Unit) have different versions and graphical interfaces that facilitate operation. The models have high-definition touch-sensitive screens, in 5 and 10-inch sizes, which provide a new experience for the driver to use in controlling vehicle functions.
To make driving even more friendly and easier, the driver can choose to activate the commands through the high definition digital screen or through keys positioned at the bottom of the instrument panel, with the redundancy of the vehicle’s main functions.
Other important changes are the new defroster, more powerful and with a 23% greater cooling capacity, which allows the windshield to be defogged in less than four minutes.
The use of special materials is another advantage of Generation 8. The new roof is entirely made of aluminum, with reduced weight, greater durability and resistance. The use of special polymers made from raw materials to manufacture the bumpers, front grill and back cover, among others, provides lighter, extremely resistant parts, with excellent mechanical properties and an ideal surface for applying paint, which ensures superior standard of quality and finish.
In addition, they offer greater flexibility and absorption of impacts, and also have sustainability as an advantage, as they can be recycled and repaired in garages.
With the new electrical architecture, Marcopolo was able to reduce the amount of harnesses and cabling.
Another important technology adopted was the use of curved side windows, which, as they are smaller and thinner, contribute to reducing the vehicle’s weight.
Important gains with an impact on the environment
• An 11% improvement in the vehicle’s aerodynamic coefficient, generating fuel savings of up to 3% and, consequently, less greenhouse gases released
• 1.25% lighter body, increasing the useful life of the chassis components
• Easier vehicle repairs that generate less scrap at the customer (replacing a specific component does not damage another)
• Use of welding machines with an inverter, resulting in reduced energy consumption
• Use of gas with less impact on the operator and the environment, with reduced energy consumption
• New, wider assembly line with more natural lighting
• Use of thermal insulation layers in the new manufacturing center
• Automated templates that generate less waste and improve operator ergonomics