ZF – im­proved driv­ing dy­nam­ics

ABC (Australia) - - SUPPLY LINES -

THE ZF-ECOLIFE six-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion lives up to its rep­u­ta­tion as univer­sal ge­nius once more, its states. Thanks to the new start-stop func­tion, city buses con­sume up to 10 per cent less fuel. An ad­di­tional trans­mis­sion vari­ant called EcoLife Coach is par­tic­u­larly suit­able for higher in­put torques of up to 2300Nm and there­fore for in­ter­city and coach ap­pli­ca­tions.

For so­phis­ti­cated coach tours there’s the ZF-EcoLife coach for torques up to 2300Nm. ZF-EcoLife is the world­wide bench­mark for au­to­matic bus trans­mis­sions used in the most de­mand­ing ap­pli­ca­tion area – the city traf­fic, it’s stated. Based on this, the tech­nol­ogy com­pany is ex­pand­ing the trans­mis­sion fam­ily with the ZF-EcoLife Coach ver­sion. This is specif­i­cally de­signed for use in in­ter­city buses and coaches and for par­tic­u­larly de­mand­ing routes. The torque con­verter in the ZF-EcoLife Coach trans­mits in­put torques of up to 2300Nm – and thus the com­pa­ra­bly high per­for­mance of coach en­gines.

In moun­tain re­gions, for in­stance, in­ter­city buses and coaches must fre­quently brake hard due to fre­quent nar­row bends and must then ac­cel­er­ate strongly again. For this rea­son, many gear changes in a short pe­riod of time are re­quired – just like in city traf­fic. This is where ZF’s EcoLife Coach ben­e­fits from its high ef­fi­ciency and its smooth and ef­fi­cient ac­cel­er­a­tion with­out trac­tive force in­ter­rup­tion when chang­ing gears. Speed and ac­cel­er­a­tive force do not drop off ei­ther, which has a pos­i­tive ef­fect both on fuel con­sump­tion and noise emis­sions.

When driv­ing down­hill, ZF’s pri­mary re­tarder pays off: this sys­tem is the only one that de­vel­ops its brak­ing ef­fect de­pend­ing on the en­gine speed and not, as con­ven­tional sec­ondary re­tarders do, in re­la­tion to the ve­hi­cle ve­loc­ity. Thus, the re­tarder also ef­fi­ciently de­cel­er­ates on long down­hill routes and at low bus ve­loc­i­ties, in­creas­ing safety and re­duc­ing the wear of the ser­vice brakes. As a re­sult, com­bined with the in­no­va­tive cool­ing con­cept, it is pos­si­ble to ap­ply the re­tarder for a very long time with­out re­duc­tion, and to use it al­most un­til ve­hi­cle stand­still.

A cur­rent trend gives fur­ther rea­sons why to opt for ZF-EcoLife Coach: many coaches also drive of­ten in ci­ties for long, con­tin­u­ous stretches of time. For in­stance, when they are used as shut­tles be­tween city ho­tels and the air­port or for sight­see­ing at the des­ti­na­tion. In both cases, the buses and their trans­mis­sions have to tackle both low speeds and fre­quent gear changes in stop-and-go traf­fic. In this way, the ZF-EcoLife Coach op­ti­mally com­bines the re­quire­ments of coaches with the driv­ing sit­u­a­tion of city buses. EcoLife Coach went into vol­ume pro­duc­tion in fall 2016 and has been con­tin­u­ing ever since (at MAN and Irizar, among oth­ers). EcoLife Coach will also go into vol­ume pro­duc­tion with its new gen­er­a­tion of en­gines at VDL and Van Hool very soon.

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