Volvo 9400 on a pligrimmage
Released in 2012, ‘Oh My God’ Bollywood movie did Rs.181 crore worth of business. Made on a lowly budget of Rs.20 crore, the movie, inspired from a 2001 English film ‘The Man Who Sued God’, and Gujarati play ‘Kanji Virudh Kanji’, featured actor Paresh Rawal as an atheist. In response to the insurance company rejecting his claim under the pretext that his shop was destroyed in an act of god, he decides to sue god, a role played by action hero Akshay Kumar. As the owner of an antique relics shop, Paresh Rawal ironically deals in idols of Hindu deities among other relics. Even as Paresh Rawal portrays a role of an aethist, his family is god fearing and is shown to have a firm faith in god. It is on this pretext, that at an earlier stage of the movie, Paresh Rawal and his family are shown travelling in a Volvo 9400 inter-city bus on a pilgrimage. It is a white coloured VRL bus with 2x2 seat configuration. On the bus, along with Paresh and his family are other families out on a pilgrimage. They too are shown chanting devotional songs, and much to the chagrin of Paresh. An aerial shot in the film shows the bus taking a slip road on the way to a Lord Shiva temple. Upon alighting the bus, Paresh breaks away from the group against the wish of his wife, and heads straight to a statue maker. He is interested in procuring idols to add to his inventory instead. It is this brief cameo of the Volvo 9400 that makes an impression. It plays a short yet memorable role in depicting Paresh Rawal’s character, Kanji, as a true atheist.
The Volvo 9400 followed the B7R to redefine the premium bus segment in India. It continues to be a popular choice for many inter-city bus operators. Measuring 13.7 m in length, the bus has twoaxles at the rear. It also has the engine at the rear with the drive going to one of the two rear axles through a manual or I-shift auto transmission. With the body built by Volvo at its Bengaluru facility, the bus is a part of the fleet of many State Transport Undertakings (STUs) and private bus operators.
It is powered by the Volvo D7E six-cylinder, in-line diesel engine, which provides it with a good power to weight ratio. If this has an influence on performance, the bus does a peak power of 290 hp, and a peak torque of 1200 Nm at 1650 rpm. The manual transmission is a six-speed unit. Suspension is pneumatic and the body construction is semi-integral. The current model feature a locally manufactured 330 hp, eight-litre common-rail six-cylinder turbodiesel BSIV compliant engine. The six-speed manual transmission has given way to an I-shift automated manual transmission.