富豪超級奧林比安 Volvo Super Olympian
After Dennis successfully launched it's first super low floor double deckers the Dennis Trident, to keep it leading role in the market and as a replacement of the best selling Olympian, Volvo unveiled a super low floor bus chassis Super Olympian in 1998 with B10TL as the designated manufacturer code. KMB took a delivery of 61 Super Olympian 12m (including a prototype) with modified Walter Alexander ALX500 bodywoks and the first batch were entering service in the end of Sep., 1999. Repeated orders for Super Olympian were made during fleet renewal and all of them was 12m in length until 2000, when KMB was looking for short wheel-based super low floor double deckers to tie with the withdrawal timetable of the 2-axle convention buses in the fleet, a batch of Super Olympian 10.6m were ordered.
Besides the length, the Baby Super Olympian showing several differences when compared with the 12m variant, as to provide a wheelchair parking bay and both entrance and exit doors on the limit space of the chassis, the radiator together with the oil tank and reservoir were relocated to different parts of the chassis. It can be easily to find that the radiator was placed ahead of the middle axle in contrast to the 12m version, located just behind the front axle and beneath the staircase. In addition, with the constraints of the chassis designs, no seats can be offered within the low floor section of the compartment and unusual inward facing seats were fitted at the lower compartment. The Baby Super Olympian was the first batch of the family to be built at Wroclaw, Poland and featured with America made Alcoa wheels as the front axle. For the mechanical specification, they shared the same driveline with 12m variant, a Volvo D10A engine complied with Euro 2 emission standard with a ZF 5-speed fully automatic transmission. Volvo Super Olympian 10.6m was air-conditioned by Nippon Denso and a standard Hanover electronic display was fitted.
The chassis was gradually delivered to Hong Kong since Nov., 2000 and then sent to KMB Tuen Mun assembly plant for the completion of the ALX500 body kits from Walter Alexander of UK. First of the batch was first registered in Feb., 2001 and serving route 265M linking Tin Hang Estate, Tin shui Wai and Lai Yiu Estate, Kwai Tsing. Route 64K with hight patronage was sometimes supported by the Baby Super Olympian when they first entered service and finally to be scheduled bus when more of the type to be commenced service, however, they were soon be replaced by the Dennis Trident as a result of their poor performance on the route. Instead of the North-west New Territories, KMB also deployed the Baby Super Olympian on route 5C, 10, 81K and 606. Some of the batch used to serve at Tuen Mun Depot were then transferred to Kowloon for serving route 2D, 29M, 203E and 234X.
A Baby Super Olympian demonstrators with plain white livery was delivered to Hong Kong in mid. of 2002 in the hope of further purchasing order made from other bus operator. KMB finally purchased this prototype and registered as KU5862 (ASV50) in Oct., 2003 and as one of the schedule bus of route 234X with it original Euro 2 standard engine to be replaced with a Euro 3 prior to registration. It should be pointed out that ASV50 was one of the prototype chassis to be built at Irvine, Scotland for the development of Super Olympian and it bodywork was completed at Alexander Falkirk plant. Though it was powered by the D10A engine, transmission was slightly different with other members as a ZF 4-speed fully automatic gearbox was fitted.
A further order of 50 Volvo Super Olympian 10.6m was made in 2002 and this time, a Euro 3 Volvo D10A engine was fitted and received their Alexander ALX500 bodyworks at Tuen Mun assembly plant and they were featured with space reserved for the fog lights at the front bumper and a modified dashboard. The chassis was delivered ton Hong Kong since Nov., 2002 and sent to KMB Tuen Mun assembly plant for bodywork assembly. Due to the SARS epidemic, only the first 24 were registered in 2003 an all but two were allocated to Kowloon Bay Depot for route 2F, 3M, 7B, 10 and 203E. The remaining of the batch was first registered since Sep., 2004 and deployed on different routes such as 8A, 21, 99, 234X, 277 and 283. KMB then focused on purchasing 12m double deckers after the last Baby Super Olympian (ASV100/LV8402) entered service in Mar., 2005.
KMB deployed Baby Super Olympian on routes with narrow road conditions until their fully withdrawal and to cope with the emission requirement for CBD, Kowloon Bay Depot and Lai Chi Kok Depot swapped their Baby Super Olympian in second quarter of 2008. Following the decommission of the Baby Dragon, there was a shortage of short wheel-based double deckers in the fleet and resulted in some of the routes used to serve by Baby Super Olympian like 2F, 3M, 21, 81K, 203E and 234X, were converted to served by other 12m super low floor double deckers to release as much as Baby Super Olympian possible for serving routes that 12m buses was prohibited from the constraint road conditions.
Due to mechanical failure, ASV2 (JX6859) and ASV5 (JX9924) become first two of the type to be retired in Aug., and Jun., 2018 respectively, while ASV9 (JY2958) was written off in Jul., 2018 after involved in a traffic accident. The Euro 2 Baby Super Olympian was gradually reached the end of their useful service life since first quarter of 2019 and the last of the batch, ASV49 (KB2508) left KMB in the mid. of 2019. The demonstrator ASV50 was retired from revenue service along with the last 3 Dennis Trident 10.6m after it last trip on route 77K on 27 Oct., 2020. The last 50 Baby Super Olympian was replaced by the brand new Alexander Dennis Enviro500 MMC 11.3m in 2021 and the last of the type, ASV100 was withdrawn on 8 Mar., 2023 after working on route 11D from Lok Fu to Kwun Tong Ferry and indicated the era of 10.6m super low floor double deckers along with the periscope and ALX500 bodywork was came to an end. Before their withdrawal, they can be easily seen on route 10, 30, 45, 46, 64K and 77K.
Most of the retired members was scrapped at the scrapyard with few of them including ASV50 were under private preservation, while ASV100 was preserved by KMB as one of the classics fleet member. In addition, with the "Bus regeneration Programme", two of the retired Super Olympian 10.6m were donated to education institution for research centre or multiple-learning classroom purpose.
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