The moment I boarded the coach, I was awestruck as the interiors provide an uber-luxurious feel.
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This is a report of my first encounter with Karnataka SRTC (KSRTC)’s latest offering – the Volvo 9600s christened the ‘Ambaari Utsav’, which I’d lovingly call a Palace on Wheels. My encounter must have lasted just approx. 30 minutes, but the bus left me awestruck. Why? Read on and experience for yourself.
Fortune favours the target-oriented; ever since this post by @volkman10 was published, I wanted to catch a glimpse of this new offering from Volvo. What better way to do it than to catch a glimpse of the steed while in Bengaluru? I had to visit an office close to the Corp. Circle and even before I left, I’d decided it would be great if I could get to see the Ambaari Utsav up close. The earliest departing Ambaari Utsav out of Bengaluru was at 1613hrs, so rather than waiting for one at a bus terminal and wasting half a day, I decided to try and see if I could get a close look of the beauty at a depot closeby. I went into a depot in a car, neatly turned out, and when I asked the staff if I could see the Ambaari Utsav, they were first nonplussed. However, seeing my eagerness to see their new offering, they were more than happy to allow me a quick view of one of the parked steeds. This coach comes with many features and misses out on some essential bits, but the initial impression was astounding.
My sincere thanks to the Karnataka SRTC staff at the depot who were more than happy to allow me a quick look at the Ambaari Utsav.
About the Ambaari Utsav
The Ambaari Utsav is an AC Sleeper coach built by Volvo. Quoting from @Volkman10’s post of Aug-2022,
At the heart of the Volvo 9600 platform is a fuel-efficient Volvo D8K (8-litre) engine, delivering a power of 260kW (350hp) @ 2200 RPM and a torque of 1350 Nm @ 1200-1600 RPM. The fuel-efficient engine along with its purpose-developed drivetrain is designed to minimize TCO and maximize uptime for bus operators. The chassis includes the I-Shift automated manual gearbox, electronic braking system (EBS) Hill-start aid and Electronic Stability Program (ESP) systems. The 9600 platform is driver-friendly and has an ergonomically designed curved dashboard with controls for easy accessibility. It also has air-suspended seats with adjustable headrests to ensure a fatigue-free experience for the driver.
This is against the 10,800cc turbo-diesel engine that puts out a whopping 2100 Nm of torque at 1010-1400 rpm found on the B11R Volvo Sleeper operated as Ambaari Dream Class by the same Karnataka SRTC (KSRTC). No wonder, the gentleman I was interacting with at the depot called the Volvo 9600s engine a chota engine
In the 9600s, there is an impact beam between the rear bumper and the crankshaft pulley, but the gap between the impact beam and the pulley is virtually Nil (like between the coolant tank and the AC compressor pulley in the old Innova). In the B11R though, there is an adequate gap between the rear bumper and the pulley – but no impact beam.
The Volvo 9600s engine bay – note the black impact beam between the bumper and the crankshaft pulley – the gap between the beam and the crankshaft pulley is very very low.
KSRTC Ambaari Utsav First impressions
The moment I boarded the coach, I was awestruck; faux wood flooring, canary yellow curtains, and super-white and black combo upholstery give the inside an uber-luxurious feel.
KSRTC Ambaari Utsav Likes
- Every glass on the sides sports an EMERGENCY EXIT sticker
- Hammers to break glass in an emergency
- Emergency buttons
- Classy on the outside
- Faux wood flooring
- Rich upholstery
- Forty berths in a 1+2 combination – 20 lower and 20 upper
- Berths are neither too firm nor too soft – just right
- Head and back cushions (with VOLVO markings) at each berth for passengers to sit comfortably and stretch their legs when not lying down
- PU moulded ladder and side supports, are made to last long
- Pin drop silence inside the coach at idle
- Mobile charging points, mobile phone holders, USB ports and reading lights for each berth
- Beautifully designed canary yellow curtains to separate the berths from the aisle, and also to separate the two passengers on the double berth
- Rack at each berth with ample space to even put a small suitcase in
- Engine is barely audible even at the last row
KSRTC Ambaari Utsav Dislikes
- Maintaining the white panels and upholstery is going to be a huge task
- No washroom on board
Cabin views of the Ambaari Dream Class sleeper to compare with:
Prakash built B11R Sleeper
Continue reading BHPian vigsom’s Ambaari Utsav review more insights and information.
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