Eight years after it was first launched, Plaxton’s flagship Elite coach has received a makeover which gently updates the stunning lines that give the design its ‘wow factor’ kerb appeal. New headlight clusters provide a reassuring family look, while the Plaxton logo in the front panel integrates vital driving safety technology provided by the Volvo B11R chassis.
Although visually subtle, the changes that further improve the Elite’s aerodynamics have a substantial effect in bringing down operating cost. Using computational fluid dynamics techniques validated in real-world tests, adjustments to the underside of the vehicle streamline air flows, while new deflectors on the rear pillars reduce the wake of the vehicle. Speed dependent chassis lowering provides further aerodynamic benefits. This gives the Elite a class-leading drag coefficient of 0.33 and improves fuel efficiency by 4% compared with the existing model.
Country Lion’s three axle, 14m Elite is finished to a high specification that nevertheless utilises a maximum of standard components. 48 luxury recliners – 20 of them grouped around tables – offer generous legroom. A well-appointed servery is fitted in the rear, along with a floor mounted toilet. The highspeed Wi-Fi system – accessible to stand visitors at Euro Bus Expo – was supplied by Icomera.
Look out for more on this from our editorial team in the next issue of Coach and Bus Week and online.