Reinventing a transportation icon, a double-decker for the 21st century

When you you think of London England, there are certain iconic images that come to mind, Big Ben and house of Parliament, Piccadilly Circus, the red-coated black hatted guards at the palace, the black London taxi and, of course, the bright red double decker bus trundling around town. In particular people recall the classic Routemaster double decker which was specifically designed for the London application with an open rear deck and allowed people to hop on and off easily. Aside from a pair of old Routemasters running tourist routes in Central London, the others have now been retired replaced by generic modern buses.

The editors at Autocar have teamed up with Capoco Design to re-imagine the Routemaster for a new century. Among the problems with the old buses were smelly, front-mounted diesel engines that necessitated a floor too high for easy disabled access. The designers of this new iteration have replaced the conventional drive-train with a series hybrid setup using a hydrogen fueled Ford 2.3L four cylinder to drive a generator. The absence of a drive shaft allows the floor to be lowered even with the lithium ion batteries in place and air suspension allows the rear deck to be dropped to curb height for easy access. Check out the whole design at Autocar.

[Source: Autocar via Winding Road]

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