AL Intercentury Luxura spotted in Chennai

As reported quite often in this blog and everywhere else, the Commercial Vehicle space in the Indian market has evolved in the past few years. The bus segment in particular was given a shot in the arm in the form of Volvos and it has not looked back ever since. The erstwhile coaches by Tata and Ashok Leyland suddenly felt that the death-knell for their monopoly has been rung and it’s time for them to roll up their sleeves. One of the many models that were conceived to compete with Volvo B7R was the Intercentury Luxura, the body of which was built by Irizar-TVS and the chassis provided by Ashok Leyland. Though the model was launched with much fanfare at the 2006 Auto Expo and was displayed at a couple of auto expos, it had never seen the light of the day completely, the recent economic recession notwithstanding. Though there were reports of trial versions being used by APSRTC and a few other private operators, except for one or two rare sightings, absolutely none of these buses were spotted elsewhere.

Thats why, when I saw this model a couple of days back, I decided it was time for me to take out my cam and laptop. There was this white colored Intercentury Luxura with no badging, logos or registration running in stop-start Chennai city traffic. From what I saw, the bus seems to have good presence on the road and it did manage to turn a few eyebrows. Although the quality of the body was top-notch, there were no ground breaking design elements on this bus. When seen next to a Volvo, the Intercentury Luxura will not get a second glance for sure. 

While the Intercentury Luxura originally launched in 2006 was front-engined, I guess this one had it's engine at the rear, thus crucially spilling out information that Ashok Leyland is going to make a comeback with this model. NVH levels inside are bound to be higher than the Volvos though external refinement was observed to be good. Even after so many unprecedented delays over the past half-decade, I still feel Ashok Leyland can make a good business deal out of this model if it launches and markets this aggressively, especially to State Transport Corporations. A couple of years down the line, time will run out for this model forever. Hope Ashok Leyland will not let this beautiful model die a slow death.

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