Speculation - Is Ashok Leyland testing the Neptune engine in this bus?

While driving in NH45 a couple of days back, I happened to see this Ashok Leyland bus with ‘On Test’ stickers plastered on the front and rear. At first glance, the far-from-immaculate condition of the test vehicle, with its age-old outer body and damages here and there, tried its best to divert my attention elsewhere. But, on closer inspection, I was able to make out that the company was probably using this old body to test some new internal mechanicals.

So what can it be? Would it be a new engine or transmission option or was it something related to suspension and drive-train? The immediate thought that comes to mind is the Neptune series of engines that were launched at the 2010 Auto Expo. After making huge noises at the launch event, Ashok Leyland went silent on the Neptune series and as of today, the engine has not yet been launched in any of the company’s models.

The Neptune series is slated to come in inline 4 and 6 cylinder configurations, with power output ranging from 160 to 380 hp and an ability to comply upto Euro V emission norms. This all-new series of engines, which is being developed in-house by Ashok Leyland with technical assistance from AVL of Austria, is expected to power almost the entire new generation trucks and buses of the company for both domestic and international markets.

In a recent interview, Mr. Rajiv Saharia, ED-Marketing of Ashok Leyland, said that field trials are being conducted with the Neptune engine and the initial feedback has been positive. So, in all probability, this should be the Neptune engine which is being tested before being launched in the market. But, as already declared, this post is a mere speculation. So, I would like you all to take it with a pinch of salt.


  1. its great how you are able to iden tify what is being tested in this old bus..

  2. @ Above - As I already mentioned, its just a speculation. I have guessed that AL should be testing the Neptune engine in this bus. It may or may not be right.