The VDL Groep is an international industrial and manufacturing company from the Eindhoven area in the Netherlands, owned and run by the Van der Leegte family. Since December 2012 the family business also fully owns the NedCar car factory, currently producing MINIs (previously DAF, Volvo, Mitsubishi and the Smart ForFour). The VDL Groep employs more than 13,000 people.
One of the company’s divisions is VDL Bus & Coach. The coach line is called the Futura, the FHD2 pictured above is the mid-size model. All Futura coaches are powered by a DAF engine and have a ZF transmission, either manual or automatic.
From left to right: the doubledeck FDD2 (three axles), the FHD2 (two or three axles) and the FMD2 (two axles). Each model is offered in multiple lengths.
The absolute top model is the FDD2-141 with a 510 hp 12.9 liter DAF MX-13 engine, it’s 14.15 m (46’5”) long and 4.00 m (13’2”) tall. The steering tag axle has single wheels.
The 2016 Futura FHD2-129 I caught on camera is powered by a 10.8 liter DAF MX-11 engine, good for 440 hp. Exterior dimensions: overall length 12.88 m (42’3”), width 2.55 m (8’4”), height 3.70 m (12’2”).
The view from the driver’s seat.
An example of the interior, a wide range of color- and material options is available.
Here’s the original, the Bova Futura, introduced in 1982. Still an eye-catcher, 35 years later. Bova, the Bots family from Valkenswaard, was one of the many independent bus and coach manufacturers we once had. Bova was taken over by VDL in 2003.
Smit Joure, Berkhof and Jonckheere were also fully integrated into the VDL bus and coach division in the past decades. The brand name VDL for all buses and coaches was introduced in 2010.
And there’s my mother and the touringcarchauffeur (coach driver). She’s ready for a ten days’ trip, together with a friend she knows since kindergarten. That’s about 70 years ago. I brought the ladies, and their luggage (you can see where it goes), to the starting point of their luxurious motorcoach travel to Kirchberg in Tirol, Austria.
That’s Kirchberg alright, in summer and winter. Meanwhile the vacationers have returned to the flat land, safe and sound.
Images 2 to 5: photo courtesy of VDL Bus & Coach