Allison-equipped Van Hool Altano TX coach selected to traverse the length of Italy in absolute comfort

Presented at Busworld 2015, the first Van Hool TX Altano with an Allison Automatic has been sold in Italy

TORINO, Italy – Coach operator, IAS Touring, of Rossano in southern Italy, has chosen the new Van Hool TX Altano equipped with an Allison fully automatic transmission for its high levels of comfort, fuel efficiency and ease of driving over long journeys from the south of Italy to the north. Delivered in early August, the coach was immediately put to work along the highways linking Calabria, a region in southern Italy, to the northern cities of Turin, Bergamo, Milan and Bolzano.

Dealing with a vast network of regional and inter-regional coaches, IAS Touring covers over four million miles (7 million km) per year, employs 170 people, and has a fleet numbering 120 buses and coaches. Rental activity is key for the company, which is widely acknowledged as a reputable, reliable hired-coach company.

“The company chose the new Van Hool coach with great care, prioritising a quiet, relaxing passenger experience because of the distances covered running the length of Italy,” said Cosimo Sposato, fleet manager for IAS Touring. “Having to travel for so many kilometers, it was key for the coach to be comfortable and silent.”

After several journeys operating the coach, Francesco Antonio Sposato, an IAS driver, offered his opinion of the vehicle: “The Allison-fitted Van Hool Altano is silent and very easy to drive,” he said. “Passengers arrive in the north of Italy relaxed, having traveled along the whole Italian Peninsula.” Sposato added that the automatic transmission is very reactive even at full load, an opinion shared by the others who have driven the coach.

Improved fuel economy has been another benefit. “Fuel consumption has been reduced thanks to Allison’s automatic transmission,” said Cosimo Sposato. “In our experience, for a bus like this, it is excellent. Considering that this Altano travels an average of 7,000 km a week, it means big savings for our company.”

Manlio Alvaro, EMEA marketing director for Allison Transmission, said Allison used the best fuel-saving technology available in the Van Hool coach.

“FuelSense®optimises a vehicle’s fuel consumption in any working condition, based on both the load and road conditions,” said Alvaro. “The automatic, powershifting transmission assures a continuous flow of power between the engine and drilveline, allowing for the most efficient use of fuel. Moreover, its patented torque converter multiplies engine torque at vehicle launch, reducing engine revolutions during travelling.”

Van Hool and Allison have worked together for many years supplying automatic transmission equipped coaches for the North American market. This cooperation has now expanded into European coaches. The first of these vehicles, the Altano, built for Belgian tour operator de Zigeuner, was delivered in 2015; earlier this year, UK tour operator, Richmonds Coaches, also took delivery of three vehicles. The 14-meter-long TX Altano 18 is the first in Italy with an Allison transmission. Equipped with a 510-horsepower DAF engine, the coach is fitted with an Allison Torqmatic® model T 525 with retarder. Engineered for efficient operation with six forward gears and one reverse, 5th Generation electronic controls allow for better performance and include advanced prognostic features. A fully integrated transmission retarder allows the vehicle to slow quietly and gradually.

“The coach has made a great impression on IAS Tours, not only because of its comfort and smooth ride, but because they appreciate how easy it is to drive, how well it manoeuvres and its silence on long journeys,” said Frank Donato of Van Hool aftersales in Italy.

About Allison Transmission

Allison Transmission (NYSE: ALSN) is the world’s largest manufacturer of fully automatic transmissions for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, and is a leader in hybrid-propulsion systems for city buses. Allison transmissions are used in a variety of applications including refuse, construction, fire, distribution, bus, motorhomes, defense and energy. Founded in 1915, the company is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA and employs approximately 2,700 people worldwide. With a market presence in more than 80 countries, Allison has regional headquarters in the Netherlands, China and Brazil with manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Hungary and India. Allison also has approximately 1,400 independent distributor and dealer locations worldwide. For more information, visit


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