Award-winning Clarkes makes i8 its ‘flagship’ vehicle
One of London’s premier operators, Clarkes Coaches, says the new DAF-powered Irizar i8 Integral which has joined its fleet is the company’s ‘flagship’ vehicle.
One of the first three operators to buy the pace-setting i8 Integral, Clarkes specified its vehicle from the ground up. Already one of the most technologically advanced coaches in the world, the i8 then had a VIP interior created for Clarkes’ contract with Watford Football Club.
The 14-metre tri-axle now has 36 padded, leather seats, seated in groups of four around tables, plus a hand-built kitchen at the centre. Additional equipment includes contactless phone charging bases on the tables, USB and mains sockets, and LCD screens at each table in addition to a full audio-visual system.
“We knew the i8 Integral was perfect for our team coach when we first saw it in Spain as a production prototype,” said Clarkes’ Director Terry Newman. “Having already been impressed with the performance of the i6 Integrals we have bought, we could see that the i8 takes the impressive styling and attention to detail to another level.”
The coach was given its metallic paintwork in Spain then shipped to the UK for a unique interior to be created, jointly styled and specified by Terry and Debbie. The outcome, says Terry, is a coach which has been universally praised by everyone, from the drivers to the passengers, and especially by Watford FC.
“This i8 Integral has become our flagship vehicle, and we are very pleased with it. The interior, with customised leather seats throughout, has many unique features which we believe set the standard for VIP coaches of this type,” says Terry.
The i8 Integral – with the powerful engine in the MX13 range, at 460bhp – has ZF’s impressive AS-Tronic auto-shift gearbox, and a suite of safety aids such as Lane Departure Warning and Adaptive Cruise Control.
Clarkes Coaches – shortlisted in the 2016 Operator Excellence Awards this year – bought Irizar i6 Integrals for its entire 2013/14 fleet intake, and earlier this year, returned to Irizar UK to complete its Euro 6 fleet replacement, buying 12 DAF-powered Irizar i6 Integrals worth £2.5 million.