Liberty Coach 2024: Behind the Redesign
As the 2024 Elegant Ladies have begun rolling out, much attention is being paid (and deservedly so!) to the sleek new 9660 shell, Prevost’s redesigned H3-45 bus chassis. Less talked about, but every bit as noteworthy, is the major redesign project Liberty undertook to accommodate the many changes Prevost made to the platform – an effort two years and literally thousands of hours in the making.
Heading up the project, as always, was Kurt Konigseder, Liberty V.P. and the engineering wizard responsible for all aspects of coach manufacturing and production. “Without question, this ranks as one of the biggest engineering efforts we’ve ever undertaken as a company,” he told us. “We considered virtually every aspect of the coach design and made dozens of changes, major and minor, inside and out.”
The dashboard proved the most challenging. “Although nicely designed, Prevost’s new standard dash left us with many challenges,” Kurt said. “There wasn’t enough room to accommodate our iPad Pro control panel or an additional 10” LCD display for Apple Car Play or Android Auto, and the two new upper-facing air vents further complicated their placement. And there really was no easy way to integrate our latest custom inlay dash panels, either.”
Kurt’s solution: maintain the low profile of the new dash while simultaneously making it slightly wider and taller to accommodate the larger displays. He also completely redesigned the switches and switch panel, added a dedicated storage drawer on the driver side, and to the left of the driver’s seat, installed a 10-watt wireless phone charger. Other changes to the cockpit area included a new automotive-style steering wheel, larger glove box, and new, narrower A-pillars and center windshield posts to increase driver visibility.
Another formidable challenge came in the front of the salon area, where the new shell’s significantly increased slope necessitated major design changes to the ceiling line and components behind. “We had to redesign our forward drop-down TV lift to provide more headroom clearance for people entering and exiting the coach,” Kurt explained. “Similarly, we also had to modify the shade design and composition to accommodate the slope.”
On the outside, the front and rear caps were redesigned to accommodate the roof-mounted Zip Dee awnings while accentuating the new aerodynamic slope of the coach front and drag-reducing characteristics of the rear. And the front grille was restyled with a backlit Liberty Coach plate and stainless steel accents.
Of course, that’s just a small sampling of the seemingly countless component parts of the redesign project. For a more in-depth look, spend a few minutes with Kurt and brother Frank on their recent video tour of Elegant Lady #901. We think you’ll agree, it’s a ride well worth taking!
To explore more about the 2024 redesign also watch Andrew Steele’s extended video tour of the Elegant Lady #901.