VDL New Gen Citea
- Case A design that captures the excitement of the moment while creating a lasting impression on the market
- Client VDL Bus & Coach
- Industry Public Transport Buses & Coaches
Back in 2012, MODYN designed VDL’s first electric bus, the Citea SLFA-e. But, when the Dutch bus and coach brand developed their new powerful batteries and electric drive system, they knew they needed a new futureproof design for their bus to usher in this new era of technology. As longtime partners who rebranded the company and designed many busses for VDL, MODYN was brought on to help design this next generation of Citea busses — this time starting completely from scratch.
Working with the new compact electric drive system that freed up space, VDL and MODYN started completely fresh, taking a novel approach to the interior that made the cabin feel bigger, designing a new state-of-the-art aerodynamic exterior and developing a best-in-class drivers compartment. Taking inspiration directly from cities themselves — looking at interior architecture rather than automotive design — the concept for the New Gen Citea carefully balances the VDL brand and Citea heritage with modernity and timelessness, creating an exciting feel that will age gracefully over its 20+year lifespan.
With the New Gen Citea we had all-new design parameters, like larger cabin space thanks to smaller electric batteries and a compact drivetrain. This gave us the opportunity to design new solutions to age-old problems like passenger flow, accessibility and getting people on and off the bus faster — all which we researched extensively before getting started.
Normally we would look to the automotive and truck industry for inspiration. But, as one of the first brands to bring an all-electric bus to market, VDL knew they wanted the New Gen Citea to have a totally different feel. In this early stage, we decided cities themselves would be our inspiration — looking to architecture, cityscapes and public space to derive new simple and clean lines for our design.
MODYN was brought in at the earliest stages of the New Gen Citea, allowing us to give input on important design elements before the engineering had been finalized. This allowed us to design compelling new features, like curved sidewalls that create much more visual space than typical vertical bus walls.
We presented VDL with 3D CAD modeling, as well as utilized our Virtual Reality simulators to illustrate the scale of the bus, detail how the reflections shine and show how you can move around the cabin. But, VR also allowed us to design for new problems, like ensuring the drivers cabin also met the ergonomic needs of women drivers who are typically smaller.