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Powertrain Partnerships

For buses, powertrain performance is where the rubber truly hits the road. For real performance, a bus needs a great engine and a transmission to match. A powertrain that’s dependable can mean the difference between smooth sailing and a bumpy ride for school districts.

Proven Partnerships

Since 2011, Blue Bird has partnered with Ford and ROUSH CleanTech to put together an unbeatable combination of engine and transmission for their Vision buses that run on propane, CNG and gasoline.

It starts with a Ford 6.8L V10 engine—one that’s purpose-designed and built tough. This workhorse engine is often used in Ford’s Super Duty vehicles, and the OEM has produced more than 1.3 million of them.

To make the most of the engine, it is paired with Ford’s six-speed automatic 6R140 transmission to provide higher shift speeds and lower the overall weight of the powertrain. Not only is the engine hardware purpose-built and tailored for the specific fuel type being used, but the software is too. ROUSH CleanTech uniquely calibrates each powertrain control module to be optimized for propane, CNG or gasoline. Add in the all-new torque converter, and Blue Bird Vision buses run smoothly and efficiently at any RPM. Drivers notice how well they perform, and note their improved fuel economy.

Testing, Testing

These powertrain providers know you don’t want any surprises from your bus fleet, so they test every component. Ford manufactures the 6.8L V10 at its Windsor Engine Plant, using high-quality manufacturing systems.

Every engine produced by Ford must pass a cold test for performance before leaving the factory. The powertrain of the Blue Bird Vision is tested to work seamlessly with both gasoline and gaseous fuels like propane and CNG, so you don’t need to worry about any engine conversions or rebuilds.

From there, Blue Bird buses run through tests for fuel performance and durability in over 250,000 miles of grueling conditions. They pass emissions, safety and road tests with flying colors year after year.

Going the Distance

The benefits of owning a Blue Bird keep rolling in. The engine is so reliable it comes with a 5-year, unlimited mile warranty with an option for a 7-year / unlimited miles. By providing one platform across all alternative fuel types, Ford and ROUSH CleanTech make it easy to service the engines for all Blue Bird Vision CNG, propane and gasoline buses. Blue Bird’s network of service centers around the U.S. and Canada are ready to provide fast fixes when needed: and Blue Bird dealers are also now carrying official OEM Ford maintenance and replacement parts.

With fuels like propane, CNG and gasoline, power and efficiency are delivered, while saving your school district money year after year in total ownership costs. Thousands of Blue Bird bus owners enjoy lower fuel costs and decreased time and money spent on maintenance.

In propane buses alone, Blue Bird has built and sold more than 12,000 buses that have travelled more than 58 million miles.

No matter what alternative fuel you choose—propane, CNG or gasoline—the perfect powertrain for school buses is ready to roll.


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