Motor Coach Industries D-Series

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The Motor Coach Industries D-Series is a line of intercity motorcoaches. It has become a workhorse of the motorcoach industry and is one of North America's best-selling coaches.


In 1988, MCI began development of a wheelchair accessible intercity coach with a grant from the Government of Canada. The 45-foot coach was first displayed in May of 1990. It had a wheelchair lift at the rear and an accessible lavatory.[1]

Launched in 1992, the new 45-foot coach was named the 102-DL3. It featured a larger engine compartment than previous coaches, which could accommodate the new Series 60 engine from Detroit Diesel. Components such as HVAC and fuel tank were moved further back to improve weight distribution. A 40-foot version, named the 102-D3, was introduced in 1994.

In August 2000, MCI announced a new model name convention. The 102-D3 became the D4000 and the 102-DL3 became the D4500. A multiplex electrical system and new sliding wheelchair door were launched in 2001. The automated manual ZF AS Tronic transmission also became an option.

The D-Series was redesigned in 2005. The Phase I design, later designated Contemporary or "CT", features new headlights like those on the G-Series and flush-mounted passenger windows. The Phase II design is geared toward charter and tour operators. It features a curved front end, rounded off bumpers and fenders, flush-mounted passenger windows, and more interior amenities.[2] The legacy design was designated Classic or "CL".

In order to accommodate EPA 2007 engines MCI had to modify the rear of the D-Series. The opportunity was also taken to refine the styling of the coach as well as revise the side-by-side radiator and charge air cooler. The revised radiator and charge-air-cooler boast quieter operation and greater cooling capacity.

For coaches meeting the EPA 2010 standards, MCI re-engineered their cooling package again. The new system comprises of a single fan with a three speed clutch and shorter belt. Coaches equipped with this new package are identifiable by the two small vents added on the upper corners of the rear. Some EPA 2007 coaches were also built with the new cooling package.

The two EPA 2010-compliant engines available for the D-Series are the Cummins ISL9 and ISX12. MCI considered the Detroit Diesel DD13 as an option, but this has not developed further than the evaluation stage. All engines were initially only available with the Allison transmission, with the ZF transmission not available until later in 2011.[3]

At the end of the 2014 model-year, the D-Series adopted the ceiling and new parcel rack design from the J4500. The new parcel racks afford passengers more head room and feature new multisets with improved layout and illuminated "fasten seatbelt" sign. The way the racks are mounted also eliminates the space between them and the wall above the windows.

Likely as a request from New Jersey Transit, their 2014 batch of D4500CT coaches were delivered with redesigned headlights. This simplified design has three round LED clusters arranged in a gently curving row. Other operators, such as Broward County Transit and GO Transit have adopted the same headlights.

At the 2017 American Public Transportation Expo in Atlanta, Georgia, MCI introduced the first of their next-generation D-Series coaches geared to Commuter Rapid Transit (CRT). These coaches are directly based on the J4500 but marketed under the D-Series name, and have little relation to previous D-Series coaches. The D45 CRT LE features a patent pending low entry vestibule near the middle of the coach. This low floor section allows for those using mobility aids easier access to the interior of the coach. Between 2018 and 2022, more models will be introduced including a battery-electic model. This line of coaches has new features and a new striking appearance.

Model number breakdown

Model Number Years of manufacture Image Length
102-D3 1994-2000 Motor Coach Industries 102-D3.jpg 40' 102"
102-DL3 1992-2000 Motor Coach Industries 102-DL3.jpg 45' 102"
D4000 2001-2005 Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority 224-a.jpg 40' 102"
D4000H 40' 102" Diesel electric hybrid prototype buses. 4 units produced, all for NJ Transit.
D4000N 40' 96" 12 units produced, 8 for Pace and 4 for NJ Transit.
D4500 2001-2005 GO Transit 2160-a.jpg 45' 102"
D4000CL 2005-2013 40' 102" "Classic" design
D4500CL 2005-2013 Sound Transit 9703-a.jpg 45' 102" "Classic" design
D4000CT 2005-present Cherrey Bus Lines 3600-a.jpg 40' 102" Frameless windows, G-Series headlights, "Contemporary" design
D4500CT 2005-present Frontier Bus Lines D4500CT.JPG 45' 102" Frameless windows, G-Series headlights, "Contemporary" design
D4500CTH 2008-present GO Transit 3000-a.jpg 45' 102" Frameless windows, G-Series headlights, "Contemporary" design, diesel electric hybrid
D4005 2005-present International Stage Lines 4702.jpg 40' 102" Frameless windows, G-Series headlights, sleeker design
D4505 2005-present Ontario Northland 5091-a.jpg 45' 102" Frameless windows, G-Series headlights, sleeker design
D45 CRT LE 2017-present Motor Coach Industries 2017 D45 CRT LE demonstrator-a.jpg 45' 102" Next generation D-Series based on J4500. New styling and low entry vestibule.
D45 CRT Launching in 2019 45' 102" Next generation D-Series based on J4500. New styling.
D45 CRT LE CHARGE Launching in 2020 45' 102" Next generation D-Series based on J4500. New styling and low entry vestibule. Battery-electric powered.
D45 CRT LR Launching in 2021 45' 102" Next generation D-Series based on J4500. New styling. Low roof.
D40 CRT Launching in 2022 40' 102" Next generation D-Series based on J4500. New styling.

Inmate Security Transportation Vehicle (ISTV) models

The 102D3 (and later D4000) ISTV coaches are used mostly as prison inmate transport vehicles and can be customized with exterior window bars and small 5" windows. They are only available in the 40-foot length option.


  1. MCI Coaches from A-J. National Bus Trader. April 2001.
  2. The long and short of excellence: MCI introduces the new-style D4505 and D4005. Press release. 23 February 2005.
  3. FYI from MCI,, retrieved on 2010-07-15