This was the second time that Truck & Bus News was invited by MAN Truck & Bus Malaysia to witness its new developments at the recent Busworld 2017 exhibition in the Belgian city of Kortrijk.
The state-of-the-art city buses, intercity buses and touring coaches – vehicles that would form the foundation of the mobility of tomorrow – were exhibited by MAN and Neoplan. Taking centrestage was the new MAN Lion’s Coach that made its official debut.
Its stand in Hall 2 saw quite a crowd gathered, reflecting the strong interest and priority of the visitors towards the products and solutions that MAN introduced.
First appearance in public eye: new MAN Lion’s Coach
The new MAN Lion’s Coach celebrated its world premiere at the fair under the motto ‘Im Zeichen des Löwen’ (‘inspired by the lion’). The new Lion’s Coach didn’t just win people over with its modern yet timeless design, but also its economic efficiency.
The 13-metre long (13,091mm), two-axle vehicle offers up to six more spaces than its 12-metre cousin. It is equipped with a 6-cylinder diesel engine D2676 LOH with 460hp (338kW) and the 12-gear MAN TipMatic automatic gearbox with Easy-Start assistance.
When it comes to safety, with the components of high-tensile steel and patented pipe-in-pipe technology for the roll bar, the new touring coach complies with the ECE R66.02 safety standard and could absorb 50 per cent more impact energy in a crash. The LED main headlights and taillights ensure safety and efficiency as do the numerous assistance systems such as the LGS (Lane Guard System) with haptic warning feedback, advanced emergency braking system (EBA), light and rain sensors, topography-based cruise control MAN EfficientCruise, which includes EfficientRoll ‘rolling function’, and MAN AttentionGuard. There is also a fire-extinguishing system in the engine compartment.
Anyone boarding this touring coach would see that the interior is designed with the highest standards of attractiveness and efficiency. For example, an LED light strip runs around the ceiling area to illuminate it in a ‘warm white’ tone. In general, MAN focused on using bright, fresh colours and creating a generous sense of space. Handholds and rails in stainless steel also ensure the exhibition bus would make an elegant impression.
An all-rounder: MAN Lion’s Intercity
The MAN Lion’s Intercity is seen as the ideal solution for city, intercity and school bus transport. With up to 63 seats, the ‘Intercity Xtra Lite’ variant of the Lion’s Intercity offers a market-standard school bus design with abundant space for passengers, and despite this fantastic amount of space, it also impresses with its ‘excellent’ manoeuvrability.
In safety, MAN says its Lion’s Intercity comes out on top of the competition – it is hailed as the safest intercity bus in the market. This is due to its rollover resistance in accordance with ECE R66.02, the advanced emergency braking system (EBA) and other assistance systems. It is driven by a 290hp (213kW) 6-cylinder diesel engine. An acoustic warning signal sounds when the doors open or close, and ensures that intercity and school bus passengers could board and alight safely. The hydraulic lift built into door 2 demonstrates how people with limited mobility could be transported with no problems, and how their boarding and alighting could be made as comfortable as possible.
Perfectly engineered for lower emissions: MAN Lion’s City Hybrid
For many years, MAN was a driving force behind research into alternative drive systems in city buses, with the aim of reducing emissions in local public transport to an absolute minimum. MAN has offered a particularly low-emission city bus since 2010 in the Lion’s City Hybrid, with each hybrid bus using up to 30 per cent less fuel per year. That means up to 26 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) fewer per year than with conventional engines. Since hybrid technology would continue to make a significant contribution to reducing emissions in the future, MAN also exhibited a Lion’s City Hybrid at busworld.
Among other things, the 11,980mm-long vehicle has wide inward-swinging doors with optical and acoustic door-closing warnings, a kneeling function, space for a wheelchair or pram, and electronically controlled air suspension (ECAS). LEDs are used for interior lighting, taillights and daytime running lights, and the highest level of safety is ensured by the electronic stability program (ESP), light and rain sensors, tyre pressure monitoring for all axles and further assistance systems.
5000 buses in 50 years: Neoplan Skyliner
2017 is seen as a banner year for the Neoplan Skyliner. The double-decker touring coach’s success story began 50 years ago and the 5000th Neoplan Skyliner was delivered at the show. Visitors could experience the luxurious double-decker with some custom modifications by MAN Bus Modification Center. Alongside a lounge on the lower deck, there are four tables and a modern L-shaped kitchen, an Infotainment system and a vacuum toilet similar to that on an airplane. Experts from the Bus Modification Center, who carried out special customer requests for MAN and Neoplan public transit and touring vehicles, were on hand to give advice on ideas for furnishings, custom refinements, innovative multimedia solutions and luxurious on-board kitchens
The Neoplan Skyliner’s new interior colour and trim concept, which focuses on bright, fresh colours, also caught the eye. All told, 76 passengers could be comfortably seated in this luxury bus. A good journey is ensured by a 500hp (368kW) diesel engine, 12-gear MAN TipMatic automatic gearbox with intarder and Easy-Start assistance, and the electronically controlled CDS shock absorbers.
Five emergency-exit panes on the upper deck form a nearly continuous glass ceiling, providing plenty of natural light. Safety is maintained by the Lane Guard System (LGS) with haptic warning feedback, advanced emergency braking system (EBA), adaptive cruise control (ACC), MAN AttentionGuard, a smoke alarm in the luggage storage compartment and fire-extinguishing system in the engine compartment.
Entering premium segment: Neoplan Tourliner
Also on display was a new member of the Neoplan family in the new Tourliner. Featuring a high level of travel comfort, modern technology, economical solutions and a demanding and aerodynamic design, with the displayed 2+1 VIP seating, the Neoplan Tourliner is accessible to a new segment of the market. With 30 luxurious seats, it enables new business models, such as business travel.
The vehicle exhibited at the fair was equipped with, among other things, rearview and driver’s-perspective cameras, which make steering the bus as safe and simple as possible even in narrow inner city areas or in carparks. A pleasant driving experience is ensured by a 6-cylinder, 420hp (309kW) diesel engine and the 12-gear MAN TipMatic automatic gearbox. In safety, the Tourliner’s smoke-detection system, which is fitted in the luggage compartment and on the main control panel, would detect even a smouldering fire – without it having to give off much heat. On top of that, a whole array of cutting-edge driver assistance systems ensures that both driver and passengers are always safe while travelling. The premium coach is also fitted with an anti-theft device, and to allow passengers to use their notebooks, tablets or smartphones during a journey, all seats are equipped with USB ports.
Test drives on outdoor grounds
Also available was an outdoor test drive session. A MAN Lion’s City CNG, the new Neoplan Tourliner C (13,103mm with two axles) and Neoplan Skyliner Interurban were available for test drives for those with a class 2 licence. There was also a new MAN Lion’s Coach C (13,091mm long with two axles). This vehicle, specified for use in France, was fitted with a lift, extended podiums, a toilet cubicle, and seating for a maximum of 59 passengers.