Merc can­ters in with new goods

Com­pany op­ti­mistic about Fuso Can­ter Bus and Midi Bus

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

FUSO Trucks SA and Mercedes-Benz Bus & Coach — both wholly owned by Daim­ler AG — are op­ti­mistic about the fu­ture of their re­cently launched prod­ucts, the Fuso Can­ter Bus and the Mercedes-Benz Midi Bus, built on the OF 917 RF chas­sis.

With Fuso con­tin­u­ing to grow its range, the lat­est Can­ter Bus has im­pressed not only its cus­tomers but also an ar­ray of in­dus­try ex­perts.

God­frey Hani, head of FUSO Trucks SA, said the bus was the first com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle to re­ceive the Au­to­mo­tive Re­searchers and Jour­nal­ists’ Con­fer­ence’s Car of the Year Spe­cial Award ín 2013.

This was fol­lowed in Ire­land by the ac­co­lade of Best En­ergy Ef­fi­cient Prod­uct Award be­ing be­stowed on this im­pres­sive ve­hi­cle.

Rich in a 52-year-old her­itage as­so­ci­ated with re­li­a­bil­ity and per­for­mance, the Can­ter Bus con­tin­ues to ap­ply Fuso’s long-stand­ing global brand­ing to the fu­ture of trans­port tech­nol­ogy in South Africa. “The Can­ter Bus is in­dica­tive of our pi­o­neer­ing spirit of al­ways mov­ing for­ward for our cus­tomers and so­ci­ety. As we con­tin­u­ously re­fine the Can­ter — in­clud­ing the bus — so it re­mains at the fore­front of the trans­port in­dus­try, we en­sure that we do this in con­sul­ta­tion with all our stake­hold­ers,” said Hani.

“As a ve­hi­cle that is set to dom­i­nate the trans­port in­dus­try, the Can­ter Bus of­fers newly de­vel­oped driv­e­trains. Our Fuso de­sign­ers and en­gi­neers went be­yond the or­di­nary and put ev­ery­thing they know about power train tech­nol­ogy and ef­fi­ciency into the new Can­ter Bus,” added Hani.

The Can­ter Bus’s new 4P10 twin camshaft, four valves per cylin­der, tur­bocharged and in­ter­cooled four-cylin­der diesel en­gine is cou­pled to an ad­vanced DUONIC six-speed, dual-clutch au­to­mated man­ual trans­mis­sion — the only dual-clutch trans­mis­sion avail­able in a bus.

What the Can­ter Bus does ex­tremely well is to max­imise ef­fi­ciency and lower the to­tal cost of own­er­ship while be­ing one of the most prac­ti­cal ve­hi­cles to own and op­er­ate. With the com­bi­na­tion of the 4P10 en­gine and DUONIC trans­mis­sion, fuel-ef­fi­ciency tar­gets are achieved. The Eco mode fur­ther im­proves ef­fi­ciency; the dual clutch pro­vides a soft shift that needs no main­te­nance and achieves the low­est shift shock in its class.

As one of the smoothest run­ning, eas­i­est-to-drive buses on the mar­ket, the Can­ter Bus of­fers a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in the length of the ser­vice in­ter­vals up to 25 000 km in some ap­pli­ca­tions and a two-year un­lim­ited kilo­me­tre war­ranty bumper to bumper also con­trib­utes sig­nif­i­cantly to lower cost of own­er­ship.

In the same Daim­ler sta­ble as the Fuso Can­ter Bus is the new Mercedes-Benz OF 917 RF, a raised-floor bus chas­sis with a front-mounted 170 hp en­gine with a nine-ton Gross Ve­hi­cle Weight.

The Midi-Bus chas­sis will be equipped with 22 to 40-seater bus bod­ies, ideal for the com­muter and coach seg­ments. Pro­duced at the Daim­ler In­dia Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cles (DICV) plant in the south­east­ern In­dian city of Chen­nai, the Mercedes-Benz OF 917 RF bus chas­sis was built not only to be com­fort­able for pas­sen­gers, but also for the driver.

“The new Mercedes-Benz OF 917 RF bus chas­sis is the per­fect ex­am­ple of what hap­pens when Daim­ler’s trusted ex­per­tise is com­bined with our val­ued cus­tomers’ in­puts: the per­fect prod­uct,” said Dirk An­sorge, head of Mercedes-Benz South Africa Bus & Coach.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

The pure bus chas­sis makes it body builder-friendly as it comes with shock ab­sorbers, a six-speed man­ual gear­box, front and rear leaf spring sus­pen­sion, all re­sult­ing in the OF 917 RF be­ing com­fort­able not only for the pas­sen­gers but also for the driver.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

Trans­port edi­tor Al­wyn Viljoen tests the com­fort of the seats in a Merc bus.

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