Merc canters in with new goods
Company optimistic about Fuso Canter Bus and Midi Bus
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.
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.
Transport editor Alwyn Viljoen tests the comfort of the seats in a Merc bus.