BharatBenz expands bus fortfolio – Launches 1623 front engine Intercity coach

From L to R: Mr. Erich Nesselhauf , Managing Director and CEO, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles and Mr. Markus Villinger, Managing Director Daimler Buses India

BharatBenz is expanding its product portfolio continuously and further to the launch of BS IV range of trucks 12 days back, yesterday launched a new product – 1623 Front engine Intercity coach. The Bus is available both as fully built and chasis and will be targeting the value segment of the type III bus market. Front engine buses are kind of unique to India and Daimler has taken the right approach to offer these buses considering the Indian market requirements. Targeted at the growing segment of inter-city travel, the 16-tonne, 238 hp (175 kW) front-engine coach complements BharatBenz’ successful portfolio of school, staff and tourist buses in the 9-tonne category, which have been available since the end of 2015. In addition to this, Daimler also produces Multi axle premium rear engine Super High Deck Coaches from the same plant for Indian market.

The coach was unveiled yesterday at Daimler India Commercial Vehicle’s plant in Oragadam, Chennai for Customers, Dealers and Media. Speaking at the launch event, Mr. Markus Villinger, Managing Director Daimler Buses India said: “We designed the all-new BharatBenz intercity coach to take inter-city travel to the next level: a safer and more comfortable experience for passengers and drivers, and more value for operators at the same time. Building on our acceptance in the market and this strong product with proven BS-IV technology, we are very confident to capture opportunities in this growing segment.”

1623 Coach Interior

1623 Coach Interior

The Coach is 12 meter in length and is built with unique aluminique body that meets the stringent safety standards for roll over as per the AIS-031 CMUR Bus Body Code. Fabricated without any welded parts, the lightweight structure not only gives extra strength to the vehicle but also lowers its centre of gravity, which provides extra stability to the vehicle. The coach provides two different seating options 39 and 43 seats in a 2×2 layout. The seats also has higher seat pitch of 790mm for better comfort.With full air suspension, the suspensions are calibrated with chassis performance to minimize impacts of road undulations. Overall, the vehicle is said to offers a more quiet ride thanks to its unique open saloon design which enhances acoustic insulation despite a front mounted engine. A powerful 32kW air conditioner with engine driven compressor assures not only a pleasant cabin environment for passengers but also a workplace for drivers that helps them to stay alert.

The coach also offers higher engine and gearbox oil change intervals of 100,000 km (after first engine oil change at 50k kms). The extended warranty that BharatBenz offers for all its vehicles nationwide is also available. As a unique BharatBenz feature, annual maintenance packages are offered that cover both the body and chassis, ensuring optimum maintenance.

Betting on SCR

While every manufacturer has chosen their way to provide BS IV trucks and buses, BharatBenz uses SCR technology as it has proven in hundreds of thousands of Daimler commercial vehicles in many markets for over a decade. Besides the further improved fuel economy and lower maintenance costs, SCR technology allows  BharatBenz BS-IV vehicles to operate unhampered with BS-III fuel, if required. The SCR technology uses an aqueous urea-based fluid called AdBlue, which is sprayed into the exhaust stream to break down dangerous nitrogen oxides emissions into harmless nitrogen and water. AdBlue is available nationwide at all BharatBenz dealerships and other outlets.

BharatBenz 1623 Sleeper coach

BharatBenz 1623 Sleeper coach

Variants

The big news is apart from coach, there is an option to buy a drive away chassis. This can be used to build sleeper buses which are now a preferred way of travel. Daimler also displayed a chassis and sleeper coach built by JCBL, one of the 6 approved body builder by Daimler for building bus body across India.

BharatBenz 1623 Chassis

BharatBenz 1623 Chassis

 

1 Comment on "BharatBenz expands bus fortfolio – Launches 1623 front engine Intercity coach"

  1. With pan India implementation of BS4 emission norms, DICV has pitched in with 16T bus at the right time, but is it the right product?

    Major consumer of 16T buses are STUs. Having bolted a 235hp engine and with bidding process in place, BB may find it difficult to convince STUs that are already in financial crunch. In fact, AL is finding difficult to sell its 160hp against TML’s 1512.

    Next to STUs are the private inter-city operators. This segment is dominated by AL, especially by its 183hp engine, with few operators such as VRL choosing 225hp variant. Unlike trucks, a more powerful engine can’t improve TAT significantly, many operators have fitted these buses with speed governor limiting top speed to 80kmph. Adding to this, a well maintained BB235hp may not be able to match the fuel efficiency of moderately maintained AL183hp. Travelling comfort mainly depends on regular maintenance of these buses, AL’s air bellow suspension is quite comfortable and NVH levels are really low. Operators may also consider initial investment, where BB may burn a hole in their pocket!

    Had they rolled out 1617, that would have been considered as formidable competitor. However, wish good luck for BB.

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