MAN has recently launched a front engine, 6×2, 14.5m front engine bus chassis, which is a first of its kind in India. Though there were attempts by AMW with Magnus, the product was not commercially available for sale. After years of gestation period, we should admit that MAN has hit the sweet spot in the Intercity bus segment. A value multi axle coach is what the big product gap currently in the market and MAN has filled the white space quite neatly with a front engine multi axle chassis. We have made a detailed article on the need and what is the market potential for the same in this article.
Though we have detailed about the requirement of rear engine, the same is delivered in a more Indian friendly front engine avatar by MAN. The Chassis is loaded with enough safety and comfort features and priced quite competitively at Rs.39.7 lks (Including GST).
We at CV News took a closer look at the new chassis and here we present some important features, which will help you decide your purchase decision.
Engine and power train
Powered by MAN D 0836, 6 Cylinder, 6.9l, Common rail diesel BS IV engine. Engine deliverd max power of 300hp@2300 rpm and Max torque of 1150 Nm @1200 to 1800 rpm.
MAN engines have proven across larger platforms in heavy duty applications and we expect the same performance in the bus application as well. The engine is uber smooth and silent, making it a right choice choice. While MAN has more than 30% market share in Europe, the major credit goes to the driveline. The chassis is BS IV and its achieved with SCR technology. MAN is globally working using SCR for Euro4 and India is no exception.
The DAT – De-aeration Tank comes with a flat profile fitted over the CAC – Charged Air Cooler and is semi transparent enabling easy visual identification.
The air intake pipe is located crosswise to the chassis and comes with pre filter. The larger air filter is located just adjacent to the air intake pipe.
The Chassis has a 6 speed manual transmission with overdrive. MAN is excited about the AMT option and if required and market need arises, will be offering them in future as well.
MAN chassis are normally service friendly and here is another easy arrangement engine oil level dip stick, engine oil filling, power steering reservoir are all located at the front end.
Driver work area
A simple layout means, the driver work area has all essentials at right place.
The driver seats are pneumatically suspended, height and reach, back rest adjustable.
The chassis is a full flat, 14.5m long, non joggled, bolted, Channel Section with cross members.
Rear axle is a bogie setup with a single tyre dead tag axle, and a twin tyre live axle. The tag axle is neither liftable nor steerable. The tag axle has a steering lock angle of 15 deg and will be automatically steered only during reversing.
The beauty of front engine, inswing door lies here. The cradle type AC Compressor mounting, lets the bus to have an inswing door making it most convenient for passengers during boarding and alighting.
The fuel tank is fitted inside the frames and frees up acres of space in the wheel base area, making it more usable as luggage compartment. This is also possible because there is no electromagnetic retarder instead hydrodynamic retarder is provided.
Spare wheel is located in the left rear over hang of chassis – common for both 6×2 and 4×2 variant.
The primary service brakes are pneumatically activated, dual line, S cam operated drum brakes.
The chassis has long list of additional brakes including Voith 123+, hydrodynamic retarders. Operates multi stage through hand held right combi switch at steering column.
Apart from service brakes and retarder, MAN also offers patented Exhaust valve brakes. The MAN EVB (Exhaust Valve Brake) enables powerful, wear-free braking and controlled downhill driving at high speeds with up to 290 kW of braking power. The engine braking power increases when the exhaust valves are opened briefly. The bus also has ABS as standard.
The bus comes with full air suspension at front and rear. The front suspension is MAN designed unique layout and includes two air springs, shock absorbers and anti roll bar.
The rear bogie is also pneumatically suspended with four springs and four shock absorber for twin tyre live axle and two springs and two shock absorber for tag axle.
Wheels and Tyres
The Chassis is shod with 295/80 R 22.5 Michelin tubeless radials. The disc size is 8.25″x22.5″.
MAN has taken the right step in the mass volume front engine market and this product is definitely attractive for Customers. This segment is also quite new and will have some kind of cannibalization from premium multi axle segment as well. Optimistic volume for the year will be close to 100 to 150 units. Pricing being the key, the road is open for MAN.