Page 1 of 4
CHICAGO — The trend toward group travel keeps rising in retail and corporate sectors as cost-conscious passengers prefer to book larger vehicles with higher capacity. Operators throughout the industry have taken note and are venturing into the bus business with minicoaches and full-size motorcoaches. The number one place in the industry to see the latest and greatest group-moving vehicles is the annual BusCon Expo, which was held Sept. 10-12 at Chicago’s famous Navy Pier. It’s here that operators can attend seminars educating them about the details of the bus business and view innovative, creative and efficient vehicles that will meet their needs.
Vehicle Production Group
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Vehicle Production Group unveiled at BusCon 2012 its newest ADA-compliant vehicle, the 2013 MV-1 LX. In attendance for the unveiling were cheerleaders from the Chicago Bulls basketball team, several legendary members of the Chicago Bears football team, and Marc Buoniconti, owner of the first MV-1 unit.Buoniconti is president of the Buoniconti Fund and son of Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti, who was part of the undefeated, Super Bowl-winning 1972 Miami Dolphins.
VPG MV-1 LX
The MV-1, which stands for “mobility vehicle,” is assembled near South Bend, Ind., at AM General’s Mishawaka plant, the former production facility for the Hummer H2. The MV-1 was designed and built specifically for disabled passengers and meets or exceeds guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act for wheelchair accessibility.
Key features in the MV-1 LX include: Power ramp with lighted, anti-skid surface and raised side barriers; power door with key fob; wheelchair securement and restraint system; 10 universal floor tracks for wheelchair location flexibility; multiple grab handles; custom rosewood accents; leatherette upholstery with quilted diamond pattern; enhanced radio package that includes AM/FM radio, CD/MP3 player, clock, rear backup camera, 7 in. touchscreen and controls, and Bluetooth capability; driver’s floor mat; 17-inch allow wheels with chrome center cap; medium window tint; and a leather steering wheel wrapper.
The MV-1 comes with a standard Ford V-8 gas engine with a 24-gallon tank capacity or an optional Ford V-8 CNG engine.
Model: 2013 MV-1 LX | Passenger capacity: 5 | Luggage space: 36.4 cu. ft. (gas engine); 29.1 cu. ft. (CNG) | Length: 205 in. | Width: 79.4 in. | Height: 75 in. | Turning radius: 42.8 ft. | Access door useable width: 36 in. | Access door useable height: 56 in. | Interior height at rear wheelchair position: 59.5 in. | Interior height at forward wheelchair position: 58.3 in. | Ramp extension-short: 52.5 in. | Ramp extension-long: 87 in. | Useable ramp width: 30 in. | Warranty: 3 years/36,000 mile (bumper-to-bumper); 5 years/75,000 mile (powertrain and ramp); 5 years/100,000 mile (corrosion protection).
CH Bus Sales/ TEMSA Global
TEMSA Global and its U.S. sales arm, Las Vegas-based CH Bus Sales, displayed their 30-passenger TS 30 motorcoach. The TS 30 is the smallest coach to feature an integral stainless steel monocoque chassis, which gives it greater structural integrity and durability than a body-on-chassis style bus. It also features an independent front suspension.
TEMSA TS 30 motorcoach.
Standard amenities include: decorative curtains; air conditioning with roof heating; body leveling floor; manually operated roller-type sun visor; partitions; first aid kit; room mirror; manually operated escape hatch; cruise control; automatic fuses; overhead parcel racks; rear view mirrors; reflectors; splash aprons; tool set; LED interior & exterior lights; 12v plug for mobile phone use; battery jumper; 3-point seatbelts for driver and passengers.
Model: TS 30 | Passenger capacity: 30 (+1 driver) w/o restroom; 32 (+1 driver) with restroom | Luggage space: 141 cu. ft. | Length: 30.80 ft. | Width: 94.64 in. | Height (incl. a/c): 10.89 ft. | Turning radius: 27.8 ft. | Engine: Cummins ISB 6.7 250; 6 cylinder | Transmission: Allison B300 | Horsepower: 250 @ 2,300 rpm | Torque: 660 lb-ft @1,600 rpm | Fuel tank capacity: 76 gal | Diesel exhaust fluid tank capacity: 10 US gal
Websites: www.chbussales.com; www.temsa.com
Motor Coach Industries
While MCI did not exhibit a vehicle on the show floor this year, it had a booth where team members answered questions about their newest motorcoach, the 2013 J4500. The J4500 has been the industry’s best-selling coach, and it has been revamped for the 2013 model year by BMW Group DesignworksUSA, which led the styling of the original J4500.
Motor Coach Industries 2013 J4500 motorcoach.
The 2013 J4500 coach features a semi-monocoque stainless steel body.
Key improvements / amenities include: high-visibility LED headlights; amber LED turn and daytime running lamps; LED tail and brake lights; extra-durable front and rear bumpers; more branding space on rear engine door; fully sealed electrical system with protected connectors and easy-access doors; module diagnostics accessed from one location on new touchscreen LCD; Amerex fire-suppression system; SmartWave tire-pressure monitor; backlit switches and illuminated gauges; ergonomic cockpit; automated pre-trip walk-around test check; 3-point seatbelt for driver and passengers; improved passenger visibility from rearmost seat; spiral stepwell; continuous handrails; adjustable MCI design headrests; chemical lavatory with wash basin; theater-style tiered seating in first three rows; iPod and MP3 connection in head unit; improved Wi-Fi system; 110v outlets; six 15 in. LCD widescreen HD monitors with USB input; dual wireless microphones.
Model: 2013 J4500 | Passenger capacity: 56 | Luggage space: 595 cu. ft. | Length: 45.58 ft. | Width: 102 in. | Height: 78.25 in. | Gross vehicle weight: 54,000 lbs. | Turning radius: 47 ft. | Engine: Cummins ISX 12 or Detroit Diesel DD13 | Transmission: Allison B500 6-speed automatic | Horsepower: 425 (Cummins) or 410 (Detroit Diesel) | Fuel tank capacity: 183 gal | Diesel exhaust fluid tank capacity: 15 gal