BusCon 2011: Evolving Vehicles Cater To Client Groups

Michael Campos
Posted on November 9, 2011

CHICAGO — The new vehicles parked along the BusCon trade show floor this year reflected the economic and market demands influencing the ground transportation market. Limousine industry leader Krystal Infinity displayed its new all-electric EVolution minibus complete with green-grass-and-blue-sky paint job, and newcomer TEMSA Global debuted what will be America’s smallest integral motorcoach, the TS30.

The EVolution is built on a commercial International chassis. The engine and accessory drive systems are removed and replaced with a 230-volt AC continuous primary drive and a 40 kW liquid-cooled flux vector motor controller accessory drive. Under a fast charge, the batteries can fully recover in less than one hour.
The EVolution is built on a commercial International chassis. The engine and accessory drive systems are removed and replaced with a 230-volt AC continuous primary drive and a 40 kW liquid-cooled flux vector motor controller accessory drive. Under a fast charge, the batteries can fully recover in less than one hour.

Krystal Infinity
Krystal’s KK38 EVolution minibus, which was featured in the Sept/Oct 2011 issue of LCT Magazine, is 38-feet long and capable of a 150-mile range under average loads with a maximum speed of 65 mph. The EVolution is the first zero-emissions all-electric mid-sized shuttle bus. Krystal Infinity is the only electric bus manufacturer in the U.S.

David Webb, president of Capitol Coachworks Inc., the exclusive distributor of the KK38 EVolution, said there was a lot of excitement about the new vehicle. “BusCon is the right place to introduce a new product,” he said. “People have shown a lot of interest in the technology. BusCon is good every year and orders will come even four to six months after the show. My absence here would be too costly.”

Krystal debuted its new mid-size bus, the KK36, which is built on a Ford F-650 XLT cab and chassis. It seats 31 passengers and features frameless touring windows, upgraded air conditioning system, high back reclining seats with arm rests, OEM air ride suspension, front overhead view window, LCD TV system, and overhead storage racks. A 31-pax F-550 and KK35 limo bus completed Krystal’s show floor line-up.


TEMSA Global

Turkish coach manufacturer TEMSA Global debuted the TS30, a concept vehicle for the European market that is making its way to the U.S. At 30-feet long and 95 inches wide, it will be the smallest coach to feature an integral monocoque stainless steel chassis. It has a rear engine and an independent front suspension. The Cummins engine runs through an Allison transmission.

The model on the show floor had 37 seats, but TEMSA business development director Omer Sozutek said the number of seats will be reduced to 32-36 in the American version to provide more legroom for passengers. “This vehicle is perfect for the short haul, and operators will be able to get financing for 84 months on the TS30,” Sozutek said.
TEMSA also displayed its TS35, the only 35-foot stainless steel integral motorcoach in the U.S. market. It features a Cummins ISL engine, Allison B500 transmission, independent front suspension with adjustable shock absorber and torsion bar type stabilizer. It can seat 38-40 passengers.

TEMSA coaches feature body-leveling floors, air conditioning with roof heating, electric sun visor, fog lights, first aid kits, double window glazing, curtains, overhead parcel rack, cruise control, luggage trimming, and LED interior & exterior lights.

CH Trading Company is the exclusive distributor for TEMSA in the U.S.


Motor Coach Industries
Displayed a pre-owned 2007 56-passenger J4500. It is the industry’s best-selling coach and sports an aerodynamic design and full stainless steel monocoque body.

“This coach is easily a two million mile chassis,” vice president Aram Nikitas said. “It’s built to last. This particular [pre-owned] model [displayed at the show] had 800,000 miles on the chassis, and we put in a new engine, refurbished the interior, and it’s just like new.”

Most striking about the J4500’s interior were the spiral stairway with integral handrails and the large overhead luggage space whose capacity looked comparable to that on an airplane. MCI has the biggest service network in the country. MCI’s Select+ Pre-owned Coach program offers a 60-day/30,000 mile, POC limited warranty; 210+ point MCI inspection; scheduled preventive maintenance inspections and recommended fluid and filter changes at an MCI service center included for 60 days or 30,000 miles, whichever comes first; and a two-year engine and transmission warranty.



BCI America
Next to the MCI display stood a bright blue 45-foot 2012 Explorer 45 belonging to BCI Bus, whose booth won the award for Most Creative Display. BCI is an Australian coach company that manufactures its vehicles in the Xiamen Feng Tai Bus and Coach International production facility in Xiamen, Fujian Province, China. The facility is 100,000 square meters, fully ISO 9001 certified, and located in a free trade zone.

The Explorer 45’s monocoque chassis is built with Australian high-tensile galvanized steel. It seats 56 passengers and offers three-point seatbelts, individual reading lights, enclosed lavatory with holding tank, LED illumination throughout the interior, and a 17-inch widescreen front monitor. The driver’s area features an ergonomically designed dash and Grammer driver seat.


Tiffany Coachworks
Displayed a 40-foot, 48-passenger Freightliner premium luxury motorcoach, which vice president of sales Pat Butler said will cost about $180,000. The interior featured wood floors, premium leather seats, overhead luggage compartment, window curtains, six overhead entertainment monitors, and a widescreen front monitor. Tiffany also exhibited its F-550 27-pax minibus and E-450 23-pax minibus.



Champion Bus

Displayed a 40-passenger, 38-foot Defender 38 bus. The Defender is available on either an International or Freightliner M2 chassis. It features a Steelguard construction with 1.5-inch x 1.5inch steel cage structure, urethane foam insulation, steel roof bows, and a 5-year/75,000 mile structure warranty.








Glaval Bus
Brought its 45-passenger Apollo motorcoach, built on a Freightliner MB-65 chassis; its 45-pax Legacy coach, built on a Freightliner S2C chassis; its 33-pax Entourage minicoach, built on a Ford F-550 chassis; and its 40-pax Concorde II minicoach, built on a Ford F-650 chassis. All Glaval buses have a 5-year/100,000 mile limited warranty.


ABC Companies
Displayed a 35-foot M1235 by General Coach of America. The mid-size coach offers an exclusive one-piece windshield to improve driver visibility and safety and maximized passenger viewing. It is built on a Freightliner S2 chassis, features steel cage construction, and Amaya Torino G-seats with three-point seatbelts.



Daimler Vans
Displayed its Mercedes-Benz Sprinter executive van. It has room for 12 passengers with an interior roof height of up to 6’4” and is powered by a BlueTEC SCR Diesel engine. Safety features include Adaptive ESP, driver/front passenger airbags, three-point seatbelts and adjustable headrests. Financing available through Mercedes-Benz Financial.


IC Bus
Showcased the HC Platinum Tour Series motorcoach, which is 33 feet long and can seat 32 to 40 passengers. Built on an IC Bus chassis with all-steel inner cage structure, the HC Platinum features tour-style frameless windows with blackout tint, a tour view window in the front cap, LED exterior lighting, overhead parcel rack with aircraft-style HVAC controls and reading light, entertainment system with DVD and AM/FM stereo, Amaya seating with CMI deluxe fabric and rear luggage area. Driver features include driver’s air seat, heated power mirrors, tilt steering, cruise control, and 5-gauge cluster with visual and audible warning system.



Turtle Top
Attendees swamped the Turtle Top exhibit for hours, enjoying the two vehicles on display: a glossy black Terra Transport XLT and F-550 Odyssey XL buses. Turtle Top vice president Phil Tom said the paint on the vehicles is a new water-based paint that came with a five-year warranty. “We aim to design our vehicles around clients’ needs,” he said. Both vehicles were equipped with new windows and featured leather seating with three-point seatbelts.

The 12-pax Terra Transport XLT has an MSRP of $74,999 and can be financed for 60 months at 5.5% for $1,434. The 30-pax F550 Odyssey XL has an MSRP of $121,500 and can be financed for 60 months at 5.5% for $2,324.




Related Topics: alt fuel vehicles, bus market, BusCon, buses, executive vans, group travel, hybrid vehicles, luxury vans, mini-buses, motorcoaches, new vehicles

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