MAN Truck & Bus
The engine hums soothingly as the Cityliner glides past the picturesque silhouette of St. Mary's Church on Lake Bled. Serbian kings used to reside in this Slovenian health resort with a view onto the foothills of the Alps, and numerous diplomats and statesmen have enjoyed a summer retreat here. They turned the small town into a tourist magnet – and at the same time into a hotspot for all kinds of coach tours. The organisers of Coach Euro Test 2021 chose the location wisely. It’s as if the region was created for a test – with its winding roads, panoramic routes and ascending mountain terrain. There were 22 European trade journalists here from 6 to 8 September to put the candidates for Coach of the Year 2022 to an acid test. And the winner is... the special "Platin" version of the NEOPLAN Cityliner!
This is now the third decade in which the Coach of the Year award has been presented and it’s considered to be the most important international prize in the coach market. Jury president Tom Terjesen presented it in Munich to Andreas Tostmann, CEO of MAN Truck & Bus and to Rudi Kuchta, head of the bus business unit at MAN Truck & Bus. Four bus manufacturers from across Europe subjected themselves to the jury’s verdict. After a week’s worth of intensive testing, the jury's verdict was clearly in favour of the NEOPLAN Cityliner. “The NEOPLAN Cityliner `Platin´ model inspired us with its cost-effective, yet at the same time powerful and dynamic driving style”, stated jury president Tom Terjesen.Special mention was made of the efficient power train with its modern Euro-6-compliant six-cylinder engine, which is perfectly matched with the new ZF Ecolife Coach 2 6-speed automatic transmission. This is designed for deployment in interurban buses and coaches, and is also particularly suitable for demanding routes with steep inclines and tight hairpin bends. As is also the case in urban traffic, the constant braking and powerful acceleration requires frequent gear changes within a very short time. It’s precisely in such situations that the EcoLife Coach performs well due to its high efficiency. Equally convincing is its smooth and efficient acceleration without loss of traction when changing gears.
Team effort Andreas Tostmann (right), CEO of MAN Truck & Bus, and Rudi Kuchta (left), Head of Business Unit Bus at MAN Truck & Bus, receive the trophy from jury president Tom Terjesen.
Konzernlenker MAN-Chef Andreas Tostmann sitzt auch gern mal am Steuer eines Cityliners.
Strahlend Blick auf die Plakette der Auszeichnung,
Thumbs up Rudi Kuchta, head of MAN's bus division, is delighted with the award.
Cruisin' on the highway The Cityliner scores with its smooth running and supple steering.
Picturesque The four competitors against the backdrop of the castle in Bled, Slovenia.
Precious metal The Coach of the Year trophy is like an Olympic victory for coach manufacturers.
Eye-catcher The Cityliner design combines tradition and modernity.
“We’re grateful and very proud that our NEOPLAN Cityliner was able to convince the expert jury – especially in its anniversary year. This prestigious award represents a wonderful recognition for the entire MAN team that has been tirelessly committed and has delivered outstanding work”, says Andreas Tostmann adding: “After the titles of Coach of the Year 2020 for the MAN Lion’s Coach and Truck of the Year 2021 for our new truck generation, this new award for the NEOPLAN Cityliner is the third prize in three consecutive years for vehicles that we’ve released. That says a lot about our superb and innovative product portfolio and impressively indicates that we’re well positioned with our NewMAN strategy.”
„This prestigious award represents a wonderful recognition for the entire MAN team."
In addition to its performance, this coach also scores especially highly in terms of its refined interior and exterior design. This new Cityliner recalls the fifty-year history of the Cityliner’s success since its inception in 1971. It took as its inspiration the uniquely limited “Platin version” of the series from 1995. The discreet platinum shade of its paintwork on sides, front and rear with the original “Platin” lettering and other chrome-coloured elements is initially reminiscent of its legendary predecessor. A particular “wow effect” is created by the new hub caps whose unusual rotational dynamics distinguish this Cityliner as a “sports car among coaches”, even when it’s stationary. “Its design was one aspect among many that made it clear to us that the NEOPLAN Cityliner definitely deserves the Coach of the Year award”, says jury president Tom Terjesen.
Yet the interior of the coach also engenders great enthusiasm. Comfortable and relaxed journeys are assured by a spacious interior, new seats including optional headrests from the Exclusivo range and USB or wireless charging functionality for smartphones. In addition to comfort and looks, the matter of safety also plays a crucial part in the NEOPLAN Cityliner. Numerous innovative assistance systems ensure the greatest possible safety for passengers, drivers and other road users. These include the active MAN Comfort Drive Suspension (CDS), an electronically adjustable damping system, MAN OptiView – the world's first mirror replacement system for coaches – and the actively warning turning assistant with pedestrian detection. Even the pandemic contributed to such innovations, like for instance equipping the coach with a MAN Original antiviral interior filter that significantly reduces the concentration of aerosols.
This newly presented prize is part of a successful series. This current award for the NEOPLAN Cityliner means that MAN Truck & Bus has now received a trophy eleven times for its MAN and NEOPLAN bus brands – including six titles as Coach of the Year (2022, 2020, 2006, 2004, 2000, 1994) and fives times as Bus of the Year (2015, 2005, 1999, 1995, 1990). “This award demonstrates yet again that our NEOPLAN Cityliner is still the right choice for every coach operator after shaping the industry like no other for over five decades”, Rudi Kuchta says and adds: Our two current Coach of the Year prize winners – the MAN Lion’s Coach in 2020 and now the NEOPLAN Cityliner – are exemplary of our expertise when it comes to coaches. We can benefit from our MAN and NEOPLAN brands to offer our customers optimised solutions for their deployment needs, which is hugely important, especially now in a market that is still difficult due to the pandemic. At the same time our comfortable, innovative and multi-award-winning buses and coaches offer the best conditions for inspiring passengers to travel by bus again.” So the soothing hum of the Cityliner can continue to resound in many places around the world.