MAN Truck & Bus
The history of NEPOLAN buses and coaches extends back as far as the 1930s. There are legends like the “type Hamburg” with its window panes arched into the roof, the Skyliner as the world’s first double-decker coach or the development of low-floor access. The Metroliner took things successfully into the 1990s. NEOPLAN presented a futuristic bus in 1988: the carbon design of the Metroliner using the first self-supporting bus cell made of fibre composites reduces total weight by almost 40 per cent, thus saving fuel. This model was even presented with its first Bus of the Year award shortly after its market introduction.
In 1992 MAN presented its Lion’s Star coach, which would prove to be eponymous for all subsequent MAN bus generations. This high-decker for long-distance traffic features particularly low air resistance. This makes it exceptionally fuel-efficient. Other convincing features are its design and the superstructure’s greatly improved roll-resistance.
Manoeuvrability despite a long wheelbase and a fully level passenger floor – these are two significant aspects that differentiate the NEOPLAN Metroshuttle as a low-floor bus. The four-wheel steering with its electric power transmission via wheel hub motors enables a diagonal approach to parking bays. Omission of the wheel arches to maximise space within the passenger compartment is groundbreaking.
Just three years after its première at the IAA, the MAN Lion's City receives the award for its redesigned chassis, weight-reducing fibreglass carbon roof covering and improved axle and suspension system. This second-generation low-floor bus replaces the type A10 urban buses.
The Starliner was introduced at the IAA in 1996 and soon developed into becoming a premium coach. Its design was and remains attention grabbing, with its two large front glazed domes on the outside and inside a new kind of passenger ventilation system without air nozzles that directs the air across the windows. Even the metal pillars between all double seats that accept the lap and diagonal seat belts are new. The electronics also feature innovative technology: servocomtronic steering with speed-dependent steering assistance, GPS navigation systems and an accident data log.
Its 460 PS makes this the most powerful series two-axle coach on the market. Top class workmanship, a peaceful interior, an almost silent cold water air-conditioning system, a comfortable driver's workplace with high-swept windscreen, and with technical improvements like a maintenance-free chassis, exterior mirrors that tilt forward for the coach wash or a rear spoiler that keeps the rear window free of dirt – these are all aspects that result in success for this fully redesigned coach. Its rounded design and platform-free seating also convinced the jury.
The revised look and technical features of the Lion's City generation is impressive due to its consumption-optimised automatic transmission, attractive passenger compartment, improved ergonomics in the driver’s workplace and a modern design.
The second generation of this coach, which had already won the prize in its first generation, captivates with its “sharp-cut” design that is at the same time reminiscent of the panoramic glazing of the 1950s, technical innovations like a trend-setting lighting concept and innovative safety and assistance systems, such as the electronic stability programme (ESP), adaptive cruise control (ACC) and lane guard system (LGS). The second generation of the Starliner continues to be built until 2015.
The five double-width doors on this 18.75-metre long articulated bus mean that it can accommodate up to 142 people – making it the longest five-door bus on the market. This significantly improves the flow of passengers. A clever detail intensifies the impact, since the driver can electrically lock or release three folding seats. This increases the standing room when passenger volumes are high. Its eco-friendly natural gas drive contributes to sustainability – MAN has been advancing the efficiency and low emission nature of this technology for decades. The CNG engines installed by MAN also run on processed biogas – and are thus virtually carbon-neutral. The LED lamps and headlights also reduce maintenance time and energy.
This fully redesigned interurban coach was presented in 2017 and convinced the jury after just a short probationary period in service. In addition to individual features like its particularly efficient power train consuming only 19.4 litres over 100 kilometres, the OptiView mirror replacement system or clever integration of the wheelchair lift above the front axle, it is the overall package of comfort, innovation and handling in the Lion’s Coach that expressly stood out for the jurors. Its engine power of up to 510 PS also predestines it for deployment in mountainous regions.
Now 50 years after the invention of this successful model with its raised passenger floor, NEOPLAN is releasing a modern rebirth of the “Platin version” from 1995, this time without any limit on numbers and available in all three lengths (Cityliner/C/L). This classic is denoted by its discreet exterior paintwork and the original “Platin” lettering. New features are the “angel eyes” headlights and 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. Beneath the bonnet the jury is impressed by the power train with its modern Euro6-compliant six-cylinder engine and finely tuned ZF Ecolife Coach 2 6-speed automatic transmission, which give a smooth driving experience without interruptions when changing gears.