Lightweight Optare Versa attracts NZ operator

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New Zealand Reesby Buses has acquired an 11.7m Optare Versa.

The 11.7m Versa has an unladen weight of 7,820kg. Reesby Buses opted for the six-cylinder Cummins ISBe engine to cope more easily with the hilly terrain in which it will run without compromising fuel economy.

The 6.7 litre Euro 5 engine delivers 201bhp (150 kW) at 2300 rpm and 750 Nm of torque. It is matched to an Allison five-speed automatic transmission with lock-up convertor for increased fuel efficiency. An electro-magnetic retarder, automatically activated through the brake pedal, provides additional braking inputs on descents.

The bus has seating for 44 passengers on Esteban Civic V3 seats, including three tip-ups in the wheelchair/buggy space. The seats are leather trimmed and have headrests in two-tone blue. A further 17 standing passengers can also be carried.

Mobitec LED destination equipment has been specified to the front side and rear, and the exterior is finished in a classy metallic silver and blue paint scheme.

Owner Dave Reesby said the low weight of the model particularly suits the New Zealand road tax regime.

He explained: “With a gross weight of only 12 tonnes for a 44-seater citybus, compared with around 14 tonnes for all other makes operating in the country, the 11.7m Versa attracts a saving of 13 cents/kilometre in Government imposed road user charges.”