Optare Solo at IAA for the first time

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Optare exhibited a left-hand drive Tempo at Busworld Kortrijk in 2007
Optare exhibited a left-hand drive Tempo at Busworld Kortrijk in 2007

Optare is to exhibit its Solo midibus on the Ashok Leyland stand at IAA Hannover from September 20 – 27. While the UK-based manufacturer had a stand at Busworld Kortrijk in 2007, this is the first time Optare has displayed its wares at the high-profile European Commercial Vehicle Show.

Stand A21 in hall 11 also showcases: AVIA, Ashok Leyland’s Czech truck and bus chassis operation, which will exhibit four models from its range; and Russian associate Volgabus, with its new concept medium duty bus models.

The Solo exhibit is a 9.5m left-hand drive variant, with front entrance and centre exit. It is powered by a 6.7-litre Cummins ISBe, six-cylinder turbo diesel engine which develops 150kW/201bhp. The transmission is an Allison 2100 series, five-speed fully automatic, with an electromagnetic retarder automatically actuated through the brake pedal.

It has seating for 26 plus a wheelchair and has a fully integral low-weight, high-strength stainless steel structure, with a combination of modular aluminium alloy and glass fibre exterior panels. Full air suspension with front end kneeling and air disc brakes are standard features of the Solo range.

Optare’s unique demountable driveline concept, with the engine, gearbox, cooling and exhaust system fitted to a demountable frame, can be specified in several alternative low-carbon mechanical packages, such as diesel electric hybrid or zero emission full electric, within the same physical space. This feature is expected to draw particular attention.

Jim Sumner, Optare CEO, said: “This is the first time an Optare has appeared on this prestigious European stage and is a direct result of our association with Ashok Leyland. With the challenging economic environment being faced across Europe, our fuel efficient products offer hard pressed operators a serious alternative to more traditional buses.”

For more about on the IAA show, or to purchase tickets, visit www.iaa.de/en/