Strata High Floor set to be launched in 2017
Rochdale coachbuilder to launch new version of innovative, Sprinter-based bus with high capacity and low running costs
The trend of innovative new products from Mellor Coachcraft is set to continue with the announcement that the company is about to launch a high-floor version of its ground-breaking Strata bus with up to 19 seats.
The Strata HF is aimed primarily at the local authority and community transport sectors. The new model is fully accessible, with a passenger lift at the rear, and is based on the acclaimed Mercedes Sprinter chassis cab.
The Strata HF exhibits all the styling features of the low-floor version launched earlier this year and, just like its low floor stablemate, capitalises on lightweight composite materials throughout. This has enabled the company to offer a capacity of up to 19 seated passengers or as many as seven wheelchairs. Attention has been paid to passenger comfort and the internal space has been maximised to allow 2+2 seating of 450mm wide seats on a completely flat floor with no slope and no internal steps.
Now at the end of the design phase, the first vehicle will soon be hitting the Rochdale production line. The Strata HF has been fully engineered in CAD and boasts a stainless steel body frame and a modern and stylish interior fitted with wipe-clean and hard wearing GRP mouldings throughout. It will come in medium- and long-wheelbase versions, the high capacity versions to be fitted with a composite floor system.
The two-step entry with forward opening inswing door combines with a new design of header panel which can be used as useful overhead storage above the cab or incorporate destination equipment for stage carriage type work. To minimise downtime after minor accidents, all skirt panels and bumpers are bolt-on for quick replacement.
The medium-wheelbase version will accommodate up to 16 seats or up to six wheelchairs. The long-wheelbase Strata HF can have up to 19 seats, or up to seven wheelchairs. Both variants will be fitted with full-length tracking to offer the ultimate in seating flexibility. Both variants will have a wheelchair lift mounted at the rear, these can be either underfloor or inboard type.
The Mellor design team have paid particular attention to the driver’s cab which has excellent all round visibility and the ergonomic environment is one in which drivers are sure to feel at home. Features such as a full-width electric sun blind, dedicated driver’s storage compartment and a luggage pen on the nearside front are fitted as standard equipment on both models. An integrated reversing camera, monitor and cyclist protection system are just some of the safety features that will come as standard
A Strata HF demonstrator vehicle will be in build from January and with a number of customer orders in the pipeline production vehicles will be delivered from early March 2017.
Customers will also be pleased to hear that the pricing of the 16-seat model will the same as that of the Strata HF’s extremely successful predecessor:
“Our approach with the new model has been to offer our customers greater value. We have challenged ourselves to provide a product that offers much more in terms of style, finish and robustness without increasing our selling prices,” said Mellor General Manager John Randerson.
“The Strata Low Floor opened our minds to what could be done with the Sprinter platform, with that in mind we have worked extremely hard to ensure the Strata HF will make a stylish, robust and flexible addition to any fleet.”
Prices are expected to be very competitive in comparison to other vehicles in the sector.