Monday, December 27, 2010

SMRT Buses : MAN NL320F (A22)/ MCV Evolution (SMB138Y)

SMB138Y is SMRT Buses' first MAN bus, a NL320F in the fleet. It has an Evolution bodywork from Egyptian bodywork manufacturer MCV ,which is also used on Hong Kong's KMB's B7RLEs (photo from Wikipedia). The MAN is a 100% low floor environmentally friendly bus.

On first sight, the MAN's bodywork has a refreshing look, with the MCV's smart looking exterior, clean lines, gorgeous Hanover EDS and MAN/MCV branding all around the bodywork. Though the SMRT livery on the front and rear bumpers could be improved on ^^.

The MAN Evolution bodywork is similar to the ones on KMB's B7RLE.
The Hanover EDS system layout is reminiscence the SBS Transit's K230UB (Euro V batch).The side EDS displaying route number details and the rear EDS is on the left (kerbside) of the bus.
On the right, the MAN looks rather plain in comparison to the left side.
The rear has additional left/right signal lights on the top of the bus which is now the standard for signal/brake lights, with third brake light for additional safety. Also of note is the additional left blinker after the left rear wheel.
The rear EDS is placed on the right. Also of note: the rear black area is not a window.
The full length of the bus can be appreciated with the bodywork. It is slightly longer than most 12m buses.
The entrance is very inviting, with the branding giving a positive impact on both taste and style.
Welcome onboard SMRT Buses' MAN!
Stepping on board the MAN, one is greeted with a very familiar colour scheme of grey, blue/purple and red seats with sliver grab poles. The OC500LEs and the refurbished SMRT buses uses this interior scheme too.

Refreshing and attractive with the purple/blue and red breaking new grounds away from the past montonous colour schemes.

The MAN's interior.
The aircon vents are those used on the OC500LEs.
At least there's still an option to close off the aircon flow when needed *cough Citaro cough*
The seats above the wheel arches are an interesting design, with two very distinct cushions for the backrest and seats. Depending on how one seats, it can either be a comfortable or uncomfortable place. Unlike other seats above the wheelarches, it will not leave your feet dangling like the OC500LEs wheel arch seat.
The seats above the wheelarches are of a slightly odd design.
Seating on the front wheel arch seats, one will be able to spot the front having an attractive curvy design with the sliver and grey trim.
A very attractive curvy design with the MCV logo.

A very cosy and modern bus captain's cabin. The driver's seat has armrests for additional ergonomics/comfort.
A very comfortable office for the Bus Captain
Bus stopping light have its own housing.
Bus stopping housing.
The air conditioner system is Denso, which is also the one used on SBS Transit's Scania K230UB Euro IV batch.
Deja vu aircon, part 2.
The seat layout is similar to the Citaro with seats filling up most of the front portion. The PIW slot has a foldable seat that adds an extra 2 seats when the PIW slot is not in use. 
The PIW slot. The Vogelsitze folding seats with its logo is shown here.
The seat deployed. The cushion is rather thick for this seat, and does have more space than the Citaro's PIW seat
The exit doors is an outward sliding plug doors, a first in any public buses in Singapore. It's becoming more like a SMRT "train" bus with the use of such sliding doors, in addition to the doors closing being coupled with SMRT's "Doors Are Closing" announcement.

An advantage of using such doors is the limit of out-swing the doors will have as not to accidentally hit kerbside items or people.
The sliding doors.
It looks like any other exit doors....

...but when it is opening, it slides instead of swinging out!

The rear section's seats are on a step platform, with the layout exactly the same as the Citaro. Of particular note is a slightly curved aisle.
It's not a design flaw, it's a unique feature ^^
Even the seats above the wheel arch is similar to the Citaro.The front-facing seats lower and having the grab handles removed and resting against the back-facing seats.
Part of the engine components is housed here
it was a very pleasant and enjoyable ride along the city (thumbs up for SMRT's comfortable seats too!), with a powerful engine and snappy acceleration. It is able to speed at times, and it have very little vibrations. Worth the ride ^^!
Overall, the MAN NL320F is a very nice bus, complimenting even the city background in this photo.
Misc. stuffs

SMRT Buses have a new feature installed on board this demonstrator which is in the form of a LG TV and a Wi-Fi router. The LG TV is used for playing SMRT Media advertisements on board, similar in concept to that of Hong Kong's KMB Roadshow.

The Wi-Fi on board the bus works sometimes, don't expect blazing download speeds though. It is also a good way for passing time, checking Facebook or reading the news while commuting.
An LG TV provides the commuters with advertising and scrolling information at the bottom. The Wi-Fi router is on the right.
All of the bus stopping bells are the older type design, not the ones found on the OC500LE.
The PIW bell is now facing downwards to minimise accident pressings.

Closeup of the door mechanism
Hanover EDS system info sticker
The driver's equipments

note : According to Terence Au, the MAN's model designation is NL323F (A22) /NL320F (A22) as stated on the LTA enquire transfer fee portal.

Update 1: 200 buses have been brought in by SMRT Buses. Exterior & Interior