Friday, September 16, 2011

SMRT Buses : MAN NL323F A22 Production Batch Preview (SMB189A)

>> Do read here for the bus interior and debut on 963!

The MAN NL323F A22 production batch buses are in Singapore! First spotted by the photographer behind Public Transport Hub, it generated a buzz for its unconventional design as compared to the the public buses operating in Singapore.
Back in December 2010, the first MAN NL323F A22 SMB138Y was brought in by SMRT for a 1 year trial. The trail was successful, and a batch of 200 MAN NL323Fs were ordered with deliveries commencing from August 2011.
SMB138Y on its first day of revenue service in December 2010
Instead of sporting the MCV eVolution bodywork as seen on the demonstrator, the production batch buses sports a Gemilang bodywork based on the MAN Lion's City Hybrid bus. The production batch uses Mobitec electronic destination signage instead of Hanover, Vogelsitze seatings and Alcoa rims.
The MAN Lion's City Hybrid. Credits to bayernernst (
On the unconventional part as conpared to the other commonly seen bodyworks used on public buses in service in Singapore : The front of the roof features a protrusion "air intake" that slopes back to the middle of the bus.

SMB189A on a test drive.

In the actual MAN Lion's City hybrid, the roof housing the hybrid components under an airflow-optimized roofline, has been awarded with the reddot design award 2011. This front air intake will cool the capacitors when the bus is operating.

"The body-coloured curvature ends at the silver-coloured roof-surrounding panel, the characteristic AeroLine, which runs over the entire roof. At the same time, this high-quality panel screens the electric cabling and connections behind it from view. Moreover, it provides the optimum routing for air and the air-cooling of the electrical components. Its anodised, aluminium-like colour gives the vehicle elegance and haptics. "

Source from here, here & here.

However, in the MAN NL323F production batch, this roofline serves as a routing for air and channeling air to the airconditioning unit housed behind.

SMB189A on its way to inspection.
SMB189A's rear.
The bus features a third brake light as standard just like the demonstrator as an added safety measure. SMB189A is registered as of 15th Sept 2011, and more should be registered in the coming months.

Update 1: There are speculations that this bodywork may not be manufacture by Gemilang. We are awaiting for a confirmation on the brand of the bodywork.
Update 2: Bodywork is by Gemilang. News article here :

Update 4: It's confirmed with SMRT it is a Gemilang bodywork, the Lion's City Hybrid design is licensed by MAN. The Malaysia article's link in update 2 is now taken down.