Mercedes-Benz Bus & Coach Southern Africa have unveiled their latest offering, the OF 1723 bus chassis. This product is geared to offer a reliable, durable and value for money alternative in the commuter bus segment.

Launched in a tough economic time for both original equipment manufacturers and bus operators, the Mercedes-Benz OF-1723 chassis is designed to be fuel efficient and provide maximum uptime.

Features such as the Constant Throttle Valve Engine Brake and High Boost Pressure Turbocharger further enhance fuel efficiency. All these characteristics have a direct impact in increasing the bus operator’s profitability.

In addition, the chassis is equipped with an economical driveline and a steel suspension that is perfectly suited for Southern African conditions. The offering only becomes more attractive, as it is driven by the proven Mercedes-Benz OM 906LA engine platform. The unit offers high engine power of 175kW (235HP) and a maximum engine torque of 850Nm.

This unrivalled engine enables excellent pickup and fewer gearshifts, resulting in improved fuel efficiency and driving comfort. The flat torque curve characteristics mean that high torque is available at low engine speeds.

The chassis’ clutch diameter measures in at 395 mm and 3.5 mm wear depth, with a uniquely developed organic material that enables better torque transmission while dissipating heat effectively. This ensures a longer clutch life and reduces maintenance costs.

The Mercedes-Benz designed G85, a 6-speed gearbox with input torque handling capacity of 850Nm is the best in its class and is fitted with a cable shift mechanism and larger sized gears which improve the gearbox’s reliability. An overdrive gear for lower engine revolutions during highway operation provides sufficient torque and high power, yielding better fuel consumption.

The powder-coated chassis is designed to provide a longer and rust-free life. It has been integrated using alligator type cross members which provide rigidity and strength, increase its load-bearing ability and reduces stress on the frame. With a width of 902mm, the frame provides the stability to the vehicle while manoeuvering at higher speeds.

“As Mercedes-Benz Bus & Coach, we listened to our customers who highlighted the tough conditions they are operating in, as well as the limited financial resources they are facing. We then developed and are now introducing an entry-level bus chassis that will assist in curbing the number of challenges our customers face,” said Shane Henry, Brand Manager for Mercedes-Benz Bus & Coach Southern Africa.

“From the RS4 rear axles that aid highway driving and improve fuel efficiency, to the wider brakes and larger brake chambers, which mean a longer life for brake liners, we really have ensured that this product makes a tangible effect in our customers’ businesses. We see ourselves as more than just manufacturers but rather as partners and mobility solutions providers,” he added.

The OF-1723 chassis considers the ergonomics of the driver and comes standard with a power-assisted, tiltable and telescopic steering that enables easy manoeuvring.  Driver fatigue is significantly reduced as the chassis offers a shorter turning circle and a comfortable driving position.