Launched at the SABOA annual convention at the beginning of March, Iveco’s new Afriway bus range can accommodate both intercity and long-distance applications. Available initially in a 4×2 two-axle configuration (12,3m) with manual or automatic transmission, a 6×2 three-axle version (14m) is to follow.
The Afriway bus – a product of Iveco’s ‘Born in South Africa’ initiative – will be assembled locally, building on the solid foundation Iveco has established locally and in export markets such as Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique.
“Key elements have changed on the new Afriway”
“Key elements have changed on the new Afriway ,” says Iveco South Africa Works (ISAW) Head of the Bus Division, Ray Karshagen.
“While the base driveline remains the same as the Euromidi chassis, the vehicle’s suspension has been tailored to enhance ride comfort in relation to the specific bus chassis.
“Rather than right in the front, the engine is positioned over the front axle. The first and most important reason for this is better weight distribution, which enables an increased payload. The second factor is that the passenger entrance is positioned in the longer front overhang.”
Afriway bus – a product of Iveco’s ‘Born in South Africa’ initiative
To appraise durability and validate engineering changes, full product testing was carried out to cater for the often arduous off-road rural conditions – from sea level to high altitude – prevalent in South Africa, including the installation of stone guards to protect key driveline components. Demonstration units were also placed with selected customers.
Dubigeon, a renowned bus bodybuilder and established partner of Iveco, designed the Afriway ’s body, and production is integrated into the ISAW plant at Rosslyn, Pretoria. Interior customisation options include a wide range of optional extras that can convert the standard vehicle from a rural commuter bus to a semi-luxury intercity vehicle, with different types of seating, trim, air-conditioning and entertainment systems available.
An alliance forged with Iveco Capital and WesBank, a major provider of motor vehicle and business finance in South Africa, will take care of funding and financing needs, including repair and maintenance contracts concerning the complete bus. A two-year bumper-to-bumper factory warranty is offered on the complete bus, and a three-year or 300 000km (whichever occurs first) warranty covers the chassis driveline.
“We believe Total Cost of Ownership for the Afriway bus will be best-in-class, and we are confident that the product will benefit operators and passengers alike, as it traverses the city, intercity and rural roads of southern Africa,” Karshagen concludes.