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MAN Lion’s Coach crowned “Coach of the Year 2020”

MAN Lion's Coach crowned
The new MAN Lion’s Coach has won the coveted “Coach of the Year 2020” award, two years after its official debut. The jury were blown away by its coherent concept – combining cost-efficiency, comfort and reliability – as well as its distinctive MAN design.

International trade journalists from 22 countries have selected the new MAN Lion’s Coach as “Coach of the Year 2020”. The jury were blown away by its coherent concept – combining cost-efficiency, comfort and reliability – as well as its distinctive MAN design.

  • MAN Lion’s Coach beats the global competition to receive a prestigious award
  • Prizegiving took place at the start of Busworld 2019 in Brussels
  • MAN Truck & Bus given an award by the “Bus and Coach of the Year” jury for the tenth time

Success! The new MAN Lion’s Coach has won the coveted “Coach of the Year 2020” award, two years after its official debut. The prize was handed over as part of Busworld 2019’s opening ceremony and awards show at its new trade fair location in Brussels. The 22 European trade journalists were particularly impressed by the overall concept and the practical nature of the MAN Lion’s Coach. The “Coach of the Year” award, which has now been going for three decades, is regarded as the most important international prize in the coach market.

Joachim Drees, Chief Executive Officer of MAN Truck & Bus SE, said:

 “We are extremely proud that our new MAN Lion’s Coach impressed the expert jury and won this coveted award. The “Coach of the Year” accolade is a perfect testament to the many years of commitment and hard work shown by the whole team. They have worked tirelessly in the bus division and across departments to develop an outstanding vehicle and successfully bring it to market. This jury vote emphatically shows that we have achieved something special with the Lion’s Coach.”

At the beginning of September, the 22-strong expert jury invited five bus manufacturers from across Europe to take part in the Coach Euro Test in Sibiu, Romania. After a week of comprehensive testing, numerous test drives and intensive technical discussions, the jury decided that the MAN Lion’s Coach was the clear winner of “Coach of the Year 2020”. The international expert jury were particularly impressed by the coach’s coherent concept – combining cost-efficiency, comfort and practicality – as well as the way the coach pairs innovative technology with a modern design. The journalists were blown away by the Lion’s Coach’s top-quality driver’s workplace and its superb handling. Special mention was made of the new high-performance and incredibly efficient driveline in the engine compartment. The jury also paid tribute to the smart integration of the wheelchair lift over the front axle, creating more flexibility in terms of how the bus is used without limiting the size of the luggage compartment.

As Rudi Kuchta, Head of Product & Sales Bus and Speaker Business Unit Bus, says:

“This award marks out the MAN Lion’s Coach as a reliable and cost-efficient vehicle that makes bus operators’ lives easier. This is appreciated by customers and experts alike. As a result, the new Lion’s Coach has been able to significantly increase its market share in Europe since its launch, as well as being awarded numerous prizes. It is with good reason that the Lion’s Coach is MAN’s most decorated bus model and the tour bus of choice for top teams such as FC Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and the German national football team. Even so, it is a real honour to win the international “Coach of the Year” award and we are absolutely thrilled.”

The mark of the lion: MAN Lion’s Coach

The new MAN Lion’s Coach was unveiled to the public at Busworld 2017 in Kortrijk. Since its debut, the front, rear and sides of the coach have featured MAN’s new distinctive design, giving it a modern yet timeless appearance. The Lion’s Coach is available in four lengths: 12,101 mm and 13,091 mm as a 2-axle vehicle, and 13,361 mm and 13,901 mm as a 3-axle vehicle. Its six additional seats compared to the 12 m version make the 13 m 2-axle vehicle that was presented at the Coach Euro Test a particularly attractive option from an economical point of view. Its maximum overall permitted weight of up to 19.5 tonnes also contributes to its flexibility in terms of possible uses for bus operators. The optional wheelchair lift plays an important role in achieving ideal axle load distribution as, in this version, it sits over the front axle, thus relieving the rear axle while also not restricting the luggage compartment. Excluding the toilet, the new MAN Lion’s Coach models, which have been awarded 3 stars on the German coach seating system, have space for a maximum of 53, 57, 59 or 63 passengers. The luggage compartments have a volume of between 11.7 and 14.3 m3 depending on the model. With its multiple configurations, the award-winning model offers the perfect solution for all kinds of different customer requirements.

A glance under the bonnet indicates that the MAN Lion’s Coach is as economical as ever

A glance under the bonnet indicates that the MAN Lion’s Coach is as economical as ever. With its optimised Euro 6 driveline, it also enjoys benefits including an extended axle ratio i=2.73 and an increased power output (an increase of 30 hp and 300 Nm compared to its predecessor). The MAN TipMatic Coach automatic gearbox, installed as standard in models of 470 hp (346 kW) and higher, employs MAN’s new moving-off and gear-shift strategy, optimally matched to the D26 engines. The way the components work together in the new driveline makes the vehicle particularly efficient – in fact, TÜV Bavaria have recently certified that the MAN Lion’s Coach is able to drive 100 km using just 19.4 litres of fuel, which is an impressive figure indeed.

The Lion’s Coach also stands out in terms of the innovative safety solutions

The Lion’s Coach also stands out in terms of the innovative safety solutions it provides for drivers, passengers and other road users – including OptiView, the first mirror replacement system for coaches, which featured in the vehicle presented for the Coach Euro Test. Cameras on both sides of the vehicle provide real-time imaging on two displays that can be easily seen by the driver, thus eliminating the blind spot. The new drive and turn assist systems that MAN will be introducing in 2020, both ex works and as a retrofit option, ensure an even greater degree of safety. A turn assist system with active warning signals and a pedestrian recognition system, a speed limit display and an automatic road sign recognition system are setting new standards when it comes to safety. The new PCV (Premium Comfort Valve) shock absorber technology and an optimised vehicle configuration deliver enhanced driving comfort, improved handling and higher safety reserves.

Lion’s Coach customers also benefit from the advantages that digitalisation brings, as MAN DigitalServices are now available for all MAN Truck & Bus buses, making operators’ lives easier. These services require the RIO Box, which has been installed as standard since October 2019. The new digital services help to keep track of and optimise all cost factors that have an impact on the total cost of ownership – starting with optimal tour planning and going all the way through to maintenance management. This results in more cost-effective and more reliable fleet management for bus customers.

Enjoy maximum mobility

Enjoy maximum mobility, as the new MAN uptime guarantee ensures flexible, Europe-wide mobility if things go wrong. Lion’s Coach customers benefit from the best possible availability of their vehicle as well as financial security if financial losses are incurred. In the event of a technical breakdown, the vehicle is attended to directly on site, and can ideally continue the journey immediately; if this is not possible, the coach is taken safely to the nearest dealership in the worldwide MAN service network and swiftly repaired. The uptime guarantee also provides breakdown compensation if it is not possible to fully repair the vehicle on the same day as the breakdown.

All of these individual measures make the MAN Lion’s Coach an extremely attractive, efficient and reliable vehicle. It boasts innovative safety features, is connected to a digital network and can be used in a range of applications, simplifying bus operators’ business.

Competition jury places practicality front and centre

Since 1989, an international expert jury has been awarding the titles of “Bus of the Year” and “Coach of the Year” to various types of bus and coach. In this competition, the European trade journalists focus primarily on practicality and the design concept of the vehicles provided by the manufacturers for the comparison test. This new award for the MAN Lion’s Coach means that MAN Truck & Bus have proudly lifted the trophy for their bus brands MAN and NEOPLAN ten times – five times for the “Coach of the Year” title (2020, 2006, 2004, 2000, 1994) and five times for the “Bus of the Year” title (2015, 2005, 1999, 1995, 1990). Visitors to Busworld 2019 can marvel at the MAN Lion’s Coach, proud winner of “Coach of the Year 2020”, at MAN’s stand (Stand 442) in Hall 4.

Tristan Wiggill
Special Features Editor at Business Fleet Africa