Early this week Mercedes Benz, a extravagance car manufactures revealed a extended bus that is probably going to give a tough competition to the conventional transport makers like Isuzu and Leyland.
Conventionally, Mercedes Benz has largely concentrated on SUV’s, trucks and saloons. This beginning of the Mercedes Benz 917 bus, would however take the car manufacturer to a different market segment.
This bus was introduced in the market specifically for East Africa and has features that would match well with the road conditions.
Build by Daimler in Kenya, the bus features Antilock Braking System (ABS) for passengers and driver, helping to manage the speed as a safety feature during instant braking. It also boast of parabolic springs, keeping the vehicle wheels in a roadworthy contact with the road, as to the standard stiffer conventional springs. It possess a 4.0 ltr engine with a 170 hp and 520 torque. The mileage of the MB-917 is around 6kms on 1 Ltr of fuel, taking into account the driving style.
The bus comes with enough leg space between the seat that provides passengers a good amount of leg room to stretch and tilt back. The interior of the bus also provides device charging points, where one can charge their simple devices like, phone, tablets, laptop, etc.
According to Gilbert Wavamunno, the Spear Motors sales director, the MB-917 bus shares its spare parts with Daimler commercial vehicles such as Mercedes trucks and Fusos.
“It is easy to maintain because there are no electronics. Even when driving in a rural area, you do not have to worry,” he says.
With a comparatively wide body its ideal for the narrow roads in Uganda. According to Gilbert this durable bus has been tested in India, which nearly has the same roads like that in Uganda. This is a going to be a new bench mark for markets in East Africa. The bus has a wide driving radius offering the driver enough space. Easy drivability with no much disruption for the driver as the dashboard is kept relatively simply.