Optare enters small bus market with the Bonito 17 January 2012
Optare has announced its intention to enter the small and accessible bus market this year, with an all new Optare-badged model – the Bonito.
The vehicle, produced in the Netherlands by Plastisol to Optare's specification. It will go on sale to British operators from June, with export sales in other European markets following on.
The Bonito uses a fully integrated composite body structure with accommodation for up to 16 passengers and no separate chassis.
It is based on the Fiat Ducato Maxi light commercial vehicle, which features a gross vehicle weight of four tonnes, a 2,999cc 157bhp diesel engine, and a choice of six-speed manual or semi-automatic transmission.
In due course, Optare will offer specification options that it believes will make the Bonito attractive for all major UK city operations.
"We have been looking at a number of routes to enter the important small bus and accessible vehicle market, and are convinced that the Bonito is the right answer," says Glenn Saint, Optare's chief operating officer.
Meanwhile, Optare is to withdraw from the small luxury coach market, bringing to an end its long term partnership with Spanish coachbuilder Ferqui, which has supplied a range of Optare-badged, Mercedes-based products.
Fiat UK Ltd
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