Optare retires original Solo as Solo SR gains ground 12 January 2012

Optare has announced the end of production of its original Solo bus after some 14 years. The original model is being retired in favour of the new look Solo SR.

Since its introduction in 1997, more than 4,000 Solo buses have entered service in the UK, with additional exports to the US, Western Europe and beyond.

The first vehicles, delivered to Wilts and Dorset, now part of Go-Ahead group, are still operating in daily service, and, in total, Optare estimates that UK Solos have clocked up more than a billion miles.

Solo SR was launched in 2007 as a premium model, with a new exterior appearance. The new 2012 Solo SR range consists of 7.1m, 7.8m, 8.9m and 9.6m buses, all available in the Slimline (2,350mm wide) version.

The 8.9m and 9.6m buses will also be available in the wider 2,500mm body width. All will feature curved side glazing and high specification interiors, allowing up to 37 seats in the longest derivative.

Says Glenn Saint, Optare's COO: "Moving to the single body exterior and interior design will give all operators the benefit of the enhanced features of the Solo SR. But the increased volume this creates will allow pricing to remain competitive with other products on the market."

Brian Tinham

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