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English   75 years Neoplan
16.04.2010 von admin

A little more than ten years after the first Neoplan low-floor city bus was presented to an appreciative public, the triumphant progress of this advanced technology has become unstoppable. At the UITP congress in Lausanne in 1987, an evolved low-floor articulated bus is presented to an amazed trade public; the debut is a sensation and it also gives rise to much heated discussion. The SL II standards for city buses have only just been finalised and established bus manufacturers who have opted for a different concept are extremely unsettled by the low-floor approach. This, however, does not stop key fleet operators from placing orders for the low-floor buses, leaving the competition with little option but to bow to the dictates of the market and adopt the Neoplan concept themselves.

In 1987 the Low Entry concept had it´s breakthrough: according to customers wishes, Neoplan developed the first articulated low Floor citybus, the way was paved for success.

On May 25, 1988, Neoplan invites the trade press to Stuttgart to see the world's first ever unibody bus cell made of fibre composites. This is the Metroliner in Carbon design (MIC for short) and it dispenses entirely with steel ribbing and chassis, so it weighs almost 50 percent less than a conventional bus of the same size. Measuring 10.6 metres in length and 2.50 in width, the low-floor bus accommodates 80 passengers and tips the scales at a mere 6.25 metric tons. At the 1989 IAA Neoplan presents the slightly smaller Midi-MIC, which is tested with a wide array of fuel concepts, including for example CNG-powered and fuel-cell propulsion units. Industry acclaim is enormous – in 1990 the corrosion-proof all-plastic-bodied bus is voted Coach of the Year – but the concept fails to achieve broad acceptance and only some 300 MICs in all are built, too few to recoup the high costs of development. The MIC is too costly to manufacture and ride and passenger-compartment acoustics lag slightly behind the high level of modern buses of more conventional design. "It turned out that it was a vehicle ahead of its time", declares Neoplan's chief design Bob Lee later in self-critical tones.

Neoplan MIC N 4012 Metroliner

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