Mellor Coachcraft has redesigned its low-floor Tucana, the Tucana II. The new model has been completely re-engineered for Volkswagen’s T6 base vehicle and Mellor describes it as a re-imagining of the original concept
The front has fresh, CAD designed mouldings intended to complement the T6 styling, along with new interior mouldings that are intended to modernise the driver and passenger areas. Like its predecessor it has 15 seats and can carry up to four wheelchairs without need for a passenger lift. Wheelchairs can be loaded through the front or rear doors via ramps due to the 270mm floor height.
The first Tucana II example from the factory has been delivered to one of Mellor’s regular customers, Scarborough DialARide. The layout in the first production sample incorporates a new space-saving tip-and-fold seat, jointly designed by Mellor and Rescroft, but the tracked fully-flat floor, like all other Mellor low-floor buses, is made from rot-free composite instead of plywood. Seating can be from Rescroft, Phoenix or Kiel.
Mellor has retained only the Volkswagen front wheel drive system, dashboard and rear braking components for the Tucana II. The body frame is a lattice structure in stainless steel, with aluminium side panels but GRP mouldings elsewhere. The bespoke trailing-arm suspension at the rear is now coil-sprung, as are the front axles. Air suspension for the rear trailing arms to lower the rear step height further is also an option. Bus and Coach Buyer will be evaluating the vehicle in detail in a forthcoming issue.
Mellor General Manager, John Randerson, said, ‘The previous version of the Tucana was extremely popular, however the plug doors could be problematic in service. These have now been replaced with the Ventura sliding door that is now common across our range. It brings the added advantage of requiring almost no kerb gap to operate, so is less susceptible to damage and allows easier passenger boarding. The changes have also improved the view to the wing mirrors through the fitment of larger front quarter lights. The Tucana II has a level of robustness which makes it more than adequate for most applications including some light stage carriage activity. Though fare-stage service isn’t its target market, this design and build quality will deliver the benefits of affordability, low fuel cost and all-round reliability for any operator.’