Sharpes of Nottingham has taken the first Van Hool EX in the UK. The 13.39m coach is powered by a Paccar MX11.320 Euro6 engine matched to a ZF EcoLife transmission. It has 57 Kiel Avance 2010 seats, an ISRI driver’s seat, a Bosh Professional Line 3 entertainment package, white LED light strips along overhead roof profiles, a Sutrak air conditioning system and an Eberspacher hydronic pre-heater. The EX range is manufactured at Van Hool’s Skopje plant in Macedonia.
Commenting on the new EX, MD at Sharpes, Neil Sharpe, said, ‘It is a competitively priced coach in comparison to the TX Range that we usually purchase when buying new. We liked the look of the coach and it performed well on road test. We have an excellent knowledge of the current Van Hool range of products and this provides a great foundation for us to try the new EX16H, although we accept that having the first coach in the UK may present a risk. We also needed a vehicle quickly and were able to transact a deal with Arriva, who we complete the bulk of our new vehicle purchases through. We are impressed with the product so far although it’s very early days. It will mainly be used on UK and continental tours, private hire and our own day excursions and holiday programme. Since we have had it, it has not stopped. Our drivers really like it, they say the handling is excellent, the cabin is roomy and well planned, the luggage capacity is enormous and they have commented on the smoothness of the gearbox. The mirrors also provide extremely good visibility.’