Mellor Coachcraft has launched the Maxima, a new 30 seat coachbuilt midibus that directly replaces models built on the now defunct 7.5-tonne Mercedes-Benz Vario chassis. Based on the Iveco Daily, it is targeted at local authority and contracted accessible work. It can carry up to eight wheelchairs and as standard has rear doors and an under-body cassette wheelchair lift, but can be built with a ‘coach’ back. It has the new ZF eight-speed Hi-Matic automatic gearbox. Mellor has opted to create the vehicle’s bodyframe from stainless steel for a long service life. 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) has been used throughout its design, helping it to achieve the R66 roll over safety standard, as well as to create dimensionally accurate GRP mouldings.
A Maxima demonstrator is now available to view and will be evaluated in a forthcoming issue of Bus and Coach Buyer. It has an electrically powered in-swing door, a luggage pen at the front, high visibility grab rails, an easy clean floor and seatback handles to meet DDA requirements. The seat tracking is bolted into the floor bearers, with additional roof-line tracking for specialist restraints. The demonstrator has moquette trimmed seats and roof panel, though extensive options are available to order, including flat-weave and stay-clean fabrics. Additional features include a Bluetooth radio/CD with PA and steering wheel controls, closed top dash storage and digital tachograph. It can also be equipped with additional saloon air conditioning, pre-heater and most manufacturers’ seats.
Mellor Coachcraft’s General Manager, John Randerson, said, ‘We believe the new Daily base vehicle with this gearbox is the best available option for a coachbuilt 30-seater. The 3-litre, 170bhp engine is quiet, does not intrude into the passenger/driver space, and delivers its torque to the rear wheels through the automatic gearbox with imperceptible gearchanges.’