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9 Aug 2019

Belarusian MAZ unveils third-generation bus ahead of company’s 75th anniversary

Belarusian MAZ unveils third-generation bus ahead of company’s 75th anniversary

MINSK, 9 August (BelTA) – The Belarusian automobile engineering company MAZ has presented a third-generation bus, which will replace existing models, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the company’s foundation. The new bus was unveiled in an outdoor venue near the MAZ Palace of Culture on 9 August, BelTA has learned.

The new vehicle boasts a new design and unique engineering solutions. Cutting-edge components and aggregates were used to make the bus. The bus has a spacious passenger compartment with broad seats and air conditioning as well as power sockets to charge smartphones.

Head of the Bus Configuration Department, the leading developer for the MAZ-303 model Ivan Voiteshonok noted that the new model is convenient from the point of view of maintenance. The options have been selected bearing in mind the market of the European Union but the company can offer other sets of options as well depending on what customers may want. “Making buses is a flexible process,” he specified. Speaking about the cost of the new bus, Ivan Voiteshonok said that the price increase will not be significant. “Everything depends on the number of options. A structural frame made of stainless steel is much more expensive than the conventional one but the standard structural frame does the job just as well,” he added.

The new buses will hit city streets in one year at the earliest. The company needs the time to thoroughly test the new product and iron out all the manufacturing kinks. The first sample has been assembled so far. The work was finished only several weeks ago. The entire R&D process took about two years. “Certain technologies have to be developed in order to start producing other third-generation bus models,” Ivan Voiteshonok noted.

The low-floor bus MAZ-303 is the first model in the third-generation lineup. The framework is made of stainless steel and is covered with lots of glass to improve lighting. The silhouette of a European bison is part of the exterior look. The vehicle is powered by an engine compliant with the Euro-6 emissions standard. The designers have rethought the look and the structure of the bus in order to combine European looks and national traditions.

Ivan Voiteshonok continued: “The framework is more robust. The external veneer uses composite materials and aluminum. Glass is much more pleasing to the eye. The passenger compartment has been fully reworked. The space available on the low floor is virtually twice as large now. New finishing materials are used. The rails have been shifted to the walkway space for the convenience of standing passengers. Taking a bus should be comfortable. All the cities try to achieve that.”

The driving functionality has a great degree of automation. It allows considerably reducing fuel consumption despite the ability of the bus to carry more passengers. The bus has optimal external dimensions for an urban environment: it is 12.43m long, 2.55m wide, and 3.1m high. It can carry up to 110 passengers depending on options, including 26 seated ones. It is possible to adjust the configuration to place 16 seats on the low floor. The footplate is 32cm high. A powered sliding ramp for wheelchair users is available. USB ports to charge smartphones and tablets are available near all the seats. The bus has been fitted with five heaters and an air conditioner. The latter can be used to cool air or heat it.

Light colors prevail in the trim of the passenger compartment. Woodlike textures have been chosen for the floor and the ceiling. The driver’s compartment has been upgraded as well. A new dashboard has been installed while CCTV cameras offer an excellent view inside and outside the bus. Three ways to position the driver’s cab are available. It can be partially or fully separated from the passenger compartment.

The bus is fitted with an independent frontal suspension and a longer wheel base. The brakes are pneumatic. A driving assistance system will kick in while climbing an incline. MAZ engineers have been able to reduce the size of the engine shaft and avoid placing components on the roof. The level of noise and vibration during motion has been reduced as well.

The time interval between the second generation and the third one is 14 years. Such a lengthy period is attributed to the high popularity of the buses MAZ makes. The company initially intended to make up to 500 buses per annum but nowadays it makes over 1,300 buses per annum.

The launch of the third generation of buses has been timed to the 75th anniversary of the company’s establishment. The buses will be offered for use in cities of Belarus, Russia, and other CIS states. A number of buses are expected to be sold to Europe. The company is also ready to sell them to Southeast Asia and other regions.

MAZ is convinced that the new generation of buses can compete with the best models of the world’s leading brands. The company intends to use the new buses to step up its presence on traditional markets and penetrate new ones. Apart from environmental standards and reliability the new buses draw attention to comfort for passengers and drivers.

MAZ is one of the largest Belarusian mechanical engineering companies and specializes in making heavy trucks, utility vehicles, buses, trolleybuses, and trailed vehicles. As a brand MAZ is well-known in the Commonwealth of Independent States and beyond. The vehicles are compliant with Euro-2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 emissions standards. The company offers truck tractors, dropside trucks, and chassis able to carry all kinds of special-purpose equipment – a total of over 500 models and modifications.

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