Optare Alero sets new standards in small bus sector

05 September 2000

The Optare Alero unveiled this week sets new standards in the small bus sector which typically serves local authority, rural, dial-a-ride and community requirements. Principal features of the new purpose-designed Alero include a 16 passenger capability, ultra low floor height, innovative one-piece colour-impregnated composite body and a competitive price structure. When they set out last year to begin work on the concept study which would become the Alero, Optare's design team faced two tremendous challenges: of packaging and price. They knew that, for the vehicle to succeed, it had to offer the advanced levels of passenger comfort and accessibility which larger Optare vehicles feature within an extremely confined space and at a cost which budget-conscious local authorities and other customers could afford. For the body the team recognised that fast developing composite materials technology might be able to provide a solution which would be both cost effective and would offer significant operator benefits. The result is a one-piece, colour impregnated shell (five colours are offered although, at extra cost, the body can be painted to suit particular requirements). A stainless roll frame is incorporated during the moulding process which is designed to achieve the ECE R66 rollover regulation. The advanced material offers both high strength and total resistance to corrosion. A light-weight thermo-composite floor is fitted.

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