The team at Hino Australia have lifted the lid on a new addition to their line-up – an up to 22 seat ultra-low floor bus.
Known as the Hino Poncho, the Japanese-sourced bus is about to be officially launched into Australia, the first export market for the offering, and we got a sneak-peak today at Hino headquarters in Sydney.
Pricing is yet to be officially confirmed, though Product Manager, Daniel Petrovoski, said the Poncho will be priced at around half that of a full city bus.
Featuring up to 22 seats, one of the selling points for Hino will be the ability to configure the interior to meet client needs, including additional space for wheelchairs.
The bus is also fully DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) compliant and features air suspension and an easy to access main door.
Hino telling us the new offering has a massive advantage over buses with retro-fitted wheelchair lifts and the like in that the ultra-low floor and kneeling suspension, along with a supplied ramp, allows for super quick access and a lot less space is required around the vehicle.
It is also expected to be attractive to bus operators who have routes that require less capacity than a full-size bus, or for routes where a large bus just won’t fit.
With a 180hp diesel engine mounted in the rear and a five-speed automatic transmission, the Hino Poncho looks set to fill a niche in the Australian heavy vehicle market.
We will bring you more details when confirmed by Hino Australia.