Wednesday, 8 November 2006

Show Stoppers – 1

See Show Stoppers 2 | 3 | 4 and 5 | Show Oddities | 50 Years ago at the Show

You’ll have to wait till mid-2007 to see them on the street but this didn’t stop Optare yesterday launching its Versa prototype at Euro Bus Expo 2006.

There’s no doubting that, as usual, Optare has put a great deal of thought into Versa’s design. Note the swooping roof line, large glazed area and swept-back front. It might have inherited something of the Solo’s looks but Versa boasts an entrance fully forward of the front axle.

One unusual feature is the pinched front end, the front corners having a slightly squashed appearance, to minimise accident damage.

All told, Versa has a slightly nautical feel to its design. Let's hope it isn't wallowy on the road.

Positioned between the larger Temp and smaller but successful Solo, the Versa’s an integral giving what is understood to be a one-tonne weight advantage, something Optare says translates into one mile per gallon fuel saving. And with a wheelbase of either 5.13m (10.3m overall with 36 seats) or 5.82m (11m with 40), that’s considerably less than the longest Solo, at 7m.

Versa represents a courageous step for Optare, competing as it does in the post-Mini Pointer Dart Enviro200 and Plaxton Centro midibus market.

More show stoppers tomorrow…


Anonymous said...

sometimes i wonder whether the more radical the design, the quicker it goes out of date

Matt said...

Stagecoach have ordered 25 of them.

busing said...

Thanks Matt. They said there'd be an announcement of the order at the Show but I never heard it...

Matt said...

There are a couple more days to run yet, aren't there? I may yet go.
How did you get a press credential for it? The first time I've been I was working for a bus company and the second I blagged.
Stagecoach have also ordered 75 Solos (look in the News section of Google and put in Optare Versa)

busing said...

Matt... show's on today (last day). I'll leave it to you to blag your way in!!!

It's certanly the best show in some years.

Preview at