Case Study

The Bonito - Optare’s new small & accessible bus - fitted with Drive-Rite Air Suspension

A deep front windscreen and bonded side windows give Bonito a smooth aerodynamic appearance. The corrosion-proof Glass Reinforced Polyester Composite structural body results in a low unladen weight which contributes to good fuel efficiency whilst also ensuring durability, an exceptionally long life, and easier repair.

A Drive-Rite kneeling air suspension suspension system is standard making wheelchair access fast and safe by means of the fully opening double rear doors and the robust two-stage roll-on wheelchair ramp. A side loading wheelchair access ramp can also be specified as an option.

Bonito utilises mechanical components from the proven Fiat Ducato Maxi vehicle and has a gross weight of just five tonnes. Power is from a four-cylinder engine of three litre capacity, delivering 157bhp at 3600 rpm and which is matched to a six-speed manual gearbox with the option of a six-speed semi-automatic 'Comfortmatic' transmission.

The comprehensive internal specification includes semi high-back seats with three-point seat belts, ABS backs and grab handles. The seats are mounted on Unwin tracking for easy removal or layout re-configuration to allow for up to five wheelchairs to be accommodated in the spacious saloon. The flooring is anti-slip and all interior trim surfaces are wipe clean.

LED strip lighting adds to the pleasant environment within the saloon and a high quality CD/MP3 player with four speakers is standard. Heating is supplemented by a powerful 5kW Eberspacher heater; however, the display vehicle is fitted with the optional full climate control.

The compact size of Bonito will help make it more traffic compatible on busy urban streets and narrow rural roads. Overall it is 7509mm long, just 2200mm in width and the height is 2648mm with a wheelbase of 5000mm.

Chris Wise, Optare's Commercial Director, said: "We are delighted to be introducing this exciting new mobility model to the Scottish and other UK local authority markets.

"For councils, health sector and welfare organisations seeking a practical, stylish and fuel efficient vehicle to carry people with reduced mobility in comfort, the Bonito is a clear winner. It is a simple and robust, fully integral vehicle based on a proven mechanical base and designed to deliver a long and cost-effective life.

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