Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation Launches New Chassis for Commercial Bus Market

CHICAGO, Ill. - Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC) today introduced its newest commercial bus chassis, the MB-65, at the BusCon 2009 trade show here. Designed with a lowered engine and softer suspension, the MB-65 commercial bus chassis boasts industry-leading maneuverability, durability and reliability.

The MB-65 is powered by the Allison® automatic six-speed transmission and a 2010 Cummins® ISB 6.7-liter engine with up to 300 hp. Cummins 2010 engines utilize Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology, which is proven to meet long-term EPA 2010 emissions requirements. SCR dramatically reduces oxides of nitrogen, commonly known as NOx, particulate matter and fine particle emissions without increasing fuel consumption as do alternative methods.

"Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation developed the MB-65 to meet evolving customer needs," said Jonathan Randall, director of sales and marketing for FCCC. "With the 2010 emissions regulations upon us, FCCC worked with Cummins to introduce a commercial bus chassis that has reduced emissions, but the same quality and reliability associated with existing FCCC commercial bus chassis."

The new chassis model from FCCC also boasts Hendrickson SofTek® taper leaf suspension on the front and rear of the chassis, contributing to a smoother ride and better handling.

Best-in-Class Wheel Cut

The MB-65 also possesses a 55-degree wheel cut, an industry best. Understanding that maneuverability is a primary challenge for commercial bus operators, engineers ensured the MB-65 was designed to offer best-in-class ride and handling.

"Maneuverability within a metropolitan area is a consistent challenge for bus operators," Randall said. "Turning corners, entering and exiting parking lots all present difficulties during a normal day for the driver. FCCC developed the 55-degree wheel cut to help operators effectively maneuver through our nation's most congested cities without concern."

Flat-Floor Driver Cockpit

Ideal for light- to medium-duty shuttle and big bus applications, the MB-65 was built with the comfort and safety of its operators in mind. The front-end diesel engine is lowered, resulting in a flat-floor driver cockpit area, enabling bus operators to safely move from the cockpit to the passenger area without having to step over a "doghouse." The flat-floor cockpit enhances the safety of the driver, while also providing enough room for easy maneuvering. The flat-floor design also offers a benefit to bus body builders, allowing them to develop the body without concessions for the doghouse.

The MB-65 is currently available for prototype orders, with production expected to commence in the first quarter of 2010.

"The MB-65 is another durable and reliable offering from FCCC for shuttle and charter bus applications," Randall said. "Customers can expect the MB-65 to offer outstanding performance and a more comfortable ride, all without compromise to payload capacity."

The MB-65 joins FCCC's full lineup of quality commercial bus chassis, including the MB-55 chassis, the MB-HEV hybrid-electric chassis, and the XB Series and S2 diesel-powered shuttle bus chassis. The MB-65 is posed as the next-generation model of the ever-popular MB-55 chassis.

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation manufactures premium chassis for the motor home, delivery, walk-in van, and school bus and shuttle bus markets. Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, a Daimler company.

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