The new model is based on the Mercedes Benz Atego range and as well as promising increased power and much greener credentials than its Vario based predecessor, it also offers an automated manual transmission for the first time, bringing small coach into line with the larger models in the Plaxton range.
The new vehicle is bigger than the previous model which was based on the Vario and was extremely popular in its time. It is 9.5m long, 2.5m wide and 3.44m high giving a full size feel to the interior which can carry up to 36 passengers depending on configuration.
Initial reaction is described as “very exciting” from the panel of customers who have been introduced to the new vehicle, according to Director of Business Development, Kevin Wood. “Cheetah has been a massively successful model for us, regularly accounting for more than half the vehicles sold in the small coach category, so it was always going to be a tough act to follow. We’ve introduced customers to our design concepts over the past few months and listened to their views and opinions. Our engineering team have also worked closely with Mercedes Benz, both in the UK and Germany, to fine tune the base platform and we firmly believe that this gives customers exactly what they’ve asked for”.
Customer demand for the final round of Vario based Cheetahs has been very strong according to Kevin, “Even as popular as Cheetah has been over the years, the last twelve months have seen unprecedented demand and despite securing all remaining chassis available, we sold out with more than six months production still to go. The new model promises to raise the bar for small coaches and naturally when you come to the end of such a successful product, customers are keen to see how you intend to follow it.”
The model started production at the end of the 2014 and is available in volume from now.
A youtube video can be seen here ..