International trade journalists from 22 countries have selected the special edition NEOPLAN Cityliner Platin as “Coach of the Year 2022“. The jury was particularly impressed by the overall concept of performance, cost-efficiency, safety, comfort and, above all, the timeless design.
The NEOPLAN Cityliner N 116 came onto the market 50 years ago. It proved to be the forerunner of today’s high-decker coach segment. To mark this anniversary, there is now a “Platin” special edition with a legendary role model – and now it’s also an award winner. That’s because the new NEOPLAN Cityliner Platin edition has received the prestigious “Coach of the Year 2022” award. The prize was presented to Andreas Tostmann, CEO of MAN Truck & Bus, and Rudi Kuchta, Head of Business Unit Bus at MAN Truck & Bus, by jury president Tom Terjesen in Munich. The 22 European trade journalists were particularly impressed by the overall concept of the coach, which boasts economical driver operation characteristics and a distinctive design as well as offering a high level of comfort for the driver and passengers and innovative safety systems. The “Coach of the Year” award has now been going for three decades and is regarded as the most important international prize in the coach market.
“We are grateful and very proud that our NEOPLAN Cityliner was able to win over the jury of experts – especially seeing as it’s the coach’s anniversary year. This prestigious award is wonderful recognition for the entire MAN team, who are unrelentingly committed and deliver outstanding work,” says Andreas Tostmann, before adding: “After securing the titles of ‘Coach of the Year 2020’ for the MAN Lion’s Coach and ‘Truck of the Year 2021’ for our new MAN Truck Generation, this new award for the NEOPLAN Cityliner is the third prize that vehicles from our company have won in three consecutive years. This is a testament to our fantastic and innovative product portfolio and clearly demonstrates that we are in a very good place as we embrace our NewMAN strategy.“
The overall package is just right: NEOPLAN Cityliner ticks all the boxes
At the beginning of September, the jury of experts invited four bus manufacturers from across Europe to take part in the “Coach Euro Test” in Bled, Slovenia. After an intensive week of testing – including numerous test drives and lengthy technical discussions – the jury reached a clear verdict that the NEOPLAN Cityliner should be named the new “Coach of the Year“. The international jury of experts was particularly impressed by the well-balanced overall package of cost-efficiency, comfort, design and safety. “The ‘Platin’ edition of the NEOPLAN Cityliner impressed us with its economical yet powerful and dynamic driver operation characteristics,” said jury president Tom Terjesen. The powerful driveline with its state-of-the-art, 6-cylinder Euro 6 engine, perfectly matched with the new 6-speed ZF Ecolife Coach 2 automatic transmission, got a special mention. This is designed for use in intercity buses and coaches and is particularly suitable for demanding routes with steep gradients and tight bends. Constant braking and powerful acceleration call for frequent shifting in a very short space of time. It is in these very situations that the EcoLife Coach proves its worth on account of its high degree of efficiency. Another impressive feature: the ability to accelerate smoothly and efficiently without traction interruption when changing gears.
The journalists also praised the top-quality driver’s workplace and the innovative safety and assistance systems that the driver and passengers benefit from. These include the active, electronically adjustable damping system MAN Comfort Drive Suspension (CDS), MAN OptiView and, therefore, the world’s first mirror replacement system for coaches and the turning assistant with active warning function and pedestrian detection – an effective way to prevent accidents caused by blind spots.
“The award shows that the NEOPLAN Cityliner is still the right choice for any coach operator today, after having shaped the industry like no other over the past five decades,” says Rudi Kuchta, before adding: “Our two ‘Coach of the Year’ award winners – the MAN Lion’s Coach in 2020 and now the NEOPLAN Cityliner – exemplify our competence in the coach industry. With the MAN and NEOPLAN brands, we can offer our customers ideal solutions for their operational needs, which is extremely important, especially now, in a market that remains challenging due to the pandemic. At the same time, these comfortable, innovative and multi-award-winning coaches provide the best conditions for getting passengers excited about coach travel again.“
New special “Platin” model: one of the safest and most luxurious coaches of the last 50 years
With the NEOPLAN Cityliner, drivers and passengers set off on their travels in a true evergreen of the coach segment. It was unveiled for the first time at the legendary Omnibus Week in Monaco in 1971. The anniversary models of the legendary “Platin edition“, strictly limited to 60 vehicles and launched in 1995, attracted considerable interest. The occasion at that time was the company’s 60th anniversary. In 2006, the latest generation was launched on the basis of the design icon, the NEOPLAN Starliner, using the unmistakable “sharp cut” design. Available in three lengths, the Cityliner soon established itself as a popular coach throughout Europe, offering unique quality. In 20 years of affiliation with MAN, almost 3,000 buses have been built at the manufacturing sites in Stuttgart, Pilsting, Plauen and now in Ankara, amounting to a total of around 8,500 NEOPLAN Cityliner in five decades.
To mark the 50th anniversary of this successful model, the special edition of the NEOPLAN Cityliner is now making a name for itself, the role model for which is the “Platin edition” from 1995. At first glance, the discreet platinum-painted sides, front and rear as well as the original “Platin” logotypes and other chrome-coloured elements are reminiscent of its legendary predecessor. An extra “wow effect” is provided by the dynamic new wheel trims whose unusual spin alone identifies the Cityliner as “the racing car among coaches” – even when parked. “The design was certainly one of many points that made it clear to us that the NEOPLAN Cityliner was fully deserving of the ‘Coach of the Year’ award,” says jury president Tom Terjesen.
But the coach also makes quite the impression on the inside. Among other things, the spacious interior, new seats from the Exclusivo series with optional headrests and USB or wireless charging function for smartphones ensure that passengers have a comfortable and relaxing journey. Besides comfort and appearance, safety also has a crucial role to play on the NEOPLAN Cityliner: Numerous innovative assistance systems ensure that passengers, drivers and other road users remain as safe as possible. The array of Covid-19 protection measures also contributes to this. The fact that the coach has been fitted with a MAN Original antiviral interior air filter is just one example of this. This actively protects against the transmission of viruses by significantly reducing the concentration of aerosols.
Jury affords particular attention to practicality
An international jury of experts has been awarding the titles of “Bus of the Year” and “Coach of the Year” to various types of bus and coach on an annual basis since 1989. The main focus of the European trade journalists is on the practicality and the conceptual design of the vehicles entered by the manufacturers for the comparative test. This new award for the NEOPLAN Cityliner means that MAN Truck & Bus has proudly lifted the trophy for their bus brands MAN and NEOPLAN eleven times – six times for the “Coach of the Year” title (2022, 2020, 2006, 2004, 2000, 1994) and five times for the “Bus of the Year” title (2015, 2005, 1999, 1995, 1990).