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April 10 2019
By Tim Deakin

Tim is Editor of routeone and has worked in both the coach and bus and haulage industries.

BASE announces upgrades to its coach range

Higher version of MOBIpeople Explorer is coming, and a replacement for Barbi Galileo HD will follow

3.6m-high version of Explorer is coming, followed by a high-floor tourer

BASE Coach Sales is working in partnership with Portuguese bodybuilder partner MOBIpeople to develop two additions to its range in the UK.

The first is a development of the existing Explorer (pictured). At 3.6m high, it will complement the established 3.4m model. The newcomer will be mounted on MAN’s RR2 underframe, says BASE Director Mark Aspinall.

Associated fleet Holmeswood Coaches will take delivery of the first 3.6m Explorer, adds Mr Aspinall. It is currently in build and BASE expects that it will arrive in the UK by June.

The higher model will offer a capacity of 53 seats within a length of 12.5m and it will be powered by the 12.4-litre MAN D26 engine rated at 420bhp coupled to a ZF EcoLife automatic gearbox.

Additionally, BASE is also working with MOBIpeople and Italian coachbuilder Barbi to design a replacement for the Barbi Galileo HD, which will also be built on the MAN RR2 chassis with the same driveline as the taller Explorer.

Changes at Barbi mean that it is currently concentrating on producing smaller vehicles. BASE took the decision to facilitate the development of a new model via collaboration between the two manufacturers to support existing Barbi buyers in the UK.

Final design work has not been completed, and no decision has yet been taken whether the new coach will be badged as a Barbi or a MOBIpeople. However, it will be built in Portugal. BASE recently took a small group of Galileo HD operators to MOBIpeople’s factory to advise what they want from the new product.

“It will be a high-floor, top-end coach that will offer extensive opportunities for customisation,” Mr Aspinall explains. “MOBIpeople’s designers offered four concept drawings. We have chosen one of those, but final tweaks are still to be made.”

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