[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Mercedes-Benz Sprinter bus is looking like a strong contender in the mass transit business in Nigeria with an increasing preference of the bus by commuters.
Reports from the transport companies that use the Sprinter buses say that passengers choose these buses over others, even at slightly higher prices. A frontline bus service company, God is Good has many of these buses which get booked faster than the other buses in their fleet.
According to Mr. Oluwatobi Ajayi, the Managing Director of Jetvan Automobiles Limited, the sole authorised dealer of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter buses in Nigeria, “The company was incorporated in 2014 and commenced operations in April 2015 with the overall responsibility for Sales and After-Sales of Mercedes-Benz vans and mini buses in the Nigerian market. The company also operates a Hire division which provides VIP premier luxury bus charter.
We understand that luxury is a deliberate mix: not just of flamboyance and pomp but also, of stylish functionality, first class taste and practical efficiency without stint.”
Ajayi said the company also has a ‘Hire division’ that makes use of the VIP Sprinter buses and that these have high quality interior leather and fittings, inter-com, Burl Wood treatments, central security systems, Control and Navigation Systems, GPS tracking, Communication Kits and Furnishing/Gizmos.
Ajayi said the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter buses would take over the market, stating that other bus nameplates dominated the market prior to their entrance but that now that they were in things would be different.
He said the Sprinter bus could last more than the other buses, has longer service intervals, and would still be sold half the value in the used vehicle market.
“If the economy picks up, everybody will want to buy a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter buses. All transporters, whether big, medium, and small will start using the Sprinter. They will go to their banks to perfect their purchase of these buses. The body has 12-year warranty and the warranty for the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is two years or 200,000 kilometres.”
Jetvan has service stations across the country and stock vital parts to ensure that the Sprinter buses are always on the road. The company also has partner service stations, which they certify only if they have standard equipment and at least two trained technicians.
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a vehicle built by Daimler AG of Stuttgart, Germany as a van, chassis cab, minibus, and pickup truck.
In the past the Sprinter has been sold under the Mercedes-Benz, Dodge, Freightliner, and Volkswagen nameplates. In the United States it is built from complete knock down (CKD) kits by Freightliner.
They are now primarily marketed by Mercedes-Benz. Rebadged and re-engined Sprinters are also sold by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles as the Volkswagen LT and the Volkswagen Crafter.
The first generation Sprinter was launched in Europe in 1995 to replace the famous but outdated Mercedes-Benz TN van dating from 1977. It was voted International Van of the Year for 1995.
Toyota Uses Racetrack to Improve 86 Sports Car
Toyota has advanced the superior driving enjoyment of its 86 sports car by applying feedback from extensive racetrack experience, including from the world’s toughest endurance race.
Driving characteristics have been revamped with better engine breathing that releases more power and torque for manual models along with across-the-board updates to suspension and body rigidity that promote improved handling.
Toyota has also focused on design updates that advance the aerodynamics, steering stability and the driver’s sense of being connected to the vehicle which is renowned for its ideally balanced front-engine, rear-drive layout.
The update of the compact and engaging four-seater is dynamic evidence of Toyota’s sports-car development philosophy expressed by the saying, “We race. We learn. You win”.
Chief Engineer Tetsuya Tada said his team applied information learned from the racetrack to develop the upgraded 86 sports car, including data obtained from class victories at the famous 24 Hours of Nürburgring.
“We overhauled everything – primarily as a result of technological feedback from the 86’s participation in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring – and repeatedly tested the vehicle on roads all over the world as we manufactured every single part,” Mr. Tada said.
“The new 86 has been perfected to such an extent that, from the moment the steering wheel is gripped and the vehicle accelerates away, every driver will be able to recognise its evolution,” he said.
As well as the famed German enduro, the 86 is campaigned regularly by owners around the world in club races and rallies. It has also inspired the Toyota 86 racing series in Australia with competition occurring at selected rounds of the Virgin Australia Supercars championship.
The 86 has been Australia’s best-selling sports car in each of the past three years with cumulative sales topping 17,200 cars – the third highest in the world.
For the revamp, engineers have revised engine components including the intake and exhaust manifolds for the six-speed manual models, lifting maximum power and torque by 3.4 per cent to 152kW and 212Nm.*
The 2.0-litre four-cylinder horizontally opposed engine’s increased torque peak can be generated over a 200rpm wider range of engine speeds, from 6400 to 6800rpm. The torque curve has also been improved at low rpms.
All models deliver sharper steering response and improved ride comfort with additional spot welds for the rear pillars and reworked shock absorber valve structures.
Aerodynamic performance was the priority for the freshened exterior, contributing to enhanced road holding and turning performance.
The 86 is lower at the front and features nose fins, foglamp bezel fins and small canards or wing-like projections beneath the wider front grille for enhanced control. LED headlamps complete the front make-over.
Newly designed 17-inch alloy wheels contribute to a nimble-looking side view with twisted spokes, machine-cut highlights and gun-metallic paint. The 86 logo has shifted to a stand-alone badge on the front fender.
At the rear, an available wing-type rear spoiler contributes to aerodynamic performance while the black section of the bumper has been widened to create a trapezoidal shape for a more commanding on-road stance. Reshaped rear combination lamps now utilise LEDs.
Inside, the 86 is equipped with an even sportier steering wheel – its 362mm diameter makes it the smallest ever used in a Toyota. The cross-sectional shape provides optimal grip, manoeuvrability and comfort.
The revised tachometer is arranged so that 7,000rpm is viewed at the very top – the engine speed around which the vehicle generates maximum output.
Driver aids include an available 4.2-inch thin-film transistor display that conveys a wide range of information including, in real-time, a G-force meter and power and torque curves.
The instrument panel and door trim can be specified with Grand Luxe®, a high-quality suede-like material in black, that limits glare and helps create an environment in which the driver can focus on driving.
The new model goes on sale in Australia during the fourth quarter of this year.