MAN NL323F (A22)

MAN NL323F (A22)
SMRT MAN NL323F (A22)
SMRT MAN NL323F (A22)
Manufacturer MAN Truck And Bus
Bodywork MCV (Retired)
MAN Lion’s City Hybrid (Gemilang Coachworks)
Years in operation 2010 – Present
Operators SMRT Buses
Tower Transit
S
BS Transit
Technical Data
Length 12 metre
Engine MAN D2066 LUH-32
Transmission ZF EcoLife 6 AP 1700 B
Voith DIWA 864.5
Accessibility Low Floor & Wheelchair-accessible
Low Entry (3-door Concept)
Emission Standard Euro V  (EGR)

The MAN NL323F (A22) is a low-floor, wheelchair-accessible, single-deck transit bus chassis offered by MAN Truck & Bus. As part of the MAN NLxx3F line of bus chassis, units were sold to various operators around the world, particularly in Germany, Spain, Israel, Singapore and the UK, and built up by various bodywork companies.

First introduced locally in 2010 by SMRT Buses, a successful trial unit led to a further purchase of 734 units in three batches. Deliveries and registrations were completed in October 2016.

In 2016, under the Bus Contracting Model, the Land Transport Authority has leased MAN NL323F buses (built to SMRT specifications) to Tower Transit.

In 2017, SBS Transit took over several SMRT MAN A22 buses in preparation for the Seletar Bus Package. More buses are expected to transfer to SBS Transit during the takeover of several Yishun Bus Services from SMRT Buses.

In addition to the regular 2-door version, a one-off 3-door MAN Lion’s City SD Concept Bus is undergoing trials with SMRT Buses


Technical Information:

The MAN NL323F is part of the MAN NLxx3F line of bus chassis (coded A22), the ‘3’ referring to a third-generation rear-engined city bus chassis, It is designed off MAN’s popular urban bus line, the Lion’s City, which is only available with integral bodywork by MAN. The NL323F is available with various bodywork designs from different manufacturers.

Diesel-powered MAN NLxx3Fs come with the standard MAN D2066 LUH inline 6-cylinder, horizontally-mounted, turbocharged & inter-cooled engine, with a rage of available power outputs of between 270 and 400 horsepower over Euro III to Euro V emission standards. For the Euro V rating, 320hp, 360hp and 400hp versions are available, along with a 2-stage turbocharger for high torque rating. The engine uses Exhaust Gas Re-circulation (EGR) technology and MAN’s own PM-Kat® exhaust treatment system to achieve its Euro V rating.

For transmission, the MAN NLxx3F offers a Voith 4-speed automatic transmission as standard, with an optional offering of a ZF EcoLife 6-speed automatic transmission. The integrated hydraulic retarder features boosted operating economy, longer service life, and higher temperature resistance for operation with Euro V compatible engines. A portal axle is used for the rear wheels, and all wheels come with disc brakes. Similar to other MAN urban buses, the NL323F chassis in manufactured and assembled in Salzgitter, Germany.

Hybrid-electric, compressed natural gas (CNG) and regular diesel powered variants of the MAN NLxx3F are available, all capable of meeting Euro-VI emission standards.


Bus Assembly

MAN NL323F buses are manufactured by Gemilang Coachworks in Johor, Malaysia. Similar in appearance to MAN’s integral ‘Lion’s City Hybrid‘ in the European market, the design is built under license by Gemilang. The protruding roof structure, a defining feature of this model, conceals a air-conditioning pod which would have otherwise have been used for other components on the CNG, LNG and Hybrid models.

The bus chassis is manufactured in Germany, before being shipped to Malaysia for body assembly.

After complete assembly and inspection, buses are driven from Gemilang’s plant to Singapore with a trade-plate to SMRT’s Woodlands Bus Park.


 Overview of Singapore Operations

As SMRT’s fleet of Mercedes-Benz O405s fast approached retirement age, there was a need for a large replacement of 12-metre buses that were wheelchair-accessible and environmentally friendly.

SMRT’s first MAN NL323F was a demonstrator unit bodied by MCV (Manufacturing Commercial Vehicles) of Egypt, of the MCV Evolution bodywork. Registered as SMB138Y, it entered service in December 2010 and delivered satisfactory performance during its one-year trial period. It was also favoured over SMB136C (SMRT’s Citaro demonstrator) as a suitable bus for large-scale fleet renewal and expansion. SMB138Y was taken out of revenue service in 2012.

In 2013, SMRT announced purchases of 200 additional MAN NL323Fs, this time with a MAN Lion’s City Hybrid bodywork manufactured and assembled by Gemilang Coachworks. Later that year, another 202 units were ordered. A third batch announced in April 2014 have been registered since July 2014 till Oct 2016.

Many MAN NL323F buses share similar technical specifications. Here’s a table at a glance:

Demonstrator Production Batch 1 Production Batch 2 Production Batch 3
Registration no. SMB138Y SMB189A – SMB354P
SMB3001M – SMB3034T
SMB1301K – SMB1420A
SMB3035R – SMB3116R
SMB1421Y – SMB1650C
SMB3117M – SMB3169M
SG1700U – SG1748H
Quantity 1 200 202 332
Registered Dec 2010 Sep 2011 – Feb 2013 Jan 2013 – Mar 2014 Jul 2014 – Oct 2016
Technical Specifications
Engine MAN D2066 LUH-32 engine, twin-turbocharged and inter-cooled, 10518cc
Power/torque rating of 320 hp (235 kW) @ 1900 rpm / 1600 Nm @ 1000 – 1400 rpm
Emission Standard Euro V compliant
Exhaust Gas Re-circulation (EGR) technology and MAN’s own PM-Kat® exhaust treatment system, without the need for diesel exhaust fluids.
Bodywork MCV Evolution MAN Lion’s City Hybrid (Built under license by Gemilang Coachworks)
Transmission ZF EcoLife 6 AP 2000 B (6-speed) ZF EcoLife 6 AP 2000 B & Voith DIWA 864.5
EDS Hanover Mobitec MobiLED
Air conditioning Denso LD8i Denso LD8u
Doors Ventura Systems Masats
Additional Features LG television unit
Onboard Wi-Fi access
Door movement markings
Modified seating configuration (later units)
Door movement markings
“Doors are closing” announcement (Front door)
Adjustable air-conditioning vents

SMRT MAN NL323F Demonstrator – SMB138Y

In 2010, SMRT Buses received a MAN NL323F demonstrator unit for road testing and evaluation by MAN’s local dealer, ST Kinetics. The bus was registered on 17 Dec 2010 as SMB138Y, the fifth demonstrator unit received by SMRT Buses. The bus underwent a year-long trial with SMRT Buses and was returned to the dealer after 2 years on the road.

Technical Specifications:
SMRT MAN NL323F Demonstrator
SMRT MAN NL323F Demonstrator
MAN NL323F Demonstrator
Engine MAN D2066 LUH-32 (EGR)
Transmission ZF EcoLife 6 AP 2000 B
(6-speed)
Bodywork MCV Evolution (assembled by Soon Chow)
EDS Hanover
Additional Specifications:

Inside, SMB138Y was fitted with the standard blue, purple and red Volgelsitze seats, the interior color scheme of choice for SMRT. Like the previously-introduced Citaro demonstrator (SMB136C), it has a single wheelchair lot equipped with a foldable seat for two people. The rear row of seats has just four seats, with extra space taken up by engine components. It the first SMRT bus to be equipped with a TV screen (from LG), which plays SMRT commercials. Free Wi-Fi access is also available.

The rear exit doors of SMB138Y were sliding plug doors supplied by Ventura Systems (based in the Netherlands), a first for public buses in Singapore. The door is pushed out of the door frame before sliding open, unlike the existing swinging plug doors which can only swing outwards. The reduced outward swinging distance of the sliding plug design brings along additional safety, of not hitting people or objects at bus stops. The sliding plug design would be later incorporated in production batch MAN NL323Fs (from a different manufacturer), and the later Alexander Dennis Enviro500s would continue to use Ventura sliding plug doors.

SMB138Y made its debut on 23 December 2010, appearing on SMRT Service 961 between Woodlands and Lorong 1 Geylang. The powerful engine had no problems coping with a long trunk route, and was under the control of Woodlands Depot (WLDEP). It was also the only SMRT bus to provide free onboard Wi-Fi.

SMB138Y was later redeployed to Service 963, making occasional appearances on 169A, 962 and 963E, before being transferred to Ang Mo Kio Depot (AMDEP) and redeployed to Service 985. It had made special appearances on 61, 106, 167, 851, 857, 858, 858A, 960, 963R, 966 and 971E.

The trial of SMB138Y was ultimately successful, with SMRT initiating further purchases of the MAN NL323F chassis of a different bodywork. Following water damage to its electronics in 2012, the bus was laid up for maintenance, and never saw revenue service again. In early 2013, the bus was returned ST Kinetics after two years on the road, concluding its trial period, and eventually deregistered in November 2014.

In March 2015, the bus was spotted undergoing refitting works at Gemilang Coachworks, where SMRT’s MAN A22, A24 and A95s are assembled. The eventual fate of the bus was traced only in November 2015, when it was spotted in Sydney, Australia for Carbridge, an Australian bus company supporting airport operations. The bus was re-bodied with a MAN Lion’s City Hybrid bodywork, with a single leaf exit door.


MAN NL323F Production Batch

Following the successful trial of SMB138Y, SMRT Buses placed orders for  MAN NL323Fs as part of its fleet renewal programme, bodied by Gemilang of the Lion’s City Hybrid design. A total of 734 buses were purchased in 3 batches by SMRT Buses:

  • Batch 1 (200 Buses): SMB189A – SMB354P, SMB3001M-SMB3034T
  • Batch 2 (202 Buses): SMB1301K – SMB1420A, SMB3035R – SMB3116R
  • Batch 3 (332 Buses): SMB1421Y – SMB1650C,  SMB3117M – SMB3169M, SG1700U – SG1748H
Batch 1 Batch 2 Batch 3
Registration no. SMB189A – SMB354P
SMB3001M – SMB3034T
SMB1301K – SMB1420A
SMB3035R – SMB3116R
SMB1421Y – SMB1650C
SMB3117M – SMB3169M
SG1700U – SG1748H
Quantity 200 202 332
Registered 15 Sep 2011 – 01Feb 2013 24 Jan 2013 – 03 Mar 2014 Jul 2014 – Oct 2016
Engine MAN D2066 LUH-32 engine, twin-turbocharged and inter-cooled, 10518cc
Power/torque rating of 320 hp (235 kW) @ 1900 rpm / 1600 Nm @ 1000 – 1400 rpm
Emission Standard Euro V compliant
Exhaust Gas Re-circulation (EGR) technology and MAN’s own PM-Kat® exhaust treatment system, without the need for diesel exhaust fluids.
Bodywork MAN Lion’s City Hybrid (Built under license by Gemilang Coachworks)
Transmission ZF EcoLife 6 AP 2000 B (6-speed) ZF EcoLife 6 AP 2000 B

Voith DIWA 864.5 (SMB1568H & SMB1582R onwards)

EDS Mobitec MobiLED
Air conditioning Denso LD8u
Doors Masats
Additional Features Door movement markings
Modified seating configuration (later units)
Door movement markings
“Doors are closing” announcement (Front door)
Adjustable air-conditioning vents
Exterior

The bodywork used on these buses were similar to MAN’s Lion City Hybrid buses, but manufactured by Gemilang Coachworks of Malaysia, under license from MAN. Like other MAN buses, the chassis was built in Germany. They were then assembled by Gemilang in Malaysia before final delivery to Singapore. One of the most distinguishing feature of the production batch is the enlarged roof design, which in the original Lion’s City Hybrid, helps divert air to cool electrical components located on the roof. For the production batch of MAN NL323Fs, the roof is less useful and simply conceals the air-conditioning pod.

The first two buses were initially painted in SMRT’s White and Red livery. After the launch of SMRT’s new “pixel” livery in January 2014, the third batch of buses were mostly painted in the new livery. 26 buses were painted in LTA’s Lush Green livery. Later buses also feature a newer SMRT logo in full red, as opposed to the older red-black logo.

Batch 3 buses feature a slightly engine cover design similar to MAN A24 and MAN A95 buses.

Interior

The first 278 buses have a licensed carrying capacity of 90 passengers, comprising 38 seating and 52 standing passengers. The wheelchair bay accommodates a single wheelchair, and is equipped with a rear-facing foldable seat for two people when not occupied by a wheelchair user. Subsequent buses had 3 seats were removed to create more standing area, and have licensed carrying capacity of 91 passengers, comprising 35 seating and 56 standing passengers.

Buses are fitted with the standard blue, purple and red Volgelsitze seats, the interior color scheme of choice for SMRT. Similar to SMB138Y, it has a single wheelchair lot equipped with a foldable seat for two people.  The rear row of seats has just four seats, with extra space taken up by engine components.

The unique sliding plug door design was retained from the demonstrator unit, but with new doors supplied by Masats of Spain, featuring much faster opening and closing operation. A doors closing chime, similar to those used on SMRT’s Trains, is played when the exit doors are being closed. The entrance doors are equipped with the same chime for Batch 3 buses only.

Air-conditioning vents in the first two batches of buses are non-adjustable, spaced equally throughout the bus. Adjustable ball vents were made available in the third batch of buses.

From the 2nd batch of buses onwards, two additional grab poles were installed at the front of the bus, and door movement markings pasted on the floor underneath the front door.

Additional Specifications:

In 2013, 20 units of the MAN NL323F were registered with the Malaysian Land Transport Public Commission (Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan Awam Darat (SPAD)) for deployment on cross-border Bus Service 950, replacing the previous fleet of Mercedes-Benz O405 and Mercedes-Benz OC500LE buses.

Batch 2 Buses with the modified seating configuration are:

  • Production Batch 2: SMB1341U, SMB1363G – SMB1420A
  • BSEP Batch 2: SMB3052R – SMB3116R
Handover Ceremony

On 1st October 2011, SMRT organised a handover ceremony at Hort Park, featuring SMB189A and SMB191S, and 2 days later (3rd October 2011), SMB189A made its debut on Service 963 and 963E. Originally equipped with an additional step before the rear row of seats, the step was subsequently removed. Later units were not equipped with the step.


BSEP Buses

For background information on the BSEP, read the Bus Services Enhancement Programme article.

SMRT MAN NL323F (BSEP Batch) - Original Livery with BSEP Sticker
SMRT MAN NL323F (BSEP Batch) – Original Livery with BSEP Sticker

Before the Bus Contracting Model (BCM/GCM) was launched, the LTA had directly funded the purchase of buses under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP) launched in 2012, where these resources were used to launch new bus routes and enhance existing ones. Whilst registrations for Batch 1, 2 and 3 MAN NL323F were ongoing, a portion of buses from each batch were diverted to the BSEP, where they were registered as SMB3001M – SMB3169M.

Technical specifications of the BSEP-registered buses are identical to the Production batches that they were taken out from.

  • Initial batch: SMB3001M – SMB3034T
    = Similar to Batch 1 specs
  • Second batch: SMB3035R – SMB3116R
    = Similar to Batch 2 specs
  • Third batch: SMB3117M – SMB3169M
    = Similar to Batch 3 specs

Deliveries ended in early 2016 with the remainder of buses registered under the GCM instead. BSEP MAN NL323Fs were also the first buses to spearhead the transition to the GCM as these buses were owned by the Government.

Some units were delivered with SMRT Buses’ new livery.

Additional Specifications:

Under the BSEP, these buses are subject to strict deployment regulations, such as being barred from commercial advertising, and deployment only on BSEP bus routes or enhanced bus routes under the BSEP scheme. The LTA can track bus positioning, passenger loading statistics and other parameters in real time.


Transition to Bus Contracting Model (BCM)

For a more detailed guide, please refer to this article.

As part of the BCM, LTA would purchase buses from both SBS Transit and SMRT Buses to lease them to the winning transport operators of the various route packages. The bus models for this scheme include SBS Transit’s Mercedes-Benz Citaros, SBS Transit’s Volvo B9TL Wrights, SMRT’s MAN NL323Fs, SMRT’s Alexander Dennis Enviro500s as well as SMRT’s MAN A95s.

LTA has initiated the BCM initially by recalling buses initially registered under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP). These buses, in service with SMRT but owned by the Government, were rerouted to operators of the first few BCM packages such as Tower Transit, the initial operator of the Bulim Bus Package.

At the same time, the later Government-owned MAN NL323Fs were registered with the SG-prefix. Several have been painted in a Lush Green livery.

Several MAN A22 Buses are also transferred to SBS Transit for the Seletar Bus Package.

Registration Current Operator Remarks
SMB138Y De-Registered Demonstrator
SMB189A – SMB354P SMRT Buses Ltd Batch 1
SMB3001M – SMB3034T Tower Transit Singapore Pte Ltd BSEP Batch 1 (Transferred to Tower Transit under BCM)
SMB1301K – SMB1420A SMRT Buses Ltd Batch 2
SMB3035R – SMB3074C Tower Transit Singapore Pte Ltd BSEP Batch 2 (Transferred to Tower Transit under BCM)
SMB3075A SMRT Buses Ltd BSEP Batch 2
SMB3076Y SBS Transit Ltd BSEP Batch 2 (Transferred to SBS Transit under BCM)
SMB3077U & SMB3078S SMRT Buses Ltd BSEP Batch 2
SMB3079P SBS Transit Ltd BSEP Batch 2 (Transferred to SBS Transit under BCM)
SMB3080J – SMB3083B SMRT Buses Ltd BSEP Batch 2
SMB3084Z Tower Transit Singapore Pte Ltd BSEP Batch 2 (Transferred to Tower Transit under BCM)
SMB3085X – SMB3095S SMRT Buses Ltd BSEP Batch 2
SMB3096P & SMB3097L SBS Transit Ltd BSEP Batch 2 (Transferred to SBS Transit under BCM)
SMB3098J – SMB3116R SMRT Buses Ltd BSEP Batch 2
SMB1421Y – SMB1650C SMRT Buses Ltd Batch 3
SMB3117M – SMB3121A SMRT Buses Ltd BSEP Batch 3
SMB3122Y SBS Transit Ltd BSEP Batch 3 (Transferred to SBS Transit under BCM)
SMB3123U – SMB3169M SMRT Buses Ltd BSEP Batch 3
SG1700U – SG1748H SMRT Buses Ltd Batch 3 (BCM)

SMRT 3 Door MAN A22 front view - SMRT Facebook page
SMRT 3 Door MAN A22 front view – SMRT Facebook page

3 Door Concept Bus

Main Article: MAN Lion’s City SD Concept Bus

Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) is evaluating a 3-door MAN Lion’s City SD Concept Bus. Bearing the registration plate SG4002G, the single-deck bus is entered revenue service trials on 19 June 2017, operated by SMRT Buses.

The 12-metre long concept bus is built on a MAN NL323F (A22) low-entry chassis and features seats with headrests, a Passenger Information Display System, and a lower window line to allow passengers a better view of the surroundings.

First showcased by MAN Truck & Bus at the LTA-UITP Singapore International Transport Congress and Exhibition (SITCE) in October 2016, the LTA had decided to trial this bus on revenue service to determine the suitability of 3-door single-deck buses in Singapore.


Gallery:

SMRT MAN NL323F (MCV Evolution)
138_961
SMB138Y on 961 (Debut)
SMB138Y on 963
SMB138Y on 963
SMRT MAN NL323F (Lion’s City Hybrid / Gemilang)
SMB224G - Worker Transport 5
SMB224G – Worker Transport 5
SMB268E - Service 858
SMB268E – Service 858
SMB293G - 922 (Last Bus)
SMB293G – 922 (Last Bus)

Tower Transit:

3-Door Concept Bus

Main Article: MAN Lion’s City SD Concept Bus

Cross-border registered buses:

These buses can be operated on SMRT Service 950:

SMB260B, SMB261Z, SMB262X, SMB263T, SMB264R, SMB265M, SMB266K, SMB267H, SMB268E, SMB269C, SMB283K, SMB284H, SMB285E, SMB286C, SMB287A, SMB295B, SMB296Z, SMB297X, SMB298T, SMB299R


External Links & References:

Back to Bus Models
Back to Bus Articles

One thought on “MAN NL323F (A22)

  • 30 June 2016 at 9:19 PM
    Permalink

    For unknown reasons, SMB3037K was reverted back to SMRT ownership after a month with Tower Transit

    Reply

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