MAN NL323F (A22)

MAN NL323F (A22)
SMRT MAN NL323F
Other names MAN, A22
Manufacturer MAN Truck And Bus
Bodywork MCV (Retired)
MAN Lion’s City Hybrid (Gemilang Coachworks)
Year 2010 – 2016
Local Operators SMRT Buses
Tower Transit
Technical Data
Length 12m
Width 2.55m
Entry Low floor
Engine MAN D2066 LUH-32
Gearbox ZF EcoLife 6 AP 1700 B
Voith DIWA 864.5
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 demonstrator unit led to the purchase of an estimated 735 units acquired over three batches, with deliveries and registrations completed in October 2016. It remains to be seen if the LTA will increase MAN NL323F orders.

In 2016, under the Bus Contracting Model, the Land Transport Authority has leased MAN NL323F buses (built to SBS Transit specifications) to Tower Transit. Despite a mix of ZF and Voith transmissions, MAN NL323F units in Singapore are very similar in technical specifications.

Local 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.

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 citybus 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.


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. The MAN NL323F was largely successful in these aspects, with over 700 units acquired.

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 favored 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.

The following year, SMRT announced purchases of 200 additional MAN NL323Fs, this time with a MAN Lion’s City Hybrid bodywork manufactured and assembled by Gemilang Coachworks. In 2013, another 202 units were ordered and delivered. 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 intercooled, 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 (MCV Evolution) – 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.


SMRT MAN NL323F Production Batch 1 (Lion’s City Hybrid / Gemilang)

Following the successful trial of SMB138Y, SMRT Buses placed orders for 200 more MAN NL323Fs as part of a fleet renewal programme, bodied by Gemilang of the Lion’s City Hybrid design.

A total of 200 buses fall under the Batch 1. 166 units, namely SMB189A – SMB354P, were purchased by SMRT. 34 units of this batch, SMB3001M – SMB3034T, were reallocated to the then-newly-launched Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP), for deployment on new BSEP routes, as well as the service enhancement of existing routes. All buses were registered between 15 September 2011 to 1 February 2013.

Technical Specifications:
MAN NL323F Batch 1
MAN NL323F Batch 1
MAN NL323F Batch 1
Engine MAN D2066 LUH-32 (EGR)
Transmission ZF EcoLife 6 AP 2000 B
(6-speed)
Configuration MAN Lion’s City Hybrid (Gemilang Coachworks)
EDS Mobitec MobiLED

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.

Inside, Production Batch 1 NL323Fs were 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.

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.

Additional Specifications:

SMRT Batch 1 MAN NL323Fs have a licensed carrying capacity of 90 passengers, comprising 38 seating passengers 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.

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.

Some units have been repainted with SMRT Buses’ new livery.


SMRT MAN NL323F Production Batch 2 (Lion’s City Hybrid / Gemilang)

In 2012, SMRT Buses placed orders for an additional 202 more MAN NL323Fs as part of a fleet renewal programme, bodied by Gemilang of the Lion’s City Hybrid design.

A total of 202 buses fall under the Batch 2. 120 units, namely SMB1301K – SMB1420A, were purchased by SMRT. 82 units of this batch, SMB3035R – SMB3116R, were reallocated to the BSEP. All buses were registered between 24 January 2013 to 3 March 2014.

Technical Specifications:
MAN NL323F Batch 2
MAN NL323F Batch 2
MAN NL323F Batch 2
Engine MAN D2066 LUH-32 (EGR)
Transmission ZF EcoLife 6 AP 2000 B
(6-speed)
Configuration MAN Lion’s City Hybrid (Gemilang Coachworks)
EDS Mobitec MobiLED
Additional Specifications:

Buses of this batch are identical in all specifications to their Batch 1 counterparts. Compared to the first production batch, two extra grab poles were installed at the front of the bus, and door movement markings pasted on the floor underneath the front door.

Earlier units of SMRT Batch 2 MAN NL323Fs have a licensed carrying capacity of 90 passengers, comprising 38 seating passengers 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.

Modified Seating Configuration:

A modified seating configuration for the MAN NL323F buses was implemented in the midst of delivery of Batch 2 buses. Two seats at the front of the bus were removed to make way for a larger standing area, similar to the Mercedes-Benz O405G Mark Is. At the rear, another seat was removed to make the aisle more spacious for standing passengers. This modified seating configuration would continue into Batch 3 MAN NL323F buses.

Batch 2 Buses with the modified seating configuration are:

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

These buses have a licensed carrying capacity of 91 passengers, comprising 35 seating passengers and 56 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.

Modified A22 seating with three removed seats, replaced by grabpoles
Modified A22 seating with three removed seats, replaced by grabpoles. Two at the front, one at the rear.

SMRT MAN NL323F Production Batch 3 (Lion’s City Hybrid / Gemilang)

In April 2014, SMRT announced the further purchase of 332 more MAN 12-metre buses, for the complete replacement of retiring Mercedes-Benz O405s and further fleet addition. Deliveries are ongoing, but as of mid-2016, only 309 buses have been registered, and the remaining 23 buses remain unregistered and in storage, possibly to prolong the lifespan of these currently unused buses (owing to the 17-year statutory lifespan for buses in Singapore).

The Batch 3 MAN NL323Fs were registered from 8 Jul 2014, using the registration numbers SMB1421Y – SMB1650C for SMRT-owned buses, SMB3117M – SMB3169M for BSEP buses and SG1700U onwards for BSEP/GCM buses. SMB-prefixed buses were registered between 8 July 2014 – 4 January 2016. As of August 2016, deliveries of SG-plated buses are ongoing.

Technical Specifications:
MAN NL323F Batch 3
MAN NL323F Batch 3
MAN NL323F Batch 3
Engine MAN D2066 LUH-32 (EGR)
Transmission ZF EcoLife 6 AP 2000 B
(6-speed)
& Voith DIWA 864.5 (4-speed)
Configuration MAN Lion’s City Hybrid (Gemilang Coachworks)
EDS Mobitec MobiLED
Modified technical specifications:

Units registered SMB1568H & SMB1582R and onwards are known to be fitted with a Voith DIWA 864.5 transmission, replacing the usual ZF EcoLife 6 AP 2000 B which SMRT had been using since its first deliveries.

  • SMB1581T and prior, except SMB1568H: ZF EcoLife 6 AP 2000 B
  • SMB1568H, SMB1582R – SMB1650C, SMB3117M – SMB3169M: Voith DIWA 864.5
Additional Specifications:

Inside, Batch 3 MAN NL323Fs are almost identical to Batch 2 units featuring an extra grabpole at the wheelchair bay in addition to the modified seating configuration. Additionally, movable air-conditioning ball vents replaced the standard linear plastic vents for greater passenger comfort. Unique to the Batch 3 is the front door which plays the same ‘Doors are closing” chime as the rear door. On the exterior, the Batch 3 buses feature a slightly engine cover design similar to MAN A24 and MAN A95 buses.

All buses were delivered with SMRT’s new livery, and later batches feature a newer SMRT logo in full red, as opposed to the older red-black logo.

Batch 3 MAN NL323Fs continue with the modified seating configuration introduced in the later buses of Batch 2, with a licensed carrying capacity of 91 passengers, comprising 35 seating passengers and 56 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.


SMRT MAN NL323F BSEP Batch (Lion’s City Hybrid / Gemilang)

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
SMRT MAN NL323F (BSEP Batch) - New Livery with small BSEP Sticker
SMRT MAN NL323F (BSEP Batch) – New Livery with small BSEP Sticker
SMRT MAN NL323F (BSEP Batch) - New Livery with Government-themed advert wrap
SMRT MAN NL323F (BSEP Batch) – New Livery with Government-themed advert wrap

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 Citaros 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 Government Contracting Model (GCM)

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

As part of the GCM, 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 GCM 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 GCM 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.


MAN NL323F (A22)
Registration Engine Gearbox Introduced Retired Bodywork
SMB138Y MAN D2066 LUH-32 ZF EcoLife 6 AP 1700 B 2010 2014* MCV Evolution
SMB189A – SMB354P 2011-2012 MAN Lion’s City Hybrid / Gemilang Coachworks
SMB1301K – SMB1420A 2013-2014
SMB1421Y – SMB1581T
(except SMB1568H)
2014-2015
SMB1568H;
SMB1582R – SMB1650C
Voith DIWA 864.5 2015
SMB3001M-
SMB3116R
ZF EcoLife 6 AP 1700 B 2012-2014
SMB3117M – SMB3169M Voith DIWA 864.5 2015-2016

*SMB138Y has since been retired.

  • MAN NL323F (MCV) Demonstrator: SMB138Y
  • MAN NL323F Batch 1: SMB189A – SMB354P
  • MAN NL323F Batch 2: SMB1301K – SMB1420A
  • MAN NL323F Batch 3: SMB1421Y – SMB1620P
  • MAN NL323F (BSEP) Batch 1: SMB3001M – SMB3034T
  • MAN NL323F (BSEP) Batch 2: SMB3035R – SMB3116R
  • MAN NL323F (BSEP) Batch 3: SMB3117M – SMB3169M
  • MAN NL323F (GCM): SG1700U – SG1748H
Government-owned MAN NL323F (A22)
Registration Engine Gearbox Introduced Retired Bodywork
SG1700U – SG1748H MAN D2066 LUH-32 Voith DIWA 864.5 2016 MAN Lion’s City Hybrid / Gemilang Coachworks
Registration Current Operator Remarks
SMB138Y De-Registered Demonstrator
SMB189A – SMB354P SMRT Buses Ltd Batch 1
SMB3001M – SMB3034T SMRT Buses Ltd BSEP Batch 1 (Transferred to GCM under Tower Transit)
SMB1301K – SMB1420A SMRT Buses Ltd Batch 2
SMB3035R – SMB3074C SMRT Buses Ltd BSEP Batch 2 (Transferred to GCM under Tower Transit)
SMB3075A – SMB3116R SMRT Buses Ltd BSEP Batch 2
SMB1421Y – SMB1650C SMRT Buses Ltd Batch 3
SMB3117M – SMB3169M SMRT Buses Ltd BSEP Batch 3
SG1700U – SG1748H SMRT Buses Ltd Batch 3 (GCM)

Gallery:

SMRT MAN A22s being assembled at Gemilang Coachworks
SMRT MAN A22s being assembled at Gemilang Coachworks, Johor
SMRT MAN NL323F (MCV Evolution)
138_961
SMB138Y on 961 (Debut)
SMB138Y on 963
SMB138Y on 963
SMB138Y at Gemilang Coachworks in Johor
SMRT MAN NL323F (Lion’s City Hybrid / Gemilang)
SMB219Y – Premium 530
SMB224G - Worker Transport 5
SMB224G – Worker Transport 5
SMB229T – Shortworking Trip 965A
SMB243B - Nightrider NR2
SMB243B – Nightrider NR2
SMB268E - Service 858
SMB268E – Service 858
SMB293G - 922 (Last Bus)
SMB293G – 922 (Last Bus)
SMB350A – Service 963 (New Livery)
SMB3027P – Service 850E (BSEP with advert)
 —
SMRT MAN A22 pre-delivery, yet to be painted in Lush Green
SMRT MAN A22 pre-delivery, yet to be painted in Lush Green

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:

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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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