Off line this fall, Motor Coach Industries’ 2013 J4500 has been redesigned for heightened curb appeal and a more elevated presence while providing workhorse reliability and a modern look to fit perfectly with existing J4500 fleets, according to the company.
Boston-based Peter Pan Bus Lines, one of the largest private operators, liked the concept from the start and will be the first to take delivery of the 2013 J4500 off the assembly line this fall.
The new concept draws on part of the J4500’s history. MCI turned to BMW Group Designworks USA, which led the designs of the E4500 and J4500. In the case of the 2013 J4500, Designworks engineers collaborated with MCI engineers, who turned to current J4500 customers for input. Chief among customer criteria: a coach that has “presence” and “curb appeal,” while providing workhorse reliability and a modern look that nevertheless fits in with existing J4500 fleets. MCI also wanted the coach to be safer and more reliable than ever before.
“The redesign gave us the opportunity to make several key improvements to the lighting, body bumpers and serviceability,” said Brent Danielson, the MCI engineering team leader. “We think customers are going to find the 2013 J4500 a welcomed addition to their fleets.”
The high-style high and low beam headlamps, now serviceable from outside the coach, are brighter and more durable with full LEDs set in stainless steel to resist corrosion and sealed to reduce wind and air intrusion. The ID, clearance and marker lights are higher as well to enhance visibility and the coach’s nighttime profile.
On the rear of the coach, LED tail and brake lights are four-inch rounds set in an attractive bezel and placed higher for improved visibility, while remaining easily replaceable for ease-of-service. This touch also modernizes the back of the coach. MCI design team created a smooth modern rear cap while providing increased space for branding.
The new front and rear bumpers are also significantly more durable.
The smooth, wide-ride J4500 comes equipped with safety technologies such as electronic stability control along with upgraded tire-pressure monitoring and fire-suppression systems. Customers can choose from available MCI tested three-point belted seats, including a standard three-point driver seat with a noticeable two-inches of additional legroom.
Additionally, the J4500 coach now features a multiplexing system proven on MCI D-Series coaches for the past two years. Offering reduced wiring and fewer modules, the system change comes with a new ergonomic, easy-interfacing driver dash layout with backlit switches and illuminated, easy-to-replace gauges. The driver cockpit provides a new focal point featuring interior upgrades with appealing trim, improved lighting and more connectivity.
Equipped with a Cummins or optional Detroit Diesel engine, the new J4500 promises at least an 8% fuel-economy gain, and in some applications, it’s up to double digits. MCI continues to collect data.