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11 Apr 2019

SPRINTER 75 IS MINIBUS OF THE YEAR 2019

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 75 won the prestigious title 'Minibus of the Year 2019'. Five minibuses gathered in Madrid at the Ifema Expo grounds to be tested by the International Jury in the Minibus Euro Test. The fiour other participants were Ferqui Sunrise CNG, Indcar eStrada, MAN TGE I4X4 Intercity and the Iveco New Daily Natural Power.

The International Bus, Coach & Minibus of the Year jury had the task to select the final winner during a two-day test in the newly developed suburb Valdebebas near Madrid, home amongst others of the brand new training facilities of Real Madrid. The organizing magazine Autobuses & Autocares, of which editor Miquel Saez is the representative in the jury, did a wonderful job in setting up a 'real life' test course including bus stops, hills, lots of roundabouts and also some traffic jams to make sure there was this real life test sensation. Ifema Feria de Madrid offered the logistics and the physical organization on their grounds. Irizar hosted an evening for the competitors and jury members.


The international jury consists of 22 in their country leading magazines represented by their editors being specialized journalists, of which Jury President Tom Terjesen from Norway handed over the award to the Mercedes-Benz team.


The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 75 distinguished itself in this strong competitors field by being a specially designed minibus. It is not a converted van but a minibus constructed for use in public transport. The engine and gearbox provide enough power to transport a maximum of 38 passengers who will have lots of room.


The other participating vehicles had their own specifications. The Indcar is the first preseries electric Strada build by the Spanish company on a Daily electric chassis, but with Spanish batteries and technique. According to the Indcar-spokesperson  Barcelona has shown interest in 35 of them. Two years ago the Iveco Daily won the first Minibus of the Year Award. They were now present with the New Daily with some new safety systems, connecting possibilities and 22 seats. The Ferqui Sunrise is an innovative minibus with a capacity of 24 seats and even a wheelchair. With a width of almost 2,5 meter it offers a lot of space. The MAN TGE has a 4x4 driveline which is automatically started when needed. Innovative and very handy especially in hilly and mountain areas. A big sliding door gives access to the passenger compartment. This in Plauen manufactured minibus has an electronic controlled ramp and room for a wheelchair.


Next year the Minibus Euro Test will be held just before the FIAA bus and coach show in Madrid in October.


In September 2019 five coaches and their teams will travel together with the international jury to Romania to participate in the Coach Euro Test 2019. As always ZF and Busworld will sponsorize this event. The Coach of the Year award will be announced during Busworld Europe in Brussels.