Optare launches new Optare Tempo SR

Optare launched a new updated version of the Optare Tempo at Coach & Bus Live earlier this week, called the Optare Tempo SR it has a totally redesigned body with a hint of Versa and Solo SR styling included, as a fan of the original Tempo when I first saw this new model my reaction was initially yuck! but as I have looked at it in more detail I am starting to like its new styling although I am still a bit unsure about the rear end design.

The first 13 production models including the one on display at Coach & Bus Live are for Trent Barton, below is Optare's official press relase about the new vehicle and photographs kindly supplied by Gregg Collins to whom they are copyright.

With the introduction of its new Tempo SR model at Coach & Bus Live 2011, Optare is aiming to be an even stronger contender in the 10 to 12 metre heavy-duty single-deck sector of the UK market.

The first Tempo SRs will be completed before the end of the year. With Optare’s new plant at Sherburn in Elmet now coming on stream, the company is much better positioned to pursue high volume business with the large fleets as well as meeting demand from its extensive customer base in the independent sector for buses in this category.

The totally restyled Tempo SR replaces the Tempo model which is renowned for its low weight, contributing to exceptional fuel efficiency, its durability, reliability, passenger appeal and performance.

Optare is offering the new model in three body lengths of 10.6, 11.3 and 12.0 metres with standard seating capacities ranging from 35 to 43. Amongst the wide range of customised internal layout configurations are the options of cantilevered seats, sculpted wheelarch seats and luggage pens.

The 12 metre SR model on show weighs in at just 9650 kgs (fitted with double glazing and cantilevered seats), giving it a potential to carry up to 85 passengers. However, for high passenger density operations, such as airport transfer duties, in excess of 100 passengers can be carried.

The appearance of the new SR model is, however, significantly different. It has a more rounded front and rear styling in line with that of other models in the Optare range resulting in a bus that is more evidently from the same stable.

Trent Barton
Front/Side shot of new Optare Tempo SR (c) Gregg Collins

new rear end of Optare Tempo SR
Rear shot or new Optare Tempo SR (c) Gregg Collins

Proven driveline and electronics:

The Tempo SR is offered with the 6.37 litre Mercedes-Benz OM906L six-cylinder unit as the standard power unit. This delivers 210kW (282 bhp) at 2200 rpm and 1120 Nm of torque at between 1200 and 1600 rpm to ensure smooth move-offs in all road and load conditions. The engine meets Euro 5 emissions standards through the use of SCR technology and AdBlue as a re-agent.

As with all Optare integral models, the entire power pack and transmission is housed in an easily removable cradle using a system pioneered by Optare and which has become a hallmark of the company’s products. This enables fast engine removal for major repairs and can also facilitate conversion to other fuel or propulsion systems, such as low carbon fuels, hybrid systems and even battery power, to bring an element of future-proofing to the model.

Operators can specify one of two fully automatic transmissions, both of which feature integral retarders. The Allison T310R five-speed is the standard fitment, with the ZF6HP500 six-speed as an option.

Tempo SR features the Actia multiplexed electrical system, which enables faults to be checked, located and remedied quickly and easily using a lap-top based diagnostic programme. The system is designed to allow the factory fitment of a wide range of optional equipment and functions, including CCTV systems, reversing cameras, passenger counting devices, ticketing machines and tachographs. A full telematics package can also include a remote diagnostics capability and vehicle tracking to support timekeeping and route adherence.

LED lighting is used for all exterior lamps, excluding the halogen headlamps, making the Tempo SR more visible in poor light conditions.

Passenger comfort assured:

The Tempo SR is a very accessible bus for people of all levels of mobility. The wide two-leaf glider entrance door makes access easy and a ‘bookleaf’ manual wheelchair ramp is standard with a powered ramp as an option. The wheelchair bay includes a backrest and pivoting gangway armrest. In its normal position the entrance step height is 333mm, which reduces to just 245mm when the front air bags are exhausted.

The tinted deep side windows ensure a bright and airy feeling inside the saloon which is enhanced by uplighting throughout to create a pleasant ambience in all conditions. The 35mm track-mounted handrails are curved, adding to the stylish interior, and incorporate palm operated bell pushes with a ‘stopping’ sign.

Exceptionally low interior noise levels have been achieved by optimising the insulation package and through the use of a drive axle engineered for smoother, quieter running. Drive by noise levels are also low, making the Tempo SR well suited to operation in town and city centre environments.

interior view of Optare Tampon SR for Trent Barton
Interior view of new Optare Tempo SR (c) Gregg Collins

Driver friendly features:

Driver comfort and safety have been key factors in the design of the Tempo SR with all instruments and controls ergonomically laid out to ensure ease of use without distraction from driving.

The moulded driver’s compartment is designed for easy cleaning; the seat is fully adjustable to allow a comfortable posture to be quickly adopted as drivers change; and the telescopic steering column can be altered for both reach and rake. Two high-powered windscreen demisters ensure good visibility and a cab heater helps to provide a comfortable working environment.

A notable feature is the Eco Drive dashboard, which is now a standard feature across the Optare integral range. This takes information from the Actia multiplex system and presents it in a simple visual format, telling the driver at a glance how their driving is affecting fuel consumption and passenger comfort and safety. The system has been clearly shown to deliver significant fuel efficiency improvements in operation in other Optare models.

new cab for Optare Tempo SR
Drivers area on new Optare Tempo SR (c) Gregg Collins

Durable construction for long life:

Tempo SR is built using the proven integral construction principles for which Optare is renowned. The basis of the model is an all-welded, heavy-duty, box section system combining stainless and high-grade carbon steel to deliver low weight with strength and durability.

Anti-rust protection is applied to all exposed structural components for long life. A combination of glass fibre and aluminium modular exterior panels also contribute to longevity and reduced weight as well as being designed for low-cost, fast and easy replacement.