A BEFORE AND AN AFTER IN THE ECUADORIAN BUS INDUSTRY WITH THE MIRAL IM9DD

Colombiabus Newsroom – William Marroquín

FIRST LUXURY TWO-FLOOR BUS BUILT IN ECUADOR

Ecuador is one of the few countries in Latin America that still has a local auto body industry and that, for many years, its transporters have been served by the supply of national builders. However, in recent years, it has been seen how the transporters of the Andean nation have been more open to the incorporation of foreign buses, mainly from Brazil, China, Peru and Colombia.

A bodywork industry where great care is put into the interior finishes, although it has also been considered one of the paradises of copies, based on several of the best-selling models from all over the continent. An issue that is even already in legal proceedings, that was seen to come and that is also both a warning bell, and the opportunity for Ecuadorian builders to start, once and for all, the development of totally original creations, making the most of the potential of your industry.

Miral Autobuses, based in Ambato, is one of those few builders that shies away from copies, collecting what is set by world trends, customer feedback and market experiences.

With these bases, Miral began in 2019 the development of a luxury double-decker bus, suitable for the main 6X2 rear-engine chassis available in Latin America. A few weeks ago, it became a pioneer in Ecuador presenting its model for this road segment, marking a milestone with the new IM9DD, at the height of the most used in this region and seeking international expansion.

A launch for all of Latin America where Cooperativa San Cristóbal, which in December 2021 will celebrate 50 years of history, became the first client of IM9DD. The Tulcán company, on the border with Colombia, has recently carried out an important renewal of its fleet with which it crosses the country reaching Huaquillas, on the border with Peru.

STYLE AND DISTINCTION

In its exterior appearance, the Miral IM9DD has a mix of styles from other buses in the region, with its front with elongated trapezoidal lamps and round LED fog light units, the elements that give it its identity, along with the large external rear-view mirrors advanced. On the sides, the almost square wheel arches and the low angle of the second-level panorama give it a robust appearance.

The windows of the second level are integrated with those of the first, by means of curved side windows in the driver’s area and straight ones in the passenger area with a black glass. At the rear, the grille identifies features seen in other double-decker buses, especially the Colombian ones. A careful exterior finish allows achieving sobriety without losing appeal.

AN OASIS FOR THE TRAVELER

If the exterior looks sober, the interior immediately conveys distinction and luxury. Light gray plastic pieces and dark-toned seats combine with LED lighting for the driver and passenger areas, as well as chromatherapy. Very attractive material details and soft touch buttons for the reading lights and air conditioning vents are present on the roof rack.

Semi-bed seats, inspired by European coaches, but with greater width and thicker backrest, include calf supports combining black, gray and red stitching. Reclining up to 150 degrees, they feature memory gel technology, all equipped with three-point retractable seat belts, power outlets and individual entertainment screens.

A provision of 16 seats on the first level where the toilet is and 48 on the second, maintaining the same services for travelers on each floor, in accordance with the specification of Cooperativa San Cristóbal.

A LUXURIOUS AND MODERN OFFICE

A leather-trimmed millaré presides over the instrument cluster and brings it to a higher level where all controls are easily accessible to reduce distraction for the driver, whose seat is air-suspended and adjusts to his weight. Cabin ventilation and lighting functions are centralized in the Multiplex panel, the operator’s bedroom is also very comfortable, equipped with an audio, video and air conditioning system.

It is worth highlighting the inclusion of the ADAS active safety package and its three systems: adaptive cruise control to regulate speed and distance, automatic emergency braking and warning of involuntary lane departure; all of them act without the driver’s intervention, with sensors that capture the information to make decisions autonomously.

As if that were not enough, Miral’s IM9DD becomes one of the first Latin American buses to equip the camera system with high-resolution video monitors, so that drivers have optimal visibility, better calculate maneuvers and eliminate blind spots. They can be combined with traditional electrically adjustable exterior mirrors.

It should be noted that Miral Autobuses ensures the supply of components such as cabin thermoforming, toilets, seats, cameras and the interface to operate the entertainment screens, among others, specifically developed by its subsidiary Miviltech.

BEYOND ECUADOR

The project was defined at the end of 2019, the first chassis arrived in May 2020 at the bus plant, with a production process that was resumed after overcoming the mandatory confinement restrictions. At the premiere of Cooperativa San Cristóbal, it is expected that it will soon become an International Pan-American famous for its routes between Ecuador and Venezuela.

The bus released by Cooperativa San Cristóbal is valued at $350,000, considering equipment such as inflight entertainment and driver assistance systems. There are multiple options for toilets, refrigerators, colors, connectivity elements, seats and other accessories for transporters to configure the bus of their dreams.

A model that should motivate other Ecuadorian builders to exploit their potential, integrating engineering and industrial design, to bring transport solutions out of the natural market. Miral Autobuses took the step with an attractive bus in tune with the most popular models of the segment in the region, and it will be in the fight, because it is not lacking in arguments to compete.

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