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• Almost five years after the original launch of its stylish Contour single-deck coach body Northern Ireland-based bodybuilder Wright's of Ballymena has introduced a new high-floor version: the Contour Imperial.
The latest 12m high-floor Contour body will be offered as a 12m long body, either on the Volvo 1310M chassis — which can be specified with a 183, a 206 or 213kW engine — or the Leyland Tiger chassis, which can be specified with either the TL11, Gardner 6 HLXCT or the recently-introduced Cummins L10 engine.
Standard specification on the 53-seat Imperial includes a demountable toilet, full luxury interior trim and "substantial luggage space".
Although Wright's expects the 3.4m-high Contour Imperial to generate new interest among luxury coach operators, it will continue to offer the Contour body in the original 3.2m-high standard form.
According to managing director William Wright the Contour, which was originally aunched on the relatively unsophisticated Bedford chassis, has now gone beyond its original customer market to become a "high quality body on a high quality chassis."
In common with its lowheight predecessor, the Contour Imperial is built using the modular Alusuisse aluminium exterior panelling system based on a conventional steel subframe.
The original Bedford-based Contour was introduced in the Neu; from Wright's of Ballymena: the high-floor Contour Imperial.
autumn of 1982, having been developed with the help of GM's styling studio. Over 40 Bedford Contours have been sold in the UK.
0 Following the recent launch of its TC404 midibus body based on the Mercedes 404, Wright's is planning to introduce a new 30-35 seater body for the newly-introduced Leyland Swift (CM 25 April), and Iveco Ford 79.14 chassis. The new mid-range body will be available in either Welfare, PSV or full coach versions.
With the launch of its latest Contour, Wright's hopes to increase the number of staff it employs at its Ballymena and Motherwell (Scotland) plants.