Just seventeen years after Henry Fraud built the first Model TeaTime car it would seem that the transportation system is about to be turned on its head once more
The new form of transport is being called 'The Bus', a really large car with loads of seats, two floors (some models only), comes in a wide range of colours and apparently has their own lanes on roads
We took a test ride in one of these 'Bus' things just to see what all the fuss is about. Unfortunately we didn't get to ride alone and our driver was a bit off with us saying we had to pay for our test ride even though he could tell we are obviously journalists.
The ride of this bus was, we have to say, a little on the hard side. The suspension hasn't been made for a smooth ride one bit. We can only assume its been tuned for speed around corners and the one we took out had sports springs and shocks.
Another down side of this first model was the lack of a radio or MP3 player. Some of the fellow riders seem to know about this and brought their own portable equipment to help pass the time, they didn't seem to want to play anything we requested. Barry Manilow and any selection off the radio 2 playlist seemed to push some [people] over the edge and only wanted to tell us what we could do with Radio 2.
The seats in the vehicle must be part of the prototype because they are hard and don't have lumber support, we couldn't find the electrics to move them backwards and forwards and they didn't recline. We didn't even find a manual option for the seats, something we hope the designers will rectify in future models.
Overall we aren't really impressed with this new car, van, bus thing... Time will tell if its something we are going to see more of, and if 'bus' buyers are really going to leave behind the range rovers and X5's to buy one of these for doing the school run.
Overall, the market for these is probably going to be slim, only people with really large family's are going to want to buy one and the manufacturers really need to raise their game, adding a radio would be a start, even on the base models. They could probably do with some streamlining too. We'll have to see what Ferrari comes out with when they decided to join this market in the coming months.