Minibus Options complete first accessible conversion on new Volkswagen Crafter

Minibus manufacturer Minibus Options have provided details of their conversion on the new Volkswagen Crafter, making them the only Accredited Convertor to bring out an accessible minibus on the Crafter to date.

After many months of research and development by Minibus Options’ production team, they have revealed one of their finished products. Based on the medium wheel-base ‘Startline’ FWD model, the 9 seat wheelchair accessible vehicle is compact and stylish, with it’s high-end finish on the interior, the Crafter definitely stands out from comparable models.

Specification

The clever lay-out of the saloon provides capacity for 8 passengers. But to facilitate passengers travelling in a wheelchair, Minibus Options include 4 removable seats and 1 folding seat which folds away against the body-side, to provide the required space for up to 2 wheelchair positions.

To make this vehicle wheelchair accessible, Minibus Options fitted the Crafter with an electro-hydraulic internal tail-lift, with the demonstration vehicle being fitted with an AMF Bruns Split lift capable of lifting 400kg, which is remotely operated from a hand control.

To aid drivers when manoeuvring, a reverse aid camera has been included with VDU (Visual Display Unit) fitted to the rear-view mirror, which gives a view of the area surrounding the rear of the vehicle reducing the chance of accidents.

To keep an adequate temperature throughout the saloon, a 2kw Eberspaecher diesel-fired heater has been installed ensuring passengers travelling on the minibus stay warm and comfortable.

Walk on access at the side load door is provided by an electrically operated step + fold out handrails.

What operation does this minibus suit?

This particular conversion is most likely to suit nursing home transportation. As a nursing home may operate a 9 seat vehicle as a commercial organisation without the need to consider operators licenses and all the other things that go with that. A care home naturally is providing care to people who are either elderly or disabled or a mixture of both, in which case this needs to be considered carefully in terms of the type of specification required.

Operations such as a nursing home need to take into consideration the need to carry staff alongside residents who are in a wheelchair and how many staff would need to be accommodated in the saloon.

Standard Volkswagen Crafter features

The new Volkswagen Crafter has definitely got plenty of variation with the different body and engines sizes available, along with many safety features which come as standard on the new model.

The new Crafter – available with an 8-speed automatic gearbox and a choice of three different drive systems. The 8-speed automatic transmission can be combined with three different drive systems. It has been specially calibrated for the Crafter’s specific driving characteristics, enabling both comfortable and consumption-optimised handling.

VW Crafter options

FWD engine options:

  • 102ps 6-speed manual gearbox
  • 140ps on either 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic
  • 177ps on either 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic

RWD engine options:

  • 122ps 6-speed manual gearbox*
  • 140ps 6-speed manual*
  • 177ps on either 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic

*Note that the RWD option for 122ps engine is only available in combination with twin tyres, whereas the 140ps engine is only available in combination with single tyres

4MOTION AWD engine options:

  • 140ps 6-speed manual gearbox
  • 177ps engine on either 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic.

Safety Features:

  • Front Assist with City Emergency Braking System detects critical distances, warns of hazardous situations and when necessary, triggers emergency braking. Comes as standard across the new Crafter range.
  • Crosswind Assist is installed as part of the Electronic Stabilisation Programme (ESP) and applies adaptive braking intervention when the vehicle encounters a strong crosswind. Comes as standard across the new Crafter range.
  • Automatic Post-Collision Braking System triggers braking after a collision, with the aim of preventing secondary collisions. Comes as standard across the new Crafter range.

Sales Director from Minibus Options, Fred James, said;

“We are proud to be one of the only three minibus convertors to be accredited on the new Crafter. There is a high level of interest in this new product and we will be providing demonstrations all over the UK throughout 2018. If you would like to see the vehicle, or would like to receive a tailor made specification based on the new Crafter, please get in touch.”