FULL STORY AND PICTURES: EVM Direct is launching the new premium market Altas Viator – based on the new Iveco Daily 210hp – in the UK and Irish markets
Viator is “developed for comfort, functionality and style with passengers at the heart of every decision,” says EVM.
Altas Auto is a Lithuanian minibus and mini coach manufacturer, established in 2002.
Minibuses were always the company’s strategic priority, but since 2016 when the company started to develop the idea of entering the midi-coach market with the developed of the Viator offering optimal layouts of 25 to 29 seats + guide and driver and the latest edition of the PSVAR compliant option.
From idea to concept
Developing Viator, The company made very deep competitors’ analysis in different markets, they researched competitors’ analogic products and refined the best qualities, adds EVM.
Customer research and EVM sales representatives from various countries were also included in the research, to get to know their opinion about the key features and parameters of the vehicle the market required.
In that way, Altas Auto included the most important functions to meet the maximum amount of client expectations and would have the best features. The philosophy behind the idea of Viator is simple as that: the sum of all good midi-coach qualities is the balance of everyone’s needs.
“We had a goal to enter the midi-bus market. Manufacturing minibuses is what we were doing for a long time, but the midi-bus development requires a lot more of manufacturer know-how,” says CEO Edvardas Radzevičius.
The first idea about a midi-bus came at the end of 2016 after the company moved to a new factory.
Additional resources, an increase in production capacity, and bigger human resource possibilities accelerated Altas Auto to start intense new product research and development stage.
The basic idea was to develop a tourist version midibus because at that time the tourist buses were flagship models of the Altas Auto offering.
“The vehicle building process began almost from scratch, only the chassis and engine were borrowed from Iveco Daily, but everything else had to be developed only according to the best and most important features we had in our mind,” says Mr Radzevičius.
After more than one year of engineering and designing, the concept vehicle, named Viator (Traveller in Latin) was made and presented in the 2018 IAA exhibition in Hanover.
Since 2019 Altas was fully prepared to start serial production for Europe and currently the company has finished the right-hand drive model for the UK and Ireland to launch in October 2020.
Strategy and development
Entering the midi-coach segment, the company’s aimed to compete in the market while offering clients higher added value and quality products.
Viator is planned to “create an emotion, driving pleasure for driver and comfort for passengers so the perfect first impression lasts all the time of the use of the mini-coach,” says Atlas.
“The vehicle building process began almost from scratch, only the chassis and engine were borrowed from Iveco Daily, but everything else had to be developed only according to the best and most important features we had in our mind”Edvardas Radzevičius, CEO, Altas Auto
The emotion is the Viator’s design itself and the comfort is the vehicle’s quality and aesthetics.
Altas designers were seeking that both exterior and interior would be expressive, memorable, but also ergonomic and optimal for every user.
Applying knowledge of Altas Auto customer’s industry daily routine, keeping the bus in good condition we know how it is important for it to be easily cleaned and practical from all aspects, so even the small details in the Viator are designed to be long-lasting.
Altas Auto decided to look for solutions in Lithuania among young Lithuanian designers and they offered this task to a young designer who has studied in the Lithuanian arts academy.
Engineers specified all the requirements for him which he could not ignore and everything else was left for the designer‘s creativity and improvisation.
That is how the design was born, which later was nominated for A‘Design Awards 2019 and took a winning place.
This co-operation showed Altas Auto that it can develop vehicles purely using Lithuanian resources.
Technology and features
To produce the main frame of the Viator‘s body, Altas uses stainless steel, which is purpose made for the automotive industry.
All the exterior components are made from the glassfibre, so the vehicle is corrosion resistant. More than 40 forms from which unique parts are made and used to manufacture a single Altas Viator.
The vehicle body was designed giving attention to noise insulation and weight reduction. A lot of composite plastic materials are used, which are lighter than plywood used by others.
The roof has two wings on each side of the vehicle for a subtle cover for the air-conditioner and connects to the rear spoiler which has an integrated reverse camera and lights.
The side elements of the vehicle are made from glassfibre, except the side luggage flaps, they are aluminium which is also lightweight, and corrosion proof.
A lot of focus was given for rear and side luggage flaps to open easily and the reach of different luggage sections would be easy.
For example, the rear luggage compartment can be reached from the back and the sides so the luggage reach over the compartment would not be complicated.
The luggage compartment at rear is 2.8m³ while on each side there is up to 1m³ luggage space, this is enough space without even including the roof luggage racks inside the vehicle.
Viator has an optimal length of 8.5 metres and the GVW is 7,200kg. As a result of regulations for this class of vehicles, the length could not be any longer as a longer vehicle means more weight, so the designers put a lot of effort to provide the mini-coach as much spaciousness as possible while keeping the weight up to safe and legal limits.
The engineers and designers paid close attention to strictly meet the road-legal passenger vehicles regulations.
Altas Auto says that some competitors work unfairly and offer vehicles whose gross weight strongly exceeding the limits, so the client takes a high risk by using that kind of vehicle which is potentially dangerous for their company, passengers, and all surrounding road users.
Altas engineers put a lot of effort to make the driver’s position comfortable, and ergonomic.
The control units are designed to be easily reachable and have a convenient layout of the buttons and other control modules.
The driver’s seat has an air suspension which reduces the vibrations during the journey.
The combustion control unit (CAN open interface) is the most important electrical control unit in the vehicle. The driver can see the most important information on the screen of the control unit. Even the lock status of separate luggage compartments is shown.
Also, the windscreen of the vehicle is as big as possible to increase the visibility of the driver and the rear parking sensors are available for maximum driving comfort.
The convenient layout of electric installations allows the driver the opportunity to have all the controls in one place so the operations are easy to master.
In the passenger saloon, all the detail and form do not have any sharp edges or questionable design issues.
Luggage rack and interior design was developed bearing in mind the light distribution inside the vehicle. The roof is light-coloured plastic to reflect the light from the light modules.
This solution was designed to diffuse the light in the interior to prevent passengers been dazzling from the lighting.
Altas engineers designed the rear door to be wide enough so it could fit individuals with wheelchairs using the special lift to fulfil PSVAR requirements.
It operates via the rear emergency door on the left-hand side.
For driver and passengers’ comfort a refrigerator is available as an option with a volume of 80 litres, installed in front of the vehicle.
To meet the today’s passenger needs, Wi-Fi and USB sockets are available inside the saloon.
As the Viator is a high-end flagship mini-coach it equipped with monitor and DVD and natural leather seats with various colouring and material options to choose from, so the customer can fulfil the perfect interior vision.
Summing up all the technologies and features used in the Viator the idea is to offer exceptional class and design products together with quality, using only high-end components and materials. The functionality and comfort go hand to hand with the Viator, adds Atlas.
Altas Auto is happy to present with EVM Direct the 2nd generation facelifted Viator version as a first for the UK and Irish market.
The more powerful engine, improved driver’s cabin, and exterior design are the key improvements for the company’s flagship model.
The new 3l diesel engine has a total of 210hp, so the mini-coach is more dynamic than ever and powerful enough to be comfortable even in uphill roads.
Every model has air suspension, Telma retarder, 8-speed auto box and highly efficient air-conditioning with the power of 18kW and heating system with 12kW of power.
Some important details are improved in the right-hand drive Viator’s exterior: the new front full LED headlights and LED fog lights make the vehicle look more futuristic than ever.
Rear lights are also updated so the bus has new touches from all sides. The interior is improved too, the new redesigned steering wheel gives the driver a quality feel of the brand and some other improvements made for comfort and better user experience.
The first-right hand drive Viator models are already on the way to the UK and Ireland so do not miss the opportunity to experience it personally, says EVM.
Altas’ long term partner in the UK and Ireland – EVM Direct – is ready to answer all your questions about this exclusive mini-coach which EVM believes will be a welcome addition to their already well established product line up.
For more information on the Viator contact EVM Direct on 0845 5205160 or [email protected]