Hino to Debut ‘Poncho’ at the 2013 Australian Bus and Coach Show

Hino have announced three buses that they will have on display at the Australian Bus and Coach Show this September, including the public debut of the stylish Poncho mini-bus.

Hino will also present the Melpha, as well as a brand new FD240 bus chassis. Both the Poncho and the Melpha are being presented in Australia in order to evaluate their suitability for the market.

The Hino Poncho

The Hino Poncho mini bus

The Poncho measures a bit less than 7 metres long and a bit over 2 metres wide, dimensions through which it is able to accommodate 18 seated passengers with ten standing in the aisle.

Thanks to its compactness and 6.4-metre turning circle, Hino says that the Poncho is well suited for manoeuvring through congested city streets.

Kevin Fielding, the National Sales Manager for Hino Australia, says that "Its long wheelbase and short overhangs are an ideal basis for a low-floor, nimble bus that doesn't sacrifice stability or passenger comfort in the name of manoeuvrability"

"We see this as a community transport option that is ideal for retirement communities and as a rural-route bus, as well as ex-services and sporting clubs," he adds.

The Poncho that will be on display is equipped with a 177 horsepower, Euro 5-compliant, J05D four-cylinder engine, but there exists hybrid and electric models already operating in Japan.

The Hino Melpha

The Hino Melpha bus

The larger sibling of the Poncho, the Melpha, measures in at 9 metres long and 2.4 metres wide. The extra size allows it to accommodate 35 passengers.

The Melpha has a 226 horsepower, 6.4-litre, J07 turbo-diesel engine. It will also use an Allison five-speed automatic transmission, and have a turning circle of 7.4 metres thanks to its small wheelbase.

The Hino FD240

Finally, Hino will also present a brand-new FD240 bus chassis, which will be fitted with a P & D Coachworks 45-seat body.  Check out Gary Worral's Hino FD240 bus review.

Hino says that the P & D Coachworks body on display will comprise of "lightweight fibreglass panels over a tough galvanised steel frame."

Mee’s Bus Line is expected to receive one of the Hino FD240’s in Melbourne by late 2014.

You can look out for more coverage of these buses at the Australian Bus and Coach show, which will run from the 25th to the 26th of September at Sydney Olympic Park.


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