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Front-engine bus with Allison’s automatic transmission receives praise from fleet owners and drivers

Agrale MA 17

The Agrale MA 17 model with automatic transmission, evaluated by Transportes Urbanos de Araçatuba, based in the interior of Sao Paulo, impresses with its performance and comfort.

SAO PAULO, Brazil - Allison Transmission, who presented a new interpretation for urban passenger transport in Brazil during the past year, confirms it is a good proposition in Brazil. A unit of Agrale MA 17 was assigned to Transportes Urbanos de Araçatuba (TUA) to be assessed for the qualities and advantages of a fully automatic transmission in its daily use. The company, which turns 50 in 2020, currently has a fleet of 47 vehicles, 36 of which have lifts for people with special needs. It serves 32 lines and has a staff that exceeds 100 people.

“In our evaluation period, the vehicle received praises from drivers and users,” said Luciano Castilho, TUA manager. “I drove the bus personally and agreed with the feedback given by the drivers who tested the vehicle. I was surprised by the precision and smoothness of the gear shifting, as well as the comfort.

The Agrale MA 17 chassis, equipped with an Allison 3000 Series™ transmission with integrated retarder, incorporates Allison xFE technology. Optimized gear ratios combined with the FuelSense® Max package allow the torque converter to lock at slower speeds, improving fuel economy. This front-engine chassis with fully automatic transmission is a success in Argentina, and is already arousing interest in other South American markets. The Brazilian version has been configured to receive three-door bodywork up to 13.2 meters in length and pneumatic suspension.

The evaluation period was not enough for the company to realize the other benefits of automatic transmissions, such as less vehicle downtime and low maintenance costs—mainly when it comes to changing clutch system components, which is frequent in manual gearboxes. “But our short experience did make clear the advantages of an Allison, especially in an application as heavy as public passenger transport where the vehicle stops and goes every 500 meters,” said Castilho.

According to the company, the users' response was also the best possible. New buses, air-conditioning and smooth gear shifting, all contributed to a major improvement in overall passenger comfort during commuting.

Allison's decades-long experience in Argentina shows that buses with fully automatic transmissions provide a much smoother, quieter ride for passengers and drivers because engines work at a lower ratio. Allison Automatics help make traffic flow more stable as they can brake and resume speed quickly, which is essential in cities with heavy traffic.

Jan 16, 2020

About Allison Transmission

Allison Transmission (NYSE: ALSN) is the world’s largest manufacturer of fully automatic transmissions for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles and is a leader in electric hybrid-propulsion systems for city buses. Allison transmissions are used in a variety of applications including refuse, construction, fire, distribution, bus, motorhomes, defense and energy. Founded in 1915, the company is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA and employs approximately 2,900 people worldwide. With a market presence in more than 80 countries, Allison has regional headquarters in the Netherlands, China and Brazil with manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Hungary and India. Allison also has approximately 1,400 independent distributor and dealer locations worldwide. For more information, visit