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N.E.W. Launches Frontrunner® Lowered Floor Bus

Updated: Jun 10, 2022

Introducing the NEW Standard in Lowered Floor Commercial Transportation. When we set out to design and build the country’s first true lowered floor fully composite ⁱ front wheel drive mini-bus we were determined to break the mold. For decades the American bus industry has relied on tubular steel bus body structures built on rear wheel drive chassis that are heavy, fuel inefficient, and where ride-quality and vehicle aesthetics are often an after-thought.

With the introduction of the front-wheel drive Pro-Master cutaway the opportunity to be unencumbered by a rear drive-train allowed our engineering team to design a true lowered floor mini-bus that redefines what up until now has only been available on larger transit style buses.

A traditional 15 passenger bus does not address the needs of our aging population. For many of the country’s aging baby boomers, navigating three 10.5” steps can be an impossible task. For those confined to wheelchairs, the notion of being hoisted four feet in the air can be an uncomfortable experience. For operators, traditional wheelchair lifts take up valuable space, add significant weight to the vehicle, limited seating capacity, and most importantly serve as a source of frequent downtime due to service related interruptions.

The Frontrunner from New England Wheels changes all of this and redefines what commercial transportation in the 15 passenger class should be! Step in height in the kneeling position of only 8.5” makes entry and egress more universally acceptable than a traditional three step bus. Our simple reliable aluminum ramp weighs a mere 60 pounds and meets the proposed ADA standard of 6:1. When the ramp is not needed its low profile swing out functionality preserves valuable passenger space. Fold-away seating for up to six passengers provides the flexibility of accommodating up to three wheelchair positions with the benefit of knowing that ambulatory seating is available when wheelchair accessibility is not needed.

With the challenge of building a mini-bus whose GVWR is less than 9,350 pounds our engineers have stepped outside of the box of traditional bus design and thinking to bring to market a light-weight, fuel efficient, flexible, and comfortable 15 passenger transportation solution. As attractive as it is functional, this ground breaking patented design replaces traditional steel with composite materials that are lighter and stronger than a traditional bus design. Our unique use of sandwich panels for our bus structure provides a rattle free, quiet, and smooth ride with additional thermal properties no tubular steel construction can offer. High strength structural adhesives replace traditional steel welding offering the latest in bus building technology.

We hope you too will experience the finest lowered floor mini-bus available in the market today. We will continue to re-define value and introduce cutting edge products that shape the way America transports passengers of all ages and abilities.


Paul LaRose


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