Created on 20-08-2014 at 00:11 AM
To make the Bayern bus driver’s dreams come true - and on his 50th birthday no less – you need a little bit of magic. And indeed, the Allianz Arena was a glittering gold in the evening sun before dramatically turning its familiar red, providing the backdrop to clouds of smoke and a shower of sparks as master illusionist Julius Frack conjured the new Bayern team bus onto the stage (www.youtube.com/fcbayern).
“All our wishes have been fulfilled,” beamed FCB bus driver and birthday boy Michael Lauerbach after Tuesday evening’s one-hour unveiling in front of some 300 invited guests. Since November last year, he and colleagues Sandra König and Armin Kriz have been actively involved in the development of the new MAN Lion's Coach L Supreme. “Unbelievable! The interior looks like the Space Shuttle,” a visibly thrilled König commented.
A modern Euro6 diesel engine generating 480 horsepower and a 12-gear automatic transmission form the mechanical heart of the new 14-metre FCB flagship. The drivers are provided with a multifunction steering wheel and the latest safety features including a 360° exterior camera. There is a fully equipped on-board kitchen, while the players benefit from satellite TV, 19-inch LCD Monitors, W-LAN and the Lufthansa infotainment programme.
Best bus for the best club
“The bus lacks nothing,” commented MAN Truck & Bus AG research and development director Bernd Maierhofer, “it’s equipped to the highest standards and top levels of comfort.” MAN SE head of corporate communications Andreas Lampersbach said: “MAN is providing the best club in the world with the best bus.”
“You can't compare it with what we had in the past,” reflected FCB brand ambassador Paul Breitner, recalling buses with wooden benches from his playing days in the 1970s. Matthias Sammer also talked of the entirely different circumstances during the early stages of his playing career in Dresden. “There was no air conditioning. We were always sweating, and the flies dropped dead when they landed,” the FCB board director quipped.
Sammer: Our home from home
Nowadays the MAN Lion's Coach L Supreme rates as part of the supporting infrastructure backing Bayern on their way to trophy triumphs. “It helps us achieve peak performance,” Sammer said, “the bus is a bit like our living room.” No matter where the team emerges from their plane prior to away matches, the bus is already there and waiting, “and it gives you a feeling of coming home.” Unfortunately, MAN cannot pre-equip the bus with league points, Maierhofer grinned. “But I hope it will witness more happy and relaxed days than sad ones. That's what we built the bus for.”
Lampersbach reckons the new Bayern bus “could be a lucky charm for the new season.” The vehicle’s first outing comes this Friday when it conveys Pep Guardiola and his team from their overnight hotel to the Bundesliga restart clash at the Allianz Arena. Michael Lauerbach will be at the wheel in another magic moment for Tuesday's birthday boy.
The new Bayern bus: facts and figures
Length: 13.8 metres
Width: 2.55 metres
Height: 3.8 metres
Engine: Six-cylinder diesel :(Euro 6)
Power: 353 kw/480 hp