|The Wright Solar Rural concept bus (Wrightbus)|
In the past two weeks for Oddball Wednesday we've taken a look at two very rare Wright Eclipse derivatives. This week we take a look at our third and final Wrightbus oddity, being the Solar Rural.
In 2008, Wrightbus were contracted to design and build a batch of forty five new concept buses for Northern Irish operator Ulsterbus. The buses were specifically designed for Ulsterbus rural services through a close partnership between operator and manufacturer.
Based on a slightly modified Scania K230UB chassis, from the outside there is little difference to a standard Wright Solar. The interior, however, was remarkably different to any other bus on the market at the time. In the front half of the saloon seats are in a 'two plus two' format (As in a typical bus), in the rear of the saloon on a higher than usual raised area seating is in a three plus two format. Notably, all seats face forwards or backward with high backs and integral three point seatbelts. The first forty five were delivered in December 2008, and one stray in February 2009. A further forty eight were delivered between March and November 2010.