Optare Excel

Optare Excel/NABI 700SE

Blackpool Transport Optare Excel in
Blackpool in May 2013

Interior of an Optare Excel L1060 in Malta
Manufacturer Optare
Production 1996-2004
Body and chassis
Doors 1-2
Floor type Low floor
Step-entrance (NABI 700SE)
Engine Cummins B-series/ISBe
Capacity 27-45 seated
Transmission Allison
Predecessor Optare Delta
Optare Sigma
Successor Optare Tempo

The Optare Excel was a low-floor full-size single-decker bus manufactured by Optare. Manufactured as an integral bus, the Excel was launched in 1995 as one of the first low floor single-deck vehicles, replacing the step-entrance Optare Sigma. The styling of the body was in keeping with existing Optare products. At the front, a simple flat panel with the Optare name was set between two pairs of twin headlamps, below a very large front windscreen. Approximately 600 were built.[1]


Power came from a Cummins 6BT, a 6-cylinder turbo diesel engine. A Mercedes-Benz 900 series engine was an option with the Excel 2. Both transmitted their power via an Allison B300R gearbox.


The Excel was built in a range of lengths, and in Optare tradition, the chassis code reflected this. An L960 was 9.6m in length; an L1000 was 10.0m in length, and so on; with L1070 and L1150 variants built. Seating ranged from 27 in the L960, 35 in the L1070, 43 in the L1150 and 45 in the L1180, although these figures can vary.

Excel 2

The Excel was updated in 1999, with the front similar to that of the Optare Solo and with round headlights, two less rear lights, and a repositioned fuel-filler cap. This was known as the Excel 2, which also replaced the Delta which by then had finished production, as well as the original Excel, which was still being sold until late 2000. Excel 2s were only built in L1070, L1150 and L1180 configurations.


United Kingdom

Large purchasers of Excels included Trentbarton (113), Reading Transport (45) and Travel West Midlands (35). It was operated by Transport for London operators Thorpes and Travel London.[1]


In Hungary the Excel 2 was sold under the NABI brand with 3 doors and using only Mercedes-Benz engines from 2002 until being sold off by Optare in 2005.

New Zealand

Ritchies Coachlines purchased 35 Excels.[2]


The Excel was replaced by the Optare Tempo, but the design is used for another Hungarian market bus, this time the NABI 700SE, which uses a Scania powerplant.


  1. 1 2 Optare Excel Bus Lists on the Web
  2. Ritchies Transport Holdings Australian Bus Feet Lists

External links

Media related to Optare Excel at Wikimedia Commons

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