FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Initial units to feature rear living room floorplans
UNION CITY, IN, Nov 21, 2006
-"” Monaco Coach Corporation is immediately taking advantage of the new Workhorse UFO™ chassis by using it for two motor home models with rear living room floorplans.
The Monaco LaPalma
and Holiday Rambler Vacationer
motor homes are now available on the new rear-engine gas platform from Workhorse Custom Chassis. Monaco Coach Corporation is the second motor home manufacturer to announce models built on the new chassis.
Both the Monaco LaPalma and Holiday Rambler Vacationer will offer the 37PLT floorplan. According to Monaco Coach Vice President of Product Development Pat Carroll, "¯This innovative floorplan features a rear living room, front entrance door, and 26,000-pound GVWR. The flat floor design of the Workhorse UFO™ chassis enables us to create a new living space unlike anything seen in the motor home industry before."
In most rear-engine motor homes, the bedroom has to be in back, so the bed and cabinets can cover the protruding engine and cooling system. Not so with the Workhorse UFO™ chassis.
Among other things, UFO stands for Universal Floorplan Option "” the reconfigured drivetrain and frame that allows the first truly universal open-floor design capability, enabling a more creative mix of gas-, diesel- and towable-based floorplan designs.
"Workhorse UFO™ is a chassis that will enable companies like Monaco Coach to provide exciting new choices for the RV customer,"¯ said Workhorse Vice President of Sales and Marketing Bob Wert. "As the customer's advocate to the RV industry, this is exactly the kind of product we strive for."¯
The initial gas-powered Workhorse UFO™ platform, now in production, is the first such rear-engine platform the industry has seen in over two decades. Workhorse UFO™ offers the same GM Vortec™ 8.1L engine that helped make Workhorse's front-engine W Series the most popular platform available.
A Significant Market
Workhorse UFO™-based motor homes are expected to attract people currently considering the purchase of a high-end gas or low-end diesel motor home, a segment of the motor home market with broad appeal.
"We love having the ability to offer unique gas floorplans on a Workhorse UFO™ chassis,"¯ said Carroll. "Previous gas motor home buyers now have a great reason to trade up out of their front engine gas coach."¯
Workhorse UFO™ advantages begin with its lightweight design. The 26,000 lb. GVWR gas-powered Workhorse UFO™ is 2,000 pounds lighter than existing 28,000 lb. GVWR diesel chassis, giving the Workhorse UFO™ the same carrying capacity as the latter at a significantly lower price tag. What's more, gas engines provide savings in maintenance costs versus diesels. With less mass to move, the 8.1L GM Vortec gas powerplant can outperform equivalent diesel engines. The Workhorse UFO™ will also have more carrying capacity than existing 26,000 lb. GVWR diesel platforms.
At the same time, a lowered engine and a unique rear suspension developed with Hendrickson contribute to the Workhorse UFO™''s exceptional ride and handling. "We've eliminated the choice RVers often have to make between a better riding versus a better handling coach,"¯ said Wert. "You have to drive it to believe it "” there's no compromise with the Workhorse UFO™ chassis."¯
"The ride and handling of this chassis is superb,"¯ confirmed Carroll. That observation was echoed by a host of motor home owners who test drove the new chassis at RV shows in Pennsylvania and California this fall.
Said Ronald Seyfried of Jim Thorpe, Pa., "The first thing that impressed me was the handling of the coach. You can actually take your hand off the steering wheel and still go straight. The handling through the turns was unbelievable, no body lean whatsoever. The quietness of having the engine in the back was great. Overall, a Workhorse chassis with a rear-engine gas is just unbelievable."¯
A 55-degree wheel cut makes the motor home more maneuverable in tight spots than any gas chassis, and is comparable to the best diesel chassis available today. Recent testing of the Workhorse UFO™ HPB Quadraulic™ brakes also rated them as superior to competitive air brakes. The drivetrain uses an Allison 2000 Series six-speed automatic transmission that includes Transmission Grade Braking, ultra protective synthetic transmission fluid, standard push-button shifter and a 5-year, 200,000-mile transmission warranty.
Survey Says: Put The Noise In Back!
Workhorse did extensive market research in designing the chassis, said Wert. "At Workhorse, we're all about giving RVers what they want. This chassis is the result of extensive homework and collaboration with key OEMs."¯
Market research conducted for Workhorse showed that more than 70 percent of current motor home owners would prefer a rear-engine motor home while more than 50 percent of them would prefer a gas engine. Sixty-six percent of all current motor home owners said they would consider buying a rear-engine gas motor home.
The advantages of a rear-engine include less cabin noise, less cabin heat, and, without the front-to-back drive shaft, less vibration and the opportunity to build in pass through basement storage. The front rather than side entry door is also a plus for floorplan variety, and the lack of a "doghouse"¯ engine cover in the cab makes it easier to move in the cockpit.
Many test drive participants noted how much quieter the gas-powered Workhorse UFO™ is than comparable front-engine gas motor homes. "Because of the rear-engine configuration, the quietness when driving this chassis is a dream come true,"¯ said Carroll.
Compared to existing diesels, the gas Workhorse UFO™ is also much more affordable. This will be especially true in 2007 when all diesel platforms will experience upward cost pressure as they incorporate changes to meet new, more stringent emissions standards. However, many people appreciate the greater torque of the diesel engine in certain situations, or just like the cachet of owning a diesel. With the Workhorse UFO™, they have a choice.
A Game Changer
"¯The whole concept of a universal fuel option that enables a flat floor is a game-changing breakthrough. It creates an entirely new category of motor home,"¯ said Wert. "It's not a front gas or a rear diesel; it's a ... Workhorse UFO™."¯
"Monaco Coach is the industry leader in rear pusher motor home innovation,"¯ said Wert. "So we're very pleased to join with them in this announcement. We're very pleased to support their next step in rear power innovation."¯
Expect more Workhorse UFO™ sightings soon. Workhorse is working with other major manufacturers that are developing coaches with the Workhorse UFO™ chassis.
Monaco Coach Corporation is one of the nation's leading manufacturers of recreational vehicles. Headquartered in Coburg, Ore., with substantial manufacturing facilities in Indiana, Monaco Coach Corporation employs approximately 6,000 people. Monaco Coach offers entry-level priced towable RVs up to custom made luxury recreational vehicle models under the Monaco, Holiday Rambler, Safari, Beaver, McKenzie and R-Vision brand names. Monaco Coach Corporation trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "MNC
", and the Company is included in the S&P Small-Cap 600 stock index. For additional information about Monaco Coach Corporation, please visit Monaco Online.com
or Trail Lite.com
Workhorse Custom Chassis
Workhorse Custom Chassis is ISO 9001 certified and a leader in the manufacture of chassis for motor homes, walk-in trucks and buses. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Truck and Engine Corporation. International produces IC brand school buses, school bus chassis, mid-range diesel engines, International brand medium and heavy trucks, and severe service vehicles. International also provides parts and service sold under the International® brand. Both Workhorse and International are subsidiaries of Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV
). For additional information call 877-294-6773 or visit Workhorse.com