Above: Company View
A new heavy truck brand enters the Polish market. Customers can now submit commercial inquiries, and practical tests with Polish carriers will begin next week. The price list is also officially known, and the first 20 seats have been reserved for domestic customers in production. In short, it is really dangerous and soon completely new cars will appear on Polish roads. Since I am always very curious at such moments, I went at the first possible opportunity to the importer to see his product with my own eyes and take a short trip. Hence the presentation of the film above and an exhibition of nearly 50 photos.
This new brand is BMC – a Turkish commercial vehicle manufacturer with 58 years of experience, historically derived from the British Motor Company (hence the name). The flagship and newest product of the brand is the Tugra – a heavy-duty truck, available as a tractor or chassis, in both road and off-road configurations and military versions. Tugra, which was introduced in 2018, has only recently been known in Turkey, while in the European Union (including Poland) BMC only sold buses. Today, however, that is changing, with the first truck importers being launched in Bulgaria and Romania, then also in Spain and the Netherlands, and now also in Poland. We distribute Autobagi Polska, which until now is known for selling and assembling Kamaz cars, but at the moment we are closing any relations with this Russian brand. So it can be said that BMC will replace the Russian Kamaz in this company, and the successful conclusion of talks with the Turks (which began long before the war in Ukraine) came at a truly ideal time.
Among the entire BMC offering, the Polish importer chose the configuration with the best selling chance. Distribution will start from this vehicle, initially targeting local carriers. We are talking about the universal Tugra 1846 tractor unit, which is offered only with a sleeping cab with a high roof, a 4×2 axle system and a standard fifth wheel height. There will also only be one type of drive to choose from, although there are two versions of the fuel engine. The basis is an 11-liter Cursor 11 engine with 460 hp, derived directly from Iveco trucks. Behind it is the German ZF Traxon 12-speed automatic gearbox, and the crowning glory of it all is the Turkish drive axle, available only with a gear ratio of 3.08. As standard, this system will be powered by a diesel engine, although at an additional cost of PLN 3,000. LPG fitting will be installed. It will replace approximately 20-25 percent of diesel fuel with twice as much cheaper LPG, blending both types of fuel, thus ensuring savings. It was the diesel gas system that found its way into the presented “demo” equipment and many people will probably remember the modifications that were made about a decade ago. At the time, LPG installations had found their way into the transportation industry (and had published a demonstration of such an installation). over here).
How does this driving system work in practice? The combination of Cursor 11 and the ZF gearbox is a well-known system, for example, from Iveco Stralis. Experienced drivers with this Italian truck can actually note a very similar characteristic, because BMC immediately draws attention with good dynamics and even quick response to the throttle, without excessively “flooding” the electronic systems. The engine does not choke at low revs, and at the same time allows you to freely enter the higher parts of the tachometer, lowering gears without first turning off any “economy” mode. It is also possible that the composition of LPG contributed to this positive picture of these dynamics. Simultaneous combustion of diesel and gas should increase engine performance by up to 10 percent, with the 460 making a good 500. During my trip, LPG was more active, because the stabilization only stops when the engine is completely cold or when the in idle mode.
The operating equipment of the BMC Tugry is clearly adapted for countries where road quality and design require more attention from the driver. During maneuvering, the steering wheel requires more power, but in the corners, the steering confidence was surprisingly good. It looks similar to the suspension—we’ve got four airbags in the rear axle and a cabin air suspension here, but you can also feel the suspension is very stiff. In other words, the car should handle curves or grooves well. Although with regard to the behavior of the road, some shortcomings of the equipment should be noted – the engine brake (also with the optional damper) consists of only two stages, and the cruise control system can neither maintain distance nor predict the terrain terrain.
Behind the wheel of a Tugra we sit in the German-branded Grammer seat, with a basic set of mods. However, there is nothing to prevent a tall driver from having plenty of legroom, and at the same time reaching for the steering wheel without straightening his elbow. This is due to the good range of adjustment of the steering wheel and the narrowing of the engine tunnel in its front part. I also get the impression that the driver’s position has been shifted to the left because it is too close to the door panel. The mirrors are very simple in design, but they don’t get in the way too much at intersections and seem to be the perfect size. Most of the controls can be accessed without turning back from the driver’s seat, and the gearbox is operated with a knob on the panel, just like on older vehicles with a ZF transmission. Also noteworthy is that all information related to the operation of the vehicle is displayed by the driver on the display, and not on the physical indicators. In the richer version of the equipment – as presented – it is a standard item. Standardly there is automatic air conditioning, a refrigerator, a multimedia station with navigation and Android.
I admit that while looking inside and handling the car, I noticed something unusual several times. Among the amazing things, there was undoubtedly the adjustment of the steering wheel – it works only when the ignition is turned on (without the key, the key does not get electricity) and only with the handbrake on. In other words, we will not change the steering wheel while driving, nor will we do so when the key is inserted. Another example – the heating and air conditioning system was always turned off after starting the engine. You had to remember to activate it manually, by doing it with a key. I also admit that many interior elements reminded me of designs from several years ago – I can refer here to the switches, the fabric of the plastic, the arrangement of the ceiling compartments, the thickness of the mattress, or the transition to the seat made difficult by the tunnel console.
Although it must also be admitted that there are relevant internal elements. The refrigerator occupies the full width of the drawer and is quite deep, so it fits a lot of supplies. The top of the dashboard is so flat that we can successfully put a laptop there when stopping. The passenger has a large compartment and USB sockets in front of him, and a convenient ladder leading to his bed. Exit is facilitated by the steering wheel cut-out at the bottom, and the possibility of lowering the seat to a standard low. In addition, the interior is simply too bright, which is caused by the correct selection of colors, additional windows in the sleeping area and a relatively short installation above the windshield. And when we take off or want to open one of the chassis panels, it turns out that everything is very simple to operate here. The car also gave the impression that it was solidly built, although the final evaluation of this matter is still a matter of time.
The location of the kiosk seems relatively low. This results in easy entry and good visibility of the situation on the right side of the vehicle. How about a motor tunnel? This is the most noticeable, which, together with the average character of the ceiling riser, gives an internal height of less than 190 cm. It took literally a few centimeters to fully straighten out in the space below the sunroof. However, if I had to compare the space of this cabin with another model, for your picture, the first generation DAF XF space cabin would come to mind. It also means that when looking at a BMC Tugra, I can see a candidate primarily for shorter routes, for example across the country. As it was found, it should be, for example, for a “frying pan”, silo or supermarket distribution, where a simple design of the body in the weak lower part will be useful. For example, incandescent headlights are housed in small lenses, which are deeply hidden and therefore very well protected.
Something like this matches the vision of the Polish importer. As I mentioned at the beginning, he wants to find his first clients in the country. He immediately began organizing the ADR package, and also wanted to set up a demonstration unit with checkered hydraulics. Moreover, the installation of LPG – which the company really places great hopes on – is not an obstacle in any of these topics. The gas is complied with ADR rules, while the space in the frame allows you to install a tank of 600 liters of diesel oil, two tanks for a total of 160 liters of LPG, a large Euro 6 catalyst as well as hydraulics. In such a system as mentioned above, it will save about 2.5 thousand. Kilometers of range in heavy local traffic. Besides, country focus can also be related to service. The company only prepares a contract with a European service network, so until this topic is completed, the process near the importer will be much easier.
Also with the Turkish Ford F-Max:
In KAMAZ with a Mercedes Axor cabin:
And now the most important thing, the price that Autobagi Polska officially offers. A two-axle single-axle tractor unit is expected to start at PLN 85,000. euro. The supported version of the LPG will also cost 88 thousand. euro. I would add that these are just list price values, without any mention of discounts. Although jEven two or three years ago, these prices could be described as moderate, and it was the recent increases in competition that made the Turkish offering really cheap. After all, the current norm is to pay for tractors around 100,000. Euro. On the other hand, if the tractor is accepted in Poland for this price, then Autobagi has a complete list of ready-made countries. The Polish importer is also expected to start selling in the Baltic states, the Czech Republic and Hungary, and is even considering starting assembly as it has a spare plant to do so.
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