Mercedes-Benz buses and coaches are the leaders in innovation and technology – and all in the interest of Euro VI
- Mercedes-Benz minibuses – new look, new technology, new models
- Mercedes-Benz Tourismo: new compact touring coach with additional appointments
- Mercedes-Benz Travego: new engine variants, two axles
- New: Mercedes-Benz Citaro LE
- Mercedes-Benz Intouro: new bus family in three lengths
At Busworld in Kortrijk Mercedes-Benz Buses and Coaches presents its bus and coach product range engineered entirely to comply with Euro VI emission standards. Over the last two years, Mercedes-Benz has devoted its full attention to Euro VI. In 2012 Mercedes-Benz was the first manufacturer to bring a series production touring coach in Euro VI to market - the Travego Edition 1. This year the bestselling touring coach series in Europe, the Tourismo, is celebrating some additions to the family. The compact Tourismo K with a length of 10.32 m is being presented to the public for the first time. At the same time all Tourismo variants including right-hand drive are available in Euro VI. Other premieres at the Busworld show are the Intouro with new vehicle lengths and a new engine, the Travego now also available in a two-axle version in Euro VI, and a new version of the Citaro LE. The bus range is rounded off by the Sprinter minibus in Euro VI, which has additional assistance systems.
Mercedes-Benz minibuses – new look, new technology, new models, Euro VI emission standards
The minibus segment plays an increasingly important part for the full-line manufacturer Mercedes-Benz, partly because of the constantly increasing cost pressure felt by customers. Wherever low passenger numbers make cost-effective transport using large buses difficult, minibuses bearing the Mercedes star come to the fore – especially in the urban public transport sector. With a passenger capacity of up to 40, the Sprinter City allows a practically seamless transition from a large bus to a minibus without noticeable compromises in comfort and service performance. Accordingly it is increasing its presence year after year in the fleets of western European urban public transport authorities.
With the new Sprinter, even more economical engines complying with Euro VI emission standards and further assistance systems are entering the Mercedes-Benz minibus range – the widest model range in the competitive line-up. At the same time Mercedes-Benz has further expanded the model range produced in Dortmund, with further development of the Transfer and Travel equipment lines.
New, striking look for the Sprinter and the minibuses
The minibuses bearing the Mercedes star benefit from the visually much sharper profile of the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Whether by virtue of the more upright radiator grille with perforated, arrow-shaped louvres, the much more defined headlamps or the distinctive front bumper – the new Sprinter has an unmistakably new look.
First van and therefore minibus complying with Euro VI emission standards
One of the highlights is the engine: it is the first van to feature a full range of engines complying with Euro VI emission standards. The basis is provided by the well-proven BlueTec engine technology which has been familiar from the heavy-duty Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles for almost ten years, with AdBlue injection and an SCR catalytic converter. The engines themselves remain unchanged in their technical basis, performance data and torque delivery.
Engine power unchanged, improved refinement
The development engineers have however used the step-up to Euro VI to improve the injection process, combustion and charge pressure. The result is a low fuel consumption and lower combustion noise. Modifying the pre-injection has also led to further improved refinement. In addition the engine response during load changes with manual and automatic transmissions has been noticeably improved further. All these are comfort factors that particularly benefit the driver and passengers in the minibuses.
The diesel engine range continues to centre on the OM 651 four-cylinder engine with a displacement of 2.2 l and an output ranging from 70 kW (95 hp) to 120 kW (163 hp). The only six-cylinder engine to be found in a European van is a further technical masterpiece, the V6 with a displacement of 3.0 l and an output of 140 kW (190 hp).
Fuel consumption reduced by numerous measures
Numerous measures lower the fuel consumption of the new Sprinter. These include e.g. intelligent alternator management, an electric fuel pump or the freewheel function of the optional air conditioning.
Friction losses in the six-speed manual transmission are reduced by low-friction oil. The 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission with torque converter – the world's only seven-speed automatic to be installed in a van – now has newly configured shift points and is available in conjunction with an Eco start/stop function.
The rear axle is also subject to less friction, helping to reduce fuel consumption. The BlueEfficiency package also lowers fuel consumption. The service intervals for the engines increase to up to 60,000 km.
New assistance systems improve the level of safety
A wealth of new assistance systems helps to prevent accidents: Crosswind Assist, Proximity Warning Assist, Blind Spot Assist and Highbeam Assist, as well as Lane Keeping Assist. Depending on the model, gross vehicle weight and variant, these are also available for the Mercedes-Benz minibuses to further enhance their exemplary and unrivalled level of safety.
The driver will also welcome the new, high-grip steering wheel and a seat with new upholstery. The same applies to the new radio generation with numerous different input ports, a telephone keypad and directory, as well as the new Becker Map Pilot navigation system with inconspicuous installation in the glove compartment and a removable navigation module.
New models, further advanced interior and exterior
In the course of the changeover to the new Sprinter, Mercedes-Benz also developed the Sprinter Transfer and Travel model series further. The new roofliner elegantly spans and integrates the frames of the roof vent and roof.
The skylight, roof vent and roof-mounted air conditioning systems are likewise new, as are the shrouds of the air conditioning units. The newly designed light strips feature LED lighting. The luggage racks are also new, as are the service sets in the Sprinter Travel with reading lamps and air vents. Passengers will also welcome the new seat bases in the models based on modified panel vans.
The additional Sprinter Mobility 35 and Sprinter Mobility 45 models provide two particularly strong models for minibus passengers with restricted mobility at gross vehicle weights of 4.0 t or up to 5.3 t with twin tyres on the rear axle.
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter minibuses: model range
The range of minibuses from Mercedes-Benz is divided into four product lines, the Sprinter Mobility, Sprinter Transfer, Sprinter City and Sprinter Travel. The designations refer to the different areas of application: The Sprinter Mobility is the specialist for carrying passengers with restricted mobility. The Sprinter Transfer is an all-rounder suitable for touring and regular service assignments, as well as transfer services. The Sprinter City is a range of highly specialised minibuses for regular service, while the Sprinter Travel is a comfortable touring coach range.
Depending on the version, the minibuses are based on the Sprinter panel van, the panel van with an independent bus rear-end or on the Sprinter chassis with an independent body. The Sprinter City 77 with its separate low frame and tandem rear axle has a special status.
All in all the wide range consists of 16 basic models plus right-hand-drive variants.
The changeover to Euro VI emission standards will be gradual: the Sprinter Transfer, Travel and Mobility are already available with it now, the Sprinter City will follow in early 2014.
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Travel: the vehicle on display
The Sprinter Travel 65 is the top-of-the-line touring coach model in the minibus range. This 7.72 m long minibus has a distinctive body with a panoramic windscreen, double-glazed panoramic side windows and a rear wall in bus configuration with a luggage compartment door. The display vehicle including its bumpers and detachable parts is painted in diamond white metallic bright.
In addition to the extensive standard safety equipment, the bus features xenon headlamps, a reversing camera with monitor and a Telma retarder. The gross vehicle weight of 5.45 t ensures adequate payload reserves, while air suspension at the rear axle provides a high level of ride comfort.
Passengers enter the Sprinter Travel 65 via a single outward swinging door and are seated on Travel Star Xtra seats with Softline upholstery, adjustable backrests and leather head sections. The Harmonia ship tropical flooring further enhances the comfortable features in the interior. In addition to convector heating and auxiliary heaters, a roof-mounted air conditioning system with air distribution via roof air ducts ensures a feeling of well-being. The vehicle's appointments also include a refrigerator and an audio DVD system with monitor.
Commensurate power is ensured by the OM 642 direct-injection V6 turbodiesel engine with 140 kW (190 hp) and a six-speed manual transmission.
The new Tourismo K compact touring coach, new engines in Euro VI, additional features
The bestselling European touring coach is further consolidating its advantage: at the Busworld show in Kortrijk, Mercedes-Benz is adding the compact Tourismo K with a length of 10.32 m to the Tourismo family. At the same time Mercedes-Benz is presenting this successful model series with new, clean, economical and refined engines meeting Euro VI emission standards. And not least, the Tourismo is more comfortable, safe and attractive than ever thanks to additional features.
New Tourismo K: compact and manoeuvrable touring coach
New addition to the Tourismo family: Mercedes-Benz is extending the range in this model series with the compact Tourismo K. The wheelbase shortened to 4.98 m results in an overall length of only 10.32 m. With a height of 3.37 m, the Tourismo K has harmonious proportions and falls into the high-floor category.
The Tourismo K fills the gap between the Mercedes-Benz minibuses and the touring coaches in the Tourismo series. It is ideally suited for small groups, demanding routes with high manoeuvrability requirements, as a VIP shuttle, club bus, even for inter-city services with standing passengers, and much more.
Fully-fledged, well-proven stock technology from large-scale production on a modular basis
With its touring coach front section, elegantly curved windscreen and attractive exterior mirrors on booms, the new Tourismo K is immediately perceived as a fully-fledged touring coach. The same applies to the classic width of 2.55 m, guaranteeing great freedom of movement and a generous seating layout. The new Tourismo K comes from the same modular system as the large buses and coaches from Mercedes-Benz. This applies to both the body and the touring coach technology, axles, wheels and tyres. The engine and transmission are also to be found in the large buses and coaches.
This means that the new Tourismo K not only fits perfectly into the Mercedes-Benz bus range, but also into existing bus fleets thanks to its well-proven and long-lived stock technology from large-scale production: the components of the Tourismo K are known quantities, whether for operators, drivers, workshops or parts warehouse.
Spacious luggage compartment conveniently loadable from both sides
The driver and passengers do not have to accustom themselves to the Tourismo K. The cockpit comes from the high-decker Tourismo RHD, and the passenger area is also based on familiar modules. Whereas a restricted luggage compartment is typically a disadvantage of compact coaches, the new Tourismo K has the answer with a rear entry: the space between the axles is available for passenger luggage. Thanks to a luggage floor height of 1060 mm above the road, the luggage capacity is no less than 4.2 cubic metres. Not least, thanks to the layout with a rear entry, the luggage compartment can be conveniently loaded via two doors on each side.
Passenger compartment functional or luxurious, just as required
One level higher, the passenger compartment has a pleasant standing height of approx. 2010 mm and room for 41 passenger seats with a 3-star seat pitch. The Travel Star Eco seating from in-house production is both comfortable and functional. It can be individually varied up to the Luxline version with pivoting aisle-side armrests, lateral adjustment of the aisle-side seats, adjustable backrests, footrests and upholsteries. On request the Tourismo K comes with standing space approval for regular inter-city service, and can be equipped with destination signs.
Customers are able to equip the passenger compartment of the club bus with the emphasis on practicality or luxury, just as they wish. For example, the new Tourismo K can be optionally equipped with an easily accessed rear toilet, a compact kitchen at the rear entry or even with a kitchen unit in the last row.
Weight is never a problem for the compact two-axle coach: depending on the country and its individual regulations, it can be registered with either 18 t or even 19 t gross vehicle weight.
Compact engine for a compact touring coach
An equally compact engine goes together perfectly with the compact dimensions of the Tourismo K: unlike its larger siblings, the Tourismo K is powered at the rear by a vertically installed Mercedes-Benz OM 936 six-cylinder in-line engine with a displacement of 7.7 l. This belongs to the new BlueEfficiency Power generation with common-rail injection, and meets Euro VI emission standards.
One output class and a choice of two transmission variants
The engine output is 260 kW (354 hp), with a torque of 1400 Nm. This also makes the Tourismo K very suitable for long distances, with a cost-effective combination of adequate power, low engine speeds and a correspondingly low noise level. The large fuel tank with a capacity of 340 l also predestines the Tourismo K for long distances.
Power is transferred either by a six-speed manual transmission with a comfortable joystick-type gearshift in the cockpit, or by the automated Mercedes GO 250-8 PowerShift eight-speed transmission.
Amazingly manoeuvrable: turning circle only 17.2 m
Apart from having the performance and power transmission of a fully-fledged touring coach, the new Tourismo K is amazingly manoeuvrable: Thanks to a wheel cut angle of 58 degrees at the inside front wheel, its turning circle is just 17.2 m – hardly more than that of a minibus.
Another highlight is the full range of safety features included as standard, e.g. disc brakes all-round, the Electronic Brake System EBS, the Electronic Stability Program ESP with the anti-lock braking system ABS, acceleration skid control ASR, Brake Assist BA, continuous braking limiter and the new, powerful yet lightweight water retarder.
Tourismo RHD/RH: changeover to Euro VI emission standards
Engines meeting Euro VI emission standards are becoming obligatory not only for the new Tourismo K, but also for its larger siblings. The new Mercedes-Benz OM 470 engine is now installed in both the high-decker Tourismo RHD and the high-floor Tourismo RH touring coach.
In all cases the 10.7-litre six-cylinder in-line engine is installed vertically in the rear. The features of this new engine from the BlueEfficiency Power generation include two overhead camshafts, four-valve technology and common rail injection with the flexible X-PULSE injection system with pressure booster. With a DIN weight of only 990 kg and its compact dimensions, this engine is ideally suitable for weight-sensitive buses and for the restricted installation space usually available in the rear of a bus.
The OM 470 is extremely smooth and quiet, and impresses with its power delivery and agility in all versions. It is also able to produce a lot of power at very low engine speeds: the engine generates 95 percent of its maximum torque from as low as around 800 rpm.
Three output classes for the large touring coaches
The two-axle variants of the Tourismo are equipped with the engine developing 265 kW (360 hp) and 1700 Nm as standard. On request the Tourismo is available with 290 kW (394 hp) and 1900 Nm of torque. The three-axle variants are powered by a more potent engine variant developing 315 kW (428 hp) and 2100 Nm of torque.
The practical engine variants are matched by an outstanding braking system: the new, powerful yet lightweight water retarder supplements the electronically controlled EBS braking system with disc-brakes all-round.
Engines: identical layout, exhaust aftertreatment and characteristics
Whether for the Mercedes-Benz OM 470 or the particularly compact OM 936: When it comes to exhaust gas aftertreatment, Mercedes-Benz makes use of BlueTec 6 technology in all variants. The layout in the engine compartment is also identical, with the radiator and fan on the right side, separated by a bulkhead. The same applies to engine compartment ventilation, recognisable by the two symmetrically arranged grilles on the new engine compartment door.
The following applies to both engine series: the engines are not only low in emissions, but also more economical than their predecessors despite additional features for Euro VI. This is assisted by optimised ancillary units such as demand-controlled alternators and the economical air compressor. The result is that depending on operation, fuel consumption is reduced by around 5 percent compared with previous models.
It is not only the fuel consumption that drops, consumption of AdBlue and engine oil is also drastically reduced. It also has long service intervals and extremely high durability.
Choice of a manual or automatic transmission
As an alternative to the standard six-speed transmission with manual gearshifts using a joystick in the instrument panel, power can be transferred by the automated Mercedes GO 250-8 PowerShift eight-speed manual transmission. This has proved highly successful in the Travego Edition 1, and impresses with a combination of excellent gearshift comfort and speed. Special features of the transmission include a crawler function as an aid to slow manoeuvring. Should intervention become necessary, the driver of the Tourismo is likewise able to operate the transmission comfortably via a joystick in the cockpit.
Together with the new Euro VI-compliant powertrain, the Tourismo has been given a colour display in the cockpit. Externally the new generation of the high-decker touring coach is recognisable by the symmetrically arranged ventilation grilles on the engine compartment door and the radiator grille on the right side of the vehicle. These are indicators of the new layout in the engine compartment, which has an optimised air flow for improved heat dissipation. To this end the radiator is now located on the right as seen from the rear, and separated from the engine by a bulkhead.
New appointments further upgrade the Tourismo
The Mercedes-Benz Tourismo demonstrates that maximum cost-effectiveness, outstanding practicality and an attractive internal and external appearance need not be contradictory. The model year 2014 Tourismo shows this with numerous new optional equipment features. The rain/light sensor automatically switches the driving lights and windscreen wipers on or off as required. Monitors are now available with a 48.26-cm (19-inch) screen diagonal (Tourismo K: 15-inch).
The Tourismo can be visually further enhanced with a decorative side shroud for the roof-mounted air conditioner, aluminium wheel caps or illuminated brand lettering at the entry.
Service sets with energy-saving LED reading lamps, additional stowage facilities for the driver, a tyre pressure monitoring system and, not least, integrated child seats with three-point belts optionally improve practicality and safety even further. Among other aspects, Mercedes-Benz developed the child seats with a view to regular long-distance service operators.
Mercedes-Benz Tourismo: model range
With the addition of the Tourismo K, the Tourismo family consists of numerous models. The series centres around the four high-decker touring coaches, the Tourismo (length 12.14 m), the Tourismo M2 and M (12.96 m) and the Tourismo L (13.99 m). The particularly versatile high-floor touring coaches, the Tourismo RH (length 12.14 m) and the Tourismo RH M (12.98 m), are suitable as both touring coaches and inter-city buses. The new Tourismo K complements this range as a flexibly usable club bus with the genes of the larger Tourismo variants.
Mercedes-Benz Tourismo: the vehicle on display
The vehicle on display, a Tourismo K, has aluminium wheels and the body including bumpers, roof mountings and exterior mirror housings is painted in dynamic-looking laser red metallic.
Passengers take their places on 32 Travel Star Eco seats with Luxline upholstery. The seats are adjustable on the aisle side and equipped with foot supports, folding tables and stowage nets. The Duo seat upholstery fabric, with a side fold in Mars red and black leather head sections, together with curtains in Mars red, coordinates perfectly with the exterior paintwork. The underside of the luggage racks is in anthracite, as are the side wall panels.
Comfort features include the refrigerator in the front end, a rear lavatory and, immediately adjacent, a small galley with a coffeemaker, hot-dog heater and sink.
The driver steers the Tourismo K with a leather steering wheel. Guided to his destination by a satellite navigation system. The entry door at the rear is monitored by a rear-view mirror and a camera.
The Tourismo K is powered at the rear by an OM 936 six-cylinder in-line engine with an output of 260 kW (354 hp) in compliance with Euro VI emission standards. Power is transferred by the automated Mercedes GO 250-8 PowerShift eight-speed transmission. Xenon headlamps light up the road ahead. Safety features include a tyre pressure monitoring system and a tyre inflation connection in the engine compartment. The engine compartment also incorporates a fire extinguishing system.
Two-axle Travego now Euro VI-compliant, new engine variants for the three-axle Travego
Continuation of a world first: Two years ago, under the name Edition 1, the Mercedes-Benz Travego luxury long-distance touring coach was the world's first series-production coach to feature a powertrain complying with Euro VI emission standards. What began with the three-axle variants at that time is now being continued with the two-axle Travego 15 RHD: this too is available with a Euro VI powertrain.
New OM 470 engine: ideal power unit for the two-axle bus
The 12.18 m long high-decker in the premium class is powered by the new Mercedes-Benz OM 470 engine. The 10.7-litre six-cylinder in-line engine is vertically installed and generates 315 kW (428 hp). The muscular maximum torque is 2100 Nm.
Features of the BlueEfficiency Power engine include double overhead camshafts, four-valve technology and common-rail injection with the flexible injection system X-PULSE incl. pressure booster. With a DIN weight of just 990 kg and compact dimensions, the engine is particularly suited to applications involving weight-sensitive buses and coaches, as well as tight installation conditions.
The engine is therefore a perfect match for the two-axle touring coach. Together with the weight-optimised air conditioning system, Euro VI has a practically neutral effect on weight in the Travego. This means that: the Euro VI Travego can be used with a gross vehicle weight of 18 t in a 3-star version with no loss of seats.
Economical with low emissions, responsive and refined
In every respect the OM 470 harmonises excellently with the Travego as a top-class touring coach: the engine is extremely smooth and quiet, and impresses with its power delivery and agility in all versions. It is also able to produce a lot of power at very low engine speeds: 95 percent of the full engine torque is achieved at engine speeds as low as 800 rpm.
The BlueEfficiency Power engines resolve the conflict of aims between emissions and fuel economy: the Travego with the OM 470 not only operates more cleanly, it is also even more economical than its predecessor. Optimised ancillary units such as demand-controlled alternators, optimised fans and fan couplings or the two-stage air compressor help the engine to achieve this. Consumption of AdBlue and engine oil is drastically reduced. It also has long service intervals and extremely high durability.
When it comes to exhaust gas aftertreatment, Mercedes-Benz makes use of BlueTec 6 technology in all variants.
Choice of a six-speed transmission or PowerShift
For power transmission, buyers of the Travego have a choice between a six-speed manual transmission and the automated Mercedes GO 250-8 PowerShift transmission. The latter has proved very successful in e.g. the three-axle Travego Edition 1 by virtue of its fast and comfortable gearshifts, the integrated crawler function for slow manoeuvring and intuitive operation using a steering wheel control stalk.
Cockpit and safety features as in the Travego Edition 1
In other aspects too, the two-axle Travego benefits from positive experiences with the Travego Edition 1. It has also been given the latter's newly developed instrument panel with a new multifunction steering wheel and an easy operating concept for the new colour display. The same applies to the instrument cluster with four dials and new, ergonomically arranged controls. The engine is now started using a two-stage button.
Not least, the two-axle Mercedes-Benz Travego has adopted the new and in part unique safety features of the Edition 1, such as LED daytime running lamps, Attention Assist, a tyre pressure control display or Active Brake Assist 2, which initiates braking action also when stationary obstacles are recognised. Insiders are also already familiar with the powerful yet lightweight secondary water retarder from the Edition 1. With these and numerous other safety systems, the Travego is once again a role model as the safest coach.
The Travego 15 RHD has also adopted the rear end of the Edition 1 with its distinctive engine compartment door including the symmetrical ventilation grilles. Conversely, the three-axle models benefit from the new, two-axle Travego model: in their Euro VI versions, they are now likewise available with the OM 470 six-cylinder in-line engine developing 315 kW (428 hp) and the six-speed manual transmission. As the top-of-the-line model, the Travego Edition 1 was previously only available with the OM 471 engine (12.8 litres displacement, 350 kW/476 hp) and the Mercedes GO 250-8 PowerShift transmission.
Mercedes-Benz Travego: model range
With the two-axle Travego 15 RHD (length 12.18 m) and the three-axle Travego M (13.0 m) and Travego L (14.03 m), the Travego series covers all major segments in the high-decker long-distance touring coach sector. With the changeover of the entire model series to Euro VI emission standards, the suffix Edition 1 is now omitted from the model designation of the three-axle models in Euro VI.
Mercedes-Benz Travego 15 RHD: the vehicle on display
The paint finish in arachne white including the bumpers and detachable parts, as well as aluminium wheels, emphasise the special status of the Travego 15 RHD. Passengers are welcomed at each entrance by the brand lettering, illuminated in blue and set into a metal strip on the top step. The engine is combined with the automated Mercedes GO 250-8 PowerShift transmission. Litronic headlamps, cornering lights, LED daytime running lamps, a tyre pressure monitoring system, a video camera above the entry at door 2, Lane Keeping Assist, adaptive cruise control with Active Brake Assist 2, Attention Assist, a smoke detector in the luggage compartment and a fire detection/extinguishing system in the engine compartment are just some of the many safety features in the Travego.
A kitchenette and toilet, two refrigerators and 44 Travel Star Xtra passenger seats in the Luxline version underline the high level of comfort in the Travego. In the vehicle on display, the elegant Flair equipment line is supplemented with tasteful seat covers in a leather/fabric combination. The seat covers in Plexo are framed by leather in dolphin blue. The backrests are likewise in dolphin blue, the seat fold in caramel. This is also the colour used for the side wall trim and the curtains. The flooring used here is Ship natural. The entertainment electronics include a DVD system with 48.26-cm (19-inch) monitors.
The new Citaro LE complements the Citaro family with a further body variant and Euro VI
The No. 1 is also ahead of the field when it comes to Euro VI: the base models of the new Citaro series, the Citaro and Citaro G, have already been fully converted to Euro VI emission standards for one year. They are now followed by the low-entry versions, the Citaro LE models. Both in visual and technical terms, this step brings the Citaro LE in line with the new generation of the regular service bus. An additional, attractive variant has been added to the range in the form of the three-door Citaro LE MÜ.
The new Citaro LE is now visually closer to the new Citaro
In the Citaro LE, combining the low-floor front section of the Citaro with a high-floor rear section utilises the advantages of both designs: easy low-floor entry at the front and the seating comfort of a touring coach in the rear. The Citaro LE's leap to the new generation is immediately obvious. It has adopted the friendly front aspect of the Citaro, including A0-pillars extending upwards into the three-dimensional design feature on the roof. Despite its raised rear floor section, the Citaro LE harmoniously fits into the Citaro family picture with its contoured wheel arches, a rising beltline behind the rear axle and the low-edged, curving side windows.
Unlike before, the side line now extends to the rear end with no offset. At first sight the Citaro LE only differs from the all-low-floor version in having a roof structure that extends further forward. Adopting the front section from the Citaro and dispensing with a raised floor in this section gives the Citaro LE excellent proportions. The optionally available roof-mounted air conditioning can remain in its usual location.
The raised rear section is also derived from the solo bus. Apart from the raised section, only the cooling fins of the new engine compartment door on the right-hand side identify the LE variant.
Passenger compartment derived from the Citaro
In the passenger compartment too, the Citaro LE unmistakably shows its direct descent from the Citaro with wall-mounted cantilever seating for the city bus and free-standing double seats in the inter-city bus.
The newly designed cross duct on the ceiling at the transition between the low-floor front and the high-floor rear serves to accommodate a destination indicator or a monitor for the rear seat rows.
While the Citaro LE is equipped with City Star Eco seats, passengers in the inter-city Citaro LE Ü/MÜ are seated on Inter Star Eco seats. In this version, spacious, trough-shaped luggage racks can be fitted from the front to the area above the rear axle. For inter-city operations, service sets with ventilation nozzles, reading lamps and buttons for a passenger call system can be optionally integrated.
Two low steps lead into the uncluttered rear of the LE
As in the preceding model, two low steps with a height of 195 mm each lead from the rear axle to the high-floor area in the rear. Thanks to a 310 mm increase in roof height in this area, there is the same pleasant impression of spaciousness as in the front. The standing height forward of the rear platform is a generous 2.05 m. All passenger seats in the rear section of the Citaro LE face the direction of travel. The seats rise gradually with the floor level, as in a theatre, with no obstructive wheel arch. Five passengers can be accommodated on the rear bench seat.
Particularly economical, quiet and comfortable rear axle
The Mercedes-Benz RO 440 hypoid axle is used at the rear owing to the high-floor design in that area, a solution that has already proved successful in Mercedes-Benz touring coaches.
The great advantage of a hypoid axle versus a portal axle with a continuous low floor is its single ratio in the centrally located differential. This leads to correspondingly lower internal friction and improved fuel economy with a low noise level. The more generous installation space in the high-floor area of the rear axle allows longer spring travel with correspondingly high comfort at the level of a touring coach.
Attractive new cockpit from the current Citaro
In the front the driver benefits from the newly designed, raised cockpit from the Citaro, with further improved functionality, a modern instrument panel and more legroom below the instrument panel, which is adjustable together with the steering wheel. The same applies to the improved collision protection using a crash element in the extended front end.
New Citaro LE MÜ with three doors
As a new addition to the Citaro model range, the LE MÜ version has three doors at the front and centre entries, like the city bus version of the Citaro LE. A single door behind the rear axle has been added to the single door (optionally double-wide) at the front and the double-wing door in front of the rear axle. The third door speeds up the passenger flow in the 13.19 m long inter-city bus, an important factor on routes with high passenger numbers and short distances between stops.
Despite the inevitable increase in weight caused by additional features related to Euro VI, the Citaro LE is no heavier than before. This is e.g. by virtue of the weight-optimised yet more rigid frame with annular frame members and GFRP roof panels.
Powerful and economical engines for Euro VI
The Euro VI-compliant Citaro LE uses the completely newly developed and highly economical engines of the Mercedes-Benz Citaro. The base engine is the vertically installed OM 936 six-cylinder in-line engine with a displacement of 7.7 l and high-pressure common-rail injection. During last year's Record Run Buses 2012, in the new low-floor Citaro, this engine demonstrated a fuel-saving potential of up to 8.5 percent compared with a Euro V engine. Apart from the engine itself, this is due to fuel-efficient ancillary units such as the two-stage air compressor or the innovative recuperation module for the storage of free electric power generated on the overrun.
The basic engine variant is the unit developing 220 kW (299 hp). The 260 kW (354 hp) variant is available as an option. The OM 936 is charged by an asymmetrical turbocharger, a prerequisite for powerful acceleration and torque.
The layout in the engine compartment, with the engine in the centre and the radiator and fan on the right as seen from the rear, corresponds to that in the high-floor buses from Mercedes-Benz.
Even more power with new, optional Power-Boost system
Even better starting acceleration is ensured by the optional new Power-Boost system, a technical refinement for the engine developing 260 kW (354 hp). The Power-Boost system pumps compressed air from the vehicle's standard compressed air system into the engine's intake tract. The resulting increase in air throughput briefly increases the starting torque at the lower end of the torque curve by raising the charge pressure. Particularly in topographically challenging areas the new system ensures even more powerful starts, e.g. when accelerating from bus stops on uphill gradients.
Like the urban bus version, the Citaro LE is equipped with an automatic torque converter transmission from ZF or Voith.
Mercedes-Benz Citaro LE: model range
The new Citaro LE range consists of two urban and three inter-city buses. The two Citaro LE variants for urban operation are 12.17 m long and differ in their door arrangement: two double-width doors, with the option of an additional, single door behind the rear axle. The 12.17-metre long Citaro LE Ü has a single door at the front and a double door in the middle. The 13.19 m long Citaro LE MÜ is available in the versions described: two double-width doors or a double-width middle door and a single door at both the front and rear (new). The all-low-floor Citaro is available as the Citaro K (length 10.63 m), Citaro (12.14 m) and Citaro G articulated bus (18.13 m). All are available in various door variants.
Mercedes-Benz Citaro LE: the vehicle on display
The new Citaro LE presented at the Busworld show in Kortrijk is a solo bus with two double-wide doors. The papyrus white paint finish includes the body, the detachable parts and the wheel caps. It is powered by a combination of the OM 936 six-cylinder in-line engine developing 260 kW (354 hp) and an automatic transmission from Voith. A folding ramp at door 2 facilitates entry for passengers with restricted mobility.
City Star Eco seats with Kontur seat covers ensure good seating comfort. The utility area opposite the centre door has a leaning surface for a wheelchair user and an integrated folding seat. The blue roof edging and signal red grab rails characterise the practical and welcoming look of the passenger compartment. The interior temperature is controlled by blower heaters and a roof-mounted air conditioning system. Large 73.66-cm (29-inch) monitors on the two ceiling cross ducts provide the basis for on-board information and entertainment.
The Intouro grows into a bus family and receives a powertrain compliant with Euro VI emission standards
With current annual sales of more than 1000 units, the Mercedes-Benz Intouro is a bestseller in the inter-city bus sector. Since the presentation of this functional and extremely economical model in 2006, Mercedes-Benz has produced around 6000 units of the Intouro – and annual production output is growing. The Intouro is now even more attractive thanks to new and additional length variants. The same applies to the new Euro VI-compliant powertrain, with further individualisation options.
New bus family with three two-axle models
If a bus has managed to become a bestseller within its segment with only two length variants and two engine/transmission combinations, it must possess certain special qualities. These are easily defined in the case of the Mercedes-Benz Intouro: outstanding functionality and cost-effectiveness. The Intouro has retained these attributes, but it is now growing into a complete bus family.
To this end the engineers at Mercedes-Benz have restructured the model range of this inter-city bus series. It continues to have exclusively two-axle vehicles, but is now available in no less than three lengths: the Intouro with 12.14 m, the Intouro M in the new length of 12.64 m and the new Intouro L (13.32 m). The front and rear overhangs are identical in each case, with only the wheelbase varying from 6080 mm (Intouro) and 6580 mm (Intouro M) to 7260 mm (Intouro L).
New Intouro L: the long-distance specialist
The new Intouro L with a length of 13.32 m and up to 63 passenger seats is above all suitable for inter-city routes with long distances between stops, where there is a high demand for a large seating capacity or for own-account transport. With full seat utilisation including standing space and full use of the luggage compartment, it is highly recommended for countries with a gross vehicle weight exceeding 18 t for two-axle buses.
New Intouro M: tops for seating capacity
With a length of 12.64 m, the Intouro M as the new all-rounder in the range is scarcely longer than the basic model. It is also very manoeuvrable with its 22.25 m turning circle. At the same time this model with up to 59 passenger seats has an above-average seating capacity in relation to its dimensions. This is due to both a forward platform extension on the left side as seen from the rear, and a repositioned middle door on the right side. Together with optimised spacing between seats, this results in a high number of seats.
A new rear end outside, a new gearshift inside
There are no visual changes to the Intouro. The rear end is an exception: like other Mercedes-Benz buses and coaches, the Intouro has been given a new engine compartment door as part of the Euro VI changeover, with the characteristic, symmetrical ventilation grilles. The large tail lights are also new features. These come from the Mercedes-Benz Integro and Tourismo, emphasising the family membership of the Intouro.
The generation change is particularly noticeable in the cockpit: The instrument panel has been upgraded with a colour display. The Intouro has also been given the well-proven joystick-type gearshift, with a short, space-saving shift lever in the cockpit rather than the previous floor gearshift.
Compact engine in two output classes
A wide selection of drive components is another new feature of the Intouro. The powertrain is based on the new, compact Mercedes-Benz OM 936 engine from the BlueEfficiency Power generation. The output of the 7.7-litre six-cylinder in-line engine installed vertically in the rear is optionally 220 kW (299 hp) or 260 kW (354 hp). The maximum torque is 1200 Nm and 1400 Nm respectively.
The engine features common-rail injection with a high-pressure pump, and impresses with a high torque already delivered at very low engine speeds, powerful starting acceleration and a high level of refinement. The weight is likewise favourable.
The fuel economy of the new engine is outstanding: despite additional features for Euro VI emission standards, and depending on the type of operation, fuel consumption is around five per cent lower than that of the preceding models. Apart from the new engines, this low fuel consumption is due to fuel-efficient ancillary units such as demand-controlled alternators and the efficient air compressor. Consumption of AdBlue and engine oil is also drastically reduced. It also has long service intervals and extremely high durability.
When it comes to exhaust gas aftertreatment, Mercedes-Benz makes use of BlueTec 6 technology in all variants.
The electronically controlled braking system with disc brakes all-round is supplemented with the new, powerful yet lightweight secondary water retarder.
Choice of manual, automated or automatic transmission
The choice of transmission versions is also impressive. As an alternative to the standard six-speed manual transmission, the Intouro is now also available with the automated Mercedes GO 250-8 PowerShift transmission. The third power transmission option is a fully automatic transmission with torque converter. There is also a wide choice of final drive ratios. This means that the Mercedes-Benz Intouro can now be perfectly adapted for individual areas of operation, from demanding, performance-oriented inter-city routes with short distances between stops and a challenging topography to longer distances with long stretches of motorway and low engine speeds, for example in own-account transport.
Mercedes-Benz Intouro M: the vehicle on display
The Euro VI Intouro is presented as a 12.64 m long Intouro M with a brilliant silver paint finish. It is powered by the Mercedes-Benz OM 936 six-cylinder in-line engine developing 220 kW (299 hp). A six-speed manual transmission transfers the power to the Mercedes-Benz RO 440 touring coach rear axle. The side windows are double-glazed, and a body-mounted air conditioning system helps to control the interior temperature.
In addition to the single outward swinging door at the front, passengers have a double door available in the middle as a precondition for the installed lift. The seating capacity of the Intouro M is impressive: there are 59 passenger seats, of which two are folding seats at the middle door. The utility area opposite the middle door features a removable platform with two double seats. Airline-type rails set into the floor provide anchorage for a wheelchair.
Passengers sit on Mercedes-Benz Inter Star Eco seats. There are meshed racks for carry-on luggage available throughout the entire vehicle, interrupted only by the utility area opposite the middle door. A comfortably and cosy atmosphere are ensured by seat covers in dark-blue Nightline fabric, orange-coloured curtains at the windows and flooring in gaya wood, plus subdued night illumination in the interior.
The LED destination indicator, the side destination indicator and the route number display at the rear in matrix technology, the bus-stop hazard warning system and a handrail with stop request buzzers are features dedicated to inter-city regular service.
The electronic braking system with disc brakes all-round, acceleration skid control, Brake Assist, the powerful secondary water retarder and a fire alarm system in the engine compartment with detection line ensure a high degree of safety.