Mercedes-Benz Tourismo Safety Coach M/2: the safety expert among high-deck touring coaches

Dec 3, 2018
Stuttgart / Mannheim
  • Premieres for ABA 4 and Sideguard Assist in the Mercedes-Benz high-decker
  • Top-of-the-range Comfort Plus cockpit, elegant and ergonomic
  • Modern passenger compartment design, new Softline seating
  • Efficient top-end engine; engine, transmission and axle boast three-pointed star
  • PPC and EDF support the driver and minimise consumption
  • Innovative services prevent breakdowns and reduce costs

It’s the best-selling touring coach in Europe and tailor-made for business class travel: the Mercedes-Benz Tourismo combines cost effectiveness, safety and comfort. The test vehicle, a 13.1-metre Tourismo M/2, is designed specifically for the new gross vehicle weight rating of up to 19.5 t for two-axles vehicles in the EU. The Tourismo Safety Coach showcases two firsts for high-deck touring coaches bearing the three-pointed star, with Active Brake Assist 4 with pedestrian detection and Sideguard Assist in addition to all the other currently available safety systems. The Tourismo Safety Coach thus continues the tradition of Mercedes-Benz Safety Coaches, each of which defines the state-of-the-art safety technology for buses and coaches.

Brand-specific design, distinctive "yellowstone" paintwork

The "yellowstone" paintwork is simultaneously eye-catching and elegant. The stylised roadway décor symbolises the high level of safety afforded by the Tourismo Safety Coach on its travels. It continues along the coach body in black highlights that enhance the lines of the body. The décor illustrates how dynamics and safety complement each other perfectly in the Tourismo. Light-alloy wheels reinforce the elegant appearance. They also further reduce the already low weight of the two-axle high-decker. From the factory, the Tourismo already weighs around 200 kg less than its predecessor, which reduces fuel consumption and increases payload.

Premieres for ABA 4 and Sideguard Assist in the Mercedes-Benz high-decker

Safety and Mercedes-Benz are inextricably linked. In the test vehicle, Active Brake Assist 4 with pedestrian detection makes its début in a high-deck touring coach featuring the three-pointed star. ABA 4 is the logical advancement of the previous system, ABA 3. Where the latter already initiated automatic maximum full-stop braking at the risk of a collision with a stationary or moving obstacle in front, ABA 4 also applies braking manoeuvres for pedestrians. This function is a world first in bus and coach manufacture. The performance of ABA is already far in excess of future legal requirements.

Another first in the Tourismo is Sideguard Assist. Its radar sensors monitor the lane to the right of the vehicle throughout its full length and beyond. When making a turn, Sideguard Assist warns of the presence of cyclists, pedestrians or stationary obstacles in the turning zone.

In addition, the Tourismo Safety Coach is equipped with all currently available safety and assistance systems. With autonomous intelligent cruise control (AICC) with supplementary stop-and-go function, start-off assistance system, Attention Assist (AtAs), Brake Assist (BA), continuous brake limiter, Electronic Stability Program (ESP), rain and light sensor, tyre pressure monitor, secondary water retarder and Lane Assist no touring coach provides greater safety.

If anything should ever happen, the Tourismo Safety Coach has a smoke alarm in the luggage compartment with a driver’s display, fire extinguishing system in the engine compartment and the installation space for the heater booster system, the patented Front Collision Guard safety system and its light yet high-strength annular frame system with superstructure strength compliant to the specifications of UN ECE R66.02.

Top-of-the-range Comfort Plus cockpit, elegant and ergonomic

The Safety Coach boasts the quality Comfort Plus cockpit. The "metal mesh" edging gives added character. The multifunction steering wheel with its leather finish also contributes to the designer feel. The driver-oriented cockpit is impressive: clearly laid out, ergonomically designed, with instruments that are easy to read and an informative display. Practical aids support the driver of the test vehicle, including a rain and light sensor, the frequent-stop brake and a start-off assistance system. The display screen shows the status of all flaps – open or closed. On the outside, protective elements on the left- and right-hand sides prevent damage from contact with the ground.

The elegantly curved shape of the cockpit leads smoothly to the passenger’s side. There is room for a spacious refrigerator with a capacity of 67 litres. The tour guide has the use of a practical cupboard, a reading light and a mount for a tablet.

Visibility means safety. This applies to the exterior mirrors with their wide field of vision to the main bi-xenon headlamps and the fog lamps, the cornering lights and the LED daytime running lamps and surround lighting. These additional reversing lamps are located directly in front of the rear axle and are extremely helpful when reversing at night. Together with the reversing camera with integrated washer and a reversing warning signal, this makes reversing in this high-decker a pleasure. The lighting is provided by energy-saving long-life LED lights – a safety factor as well as an economic consideration.

Modern passenger compartment design, new Softline seating

Passengers enter the Tourismo through wide entrances. The entry lights in the exterior mirrors, illuminated steps and grab rails make for safe access to the passenger deck. There, the roof dome flows harmoniously into the luggage shelves. The underside is covered in grey fabric. Glazed roof hatches provide further illumination of the passenger compartment. The curtains bring a splash of colour into the interior with gold and anthracite alternating.

Passengers can be accommodated in 48 seats, which merits a four-star seat spacing rating from the quality association for bus and coach comfort, "Gütegemeinschaft Buskomfort". The Softline seating is a real eye-catcher with its quilted diamond pattern in the centre panel of the seat cushions and backrests. The "Dinamica" black fabric seat covers lives up to its name. Headrests in black Composition leather-fibre material, side bolsters and backrests in a light pebble colour and piping in Composition yellow complete the overall aesthetic. The backrest features a Mercedes star inlay.

Electronic entertainment systems: high-level connectivity

The heart of the Tourismo’s electronic entertainment system is the Coach Multimedia System (CMS) in the cockpit. It combines a radio, DVD player, navigation system and hands-free system, offers a USB port and an AUX input. Passengers can enjoy DVDs shown on three 19-inch monitors. In addition, passengers can all configure entertainment as they choose on their own devices. Central control for this is the CMS, which provides passengers with slots for SIM cards and USB ports. This enables them to use the internet and access media from a database. There is one 230-volt socket per double seat to charge devices plus a double USB port.

Sophisticated climate control and heating systems ensure sense of well-being

A powerful air conditioning system with an output of 35 kW regulates the climate of the passenger compartment. A convection heating system is responsible for keeping things cosy in the winter months. The two-zone control in the Tourismo, with two circuits each for cooling and heating, ensures an even distribution of temperature. The air humidity sensor system helps to improve climate comfort and passenger well-being.

Galley: supply of food and drinks

The spacious refrigerator in the front section of the test vehicle accommodates a large supply of cool drinks. The on-board galley behind entrance 2 is comprehensively equipped and is operated via a touch panel. Backlit grab handles look smart and enhance safety. There is a washroom and WC with practical fittings located in the entrance area.

Large luggage compartment and additional practical stowage spaces

The maximum capacity of the luggage compartment in the two-axle vehicle is 12.1 m³, and 1.2 m³ less if an on-board toilet is incorporated. The left and right pivoting luggage compartment lids can be operated separately via the central locking system. The driver can benefit from additional stowage compartments on the left above the rear axle and on the right-hand side aft of the rear axle. A further storage space is provided by the multi-purpose space between entrance two and the rear axle.

Efficient top-end engine; engine, transmission and axle boast three-pointed star

The perfectly coordinated powertrain of the Tourismo comprises bus-specific components from a single source: engine, transmission and drive axle boast the three-pointed star. The top-of-the-range engine, the six-cylinder in-line Mercedes-Benz OM 470, has a displacement of 10.7 litres generating 335 kW (456 hp) of power and a maximum torque of 2200 Nm. As a result, the two-axle vehicle delivers outstanding performance with excellent efficiency. The latest variant of the heavy-duty engine features X-Pulse, the unique and highly flexible common-rail injection system.

Power transmission comes via the automated Mercedes-Benz GO 2508 PowerShift eight-speed transmission. The specialised bus transmission is precision coordinated for use in touring coaches, with progressive gradation and a wide range of ratios.

The axle ratio of i = 3.583 corresponds to an engine speed of exactly 1189 rpm at 100 km/h in top gear. The high-decker saves fuel as a result, runs quietly in motorway driving and benefits from the large reserve of power when driving uphill. And at the same time the high-decker also covers inter-city routes in top gear with maximum efficiency.

The outstanding aerodynamics of the Tourismo with an unrivalled air resistance coefficient of cw = 0.33 offer a further significant reduction in fuel consumption. This is also helped by the automatic lowering of the body at motorway speeds to reduce the frontal area. The driver and passengers in the front rows also benefit from the aerodynamics as there are exceptionally low levels of wind noise.

PPC and EDF support the driver and minimise consumption

Maximum efficiency and a more relaxing driving experience are the benefits guaranteed by Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC). The anticipatory cruise control system knows the vehicle’s current position and the height profile of the road ahead. Based on numerous parameters, PPC not only controls the vehicle's speed but also intervenes in the transmission to select the most appropriate gear in anticipation of the road conditions. PPC also uses EcoRoll technology: where this makes sense, EcoRoll puts the transmission into neutral, thereby causing the coach to coast, saving fuel without loss of speed.

Further support for the driver is available from Eco Driver Feedback: EDF continuously analyses the driver’s personal driving style against numerous parameters and provides individualised feedback and suggestions.

Innovative services prevent breakdowns and reduce costs

The unique and revolutionary "Omniplus Uptime" service maximises the cost effectiveness of the Tourismo: it is a remote system for monitoring a large number of components. If a problem becomes apparent, Omnibus Plus informs the operator and/or workshop in real time, depending on the degree of urgency. In this way, workshop visits can be scheduled more efficiently and breakdowns prevented.