Mercedes-Benz Tourismo: The economic miracle is number one
Feb 02, 2012
  • Especially economical model series in the business segment
  • Range consists of four high-deck touring coaches and two high-floor buses
  • Comprehensive safety equipment as standard, including ESP
  • Engines: Euro 5 standard, EEV variant optional (without DPF)
  • Unpretentiously designed body from the Mercedes-Benz family of buses
  • Friendly and functionally designed passenger compartment
  • Passenger compartment with latest generation of seats
  • Convenient convector heating, efficient air conditioning
  • Driver-oriented cockpit with joystick gearshift
  • Mercedes GO 240-8 PowerShift automated eight-speed transmission
  • Best possible corrosion protection thanks to cathodic dip priming
Since its world premiere at the 2006 Frankfurt International Motor Show, the Mercedes‑Benz Tourismo has swiftly evolved into a best seller. 5000 units of the high-deck touring coach for the business segment have been sold to date. As such, the Tourismo clearly leads the field in its class in Europe. This success is founded on the vehicle's clearly defined character as a particularly economical and safe touring coach which is available in numerous variants. As an economical all-round bus it covers a broad spectrum of operations for the wide-ranging segment ranging from touring through transfer services and excursions to internal works transportation and long-distance routes. It sets safety standards in its class and combines modern, quintessentially MB design with tried and tested Mercedes‑Benz quality. Introduced in 2009, the Tourismo RH has proven a perfect addition to the best-selling Tourismo line. As a high-floor touring coach, the Tourismo RH complements the rest of the Mercedes‑Benz Tourismo line comprising high-deck coaches. The Tourismo RH covers the luxury inter-urban transport and basic touring segment.
Range of four high-deck touring coaches including a 13-metre, two-axle coach
The Mercedes‑Benz Tourismo touring coach model series consists of four high-deck touring coaches in future: the two-axle Tourismo (length 12.1 metres), the Tourismo M/2 (13 metres), also with two axles, and the three-axle Tourismo M (13 metres) and Tourismo L (14 metres). The height reaches 3620 mm, including the centrally located, roof-mounted air conditioning system. The Tourismo is also available in a right-hand-drive version. As an option, it can also be supplied with a Class 2 licence (as a regular-service bus).
With this coach, Mercedes‑Benz covers the increasingly attractive and extremely competitive business segment for functional high-deck touring coaches with hardly the slightest gap. As a result, the Tourismo satisfies the coach operators’ needs for a made-to-measure high-deck vehicle for a wide spectrum of applications better than ever before. The target markets for the Tourismo are all of Europe, including Turkey and the Mediterranean region plus the Middle East.
From the economic point of view, both the 12.1-metre Tourismo and, in particular, the variant of the two-axle Tourismo M/2 with a length of 13 metres are of interest. Thanks to the extension of the wheelbase from 6080 mm to 6900 mm, it offers one row of seats or four places more than normal with the same number of axles — e.g. 53 passenger places in the three-star seating with on-board toilet. This variant is primarily interesting in countries such as France, where there is a gross vehicle weight rating of 19 tonnes for two-axle vehicles. Nonetheless, the Tourismo M/2 is a highly economical alternative for other countries, thanks to a kerb weight of just over 13.6 tonnes when fitted with the usual equipment. And economy is boosted even further since the two-axle high-deck coach attracts notably lower road use charges in many countries than the three-axle version.
The Tourismo M/2 benefits first and foremost from a strictly weight-optimised design without compromising stability. Examples of this approach include the optimised substructure frame and body frame, the reduced thickness of the panes in the side windows, the weight-optimised heating and lighter front box. Aluminium has also increasingly been used on the Tourismo M/2 in particular. For instance, the standard specification includes aluminium wheels. And the purchaser also has the option of dispensing with a spare wheel, as a further measure to reduce weight.
Unpretentiously designed body from the Mercedes‑Benz family of buses
With its flowing and unpretentious design, the body of the Mercedes‑Benz Tourismo has a modern and pleasing look. Its membership of the Mercedes‑Benz family of buses and coaches is unmistakeably apparent from the first glimpse of its front end. A striking, three-dimensional front panel with air intake links both headlamps. The Mercedes star is centrally placed, on a base. In their idle position, the windscreen wipers rest inconspicuously on a dark strip at the bottom of the windscreen. The windscreen curves up dynamically until just under the roof.
Smooth-surfaced, the side walls of the Tourismo make it straightforward to apply company logos and decoration, and are especially easy to clean. Neither strips nor swage lines disturb the harmonious image. The bonded side windows sit flush with the surface like a continuous band on the window frames. The bus’s belt line runs diagonally down and forward at the level of the first side window, merging smoothly into the lower edge of the windscreen.
Character line for a filigree look
The Tourismo’s character line also takes up the same gesture at a higher level. It lends the Tourismo's silhouette an almost filigree appearance. Extending out of the character line, above the driver’s and the door window, are the arms of the exterior mirrors. These mirrors, with their exemplary, wide fields of view, are taken directly from the Mercedes‑Benz Travego. The mirror housings and arms are coloured a discreet black as standard.
The rear of the touring coach, too, shows its relationship with the other buses and coaches from Mercedes‑Benz. Whether it is the high-reaching V-shaped rear window, the three-dimensionally designed rear lights or the engine flap with its trapezoidal air intake, the form of which is echoed in an embossing further up the back panel, the Tourismo is instantly recognisable as a Mercedes‑Benz coach, even without the brand lettering in the rear window.
Friendly and functionally designed passenger compartment
Passengers entering the Mercedes‑Benz touring coach from the front pass through a wide entrance. After three low steps, they reach the driver’s-seat platform. Two further low steps lead up to the centre aisle. The way through the centre door leads up, via five steps, to the centre aisle, which is 1330 mm above the road surface. The design of the passenger compartment is as friendly as it is functional. With a standing room height of 2010 mm in the centre aisle, it is sufficient for even tall passengers. The external width of 2550 mm means that the interior offers lots of freedom of movement for the passengers. The large windows contribute especially to the airy atmosphere of the passenger compartment, permitting an almost uninterrupted side view along the entire length of the bus.
The interior lights fitted in the middle of the ceiling are oval in shape. With two-way switchable interior illumination and a discreet ambient night light setting, they combine multiple functions.
New comfortable and light "Travel Star Xtra" passenger seats
Since the spring of 2011, the Tourismo has offered its passengers particularly comfortable "Travel Star Xtra" double seats. These are installed on 150 mm high bases to the left and right of the centre aisle. The design of the new seats combines functionality with an attractive appearance. The side finishes are produced in aluminium, for example, as an appealing, high-quality and lightweight solution. The seat incorporates a large, clearly marked and easy running adjustment rocker which provides a simple means of transverse adjustment for the aisle-side seats and facilitates backrest tilt adjustment.
Apart from their elegant appearance, the armrest on the new seats also feature a large and ergonomically shaped surface. The very simple and easily understandable swivel mechanism to fold back the backrest is a patented innovation. The backrest and the seat cushion both feature new shaping. The cushion is fitted on a sprung base for the first time. It is simple to remove for cleaning or repair purposes.
A steeper backrest angle in zero position assists passengers in standing up from a seated position. A new feature on all seats is the positioning of the belt buckles on the aisle side. This facilitates use by passengers sitting on the window side.
The seat frame is based on a lightweight twin-tube aluminium frame. In conjunction with a patented support for the gas springs, this prevents unpleasant vibration of the seats on empty runs. The use of lightweight materials reduces the weight per double seat substantially. The total weight reduction in a 12 m long touring coach in three-star design stands at around 70 kg.
Overhead, the passengers see the harmoniously and attractively designed service sets which are integrated flush in the roof air duct. These service sets, which have been developed individually for the Mercedes‑Benz Tourismo, incorporate reading lamps, adjustable round air vents, loudspeakers, a tour guide call button and a stop request button. The spacious open stowage compartments for hand luggage are semi-self-supporting and partitioned by slender struts which prevent the luggage from sliding around.
Generously designed luggage space offers up to 11 m³ volume
Passengers’ suitcases and bags also have plenty of room, in the Mercedes‑Benz Tourismo’s generously dimensioned luggage compartment. The high-deck touring coach comes with just two luggage compartment flaps on the left-hand side and three flaps on the right-hand side of the coach in the two length variants Tourismo and Tourismo M. This also makes the driver’s life easier, when it comes to loading and unloading the luggage compartment. Hinged flaps are fitted as standard, but luggage compartment flaps equipped with a lifting mechanism for opening can be fitted as an option. The Tourismo M/2 and Tourismo L have three flaps on the left-hand side and 4 on the right-hand side.
If the bus is fitted with the optional on-board toilet, the volume of the luggage compartment in the Tourismo M and Tourismo M/2 is 8.4 m³ and reaches a value of 11.0 m³ (12.2 m³ without toilet) in the case of the Tourismo L. The Tourismo can also be fitted with an optional multipurpose space between the central door and drive axle, which can in turn be equipped as a quiet space for the driver. Additional stowage compartments are optionally available above the front axle and/or the drive axle, increasing the luggage compartment volume by around 2.0 m³ maximum.
Convenient convector heating, efficient air conditioning
Optimum climatic comfort is also ensured on board the Mercedes‑Benz Tourismo. Cosy temperatures in winter are provided by the hot-water convector heater with its comfortable radiant heat. For keeping a cool head in the hotter seasons, the air conditioning system is fitted as standard. The version fitted to the Tourismo, Tourismo M/2 and Tourismo M as standard achieves a cooling output of 32 kW; the system fitted to the Tourismo L delivers 35 kW. A version delivering 39 kW is also available for particularly demanding cooling requirements. Two manual roof hatches support interior ventilation when required. They are available with electrical opening as an option.
In contrast to its predecessor, the Tourismo is characterised by individuality. An on-board toilet, available as either a water (WC) or a chemical (CC) model, can optionally be fitted to the right of the central entrance. The galley, which is also optional, is available in a number of variants. The on-board entertainment system ranging from a radio to CD player can be optionally extended by the addition of a DVD player. In this case, the appointments also include two 38.10 cm flat screens. 19-inch (48.26 cm) screens are optionally available.
Driver-oriented cockpit with joystick gearshift
The central instrument panel contains two large dials that clearly show the vehicle’s speed and rpm, while two smaller instruments indicate the coolant temperature and the amount of fuel left in the tank. Meanwhile, a central display contains further instruments that indicate, for example, how much Ad-Blue is left in the container.
To the right of the driver is a joystick lever located within easy reach on the instrument panel, a position that also facilitates access to the driver's area. Positioned above it are a number of operating switches, including those of the familiar climate-control system as well as of the standard-fit radio and CD player. Clearly arranged on the left-hand side of the cockpit are the headlamp switch and the buttons for operating additional functions. Directly to the left of his or her seat, the driver will find an open tray and a cup holder located on top of a console, where the parking brake lever is also within easy reach.
Next to the front entrance is a folding seat suited for use by tour guides. A twin seat for two tour guides can be installed as an option. The easily accessible large chest refrigerator in the front section has a 65-litre capacity.
Comprehensive safety equipment as standard, including ESP
Safety has a high priority in all buses and coaches from Mercedes‑Benz, including the Tourismo. Like all of the brand’s other touring coaches, the Tourismo is equipped with an exemplary range of safety features as standard: the Electronic Braking System (EBS), disc brakes all round, the anti-lock braking system (ABS), acceleration skid control (ASR), Brake Assist (BAS), cruise control, hydrodynamic retarder, Continuous Braking Limiter (DBL) and, above all, the Electronic Stability Program (ESP).
Another important component of the vehicle’s active safety systems is the ergonomically optimised cockpit for easy coach operation and the electrically adjustable and heated exterior mirrors with their very large viewing angles. If an accident becomes unavoidable, the strong assembly of the coach frame with annular frame members ensures that the survival space remains intact even if the vehicle should roll over.
Powerful yet thrifty engines with Blue-Tec diesel technology
The Tourismo's drive train stands for the ultimate in economy. The drive train is based on in-line six-cylinder turbodiesel engines of the OM 457 series with a displacement of 12 litres, a power output ranging from 260 kW (354 hp) to 315 kW (428 hp) and maximum torque of 2100 Nm. In the two-axle versions Tourismo, Tourismo M/2, Tourismo RH and Tourismo RH M the horizontally mounted OM 457 hLA is available in two output classes: 260 kW (354 hp) or 300 kW (408 hp). The engines have a maximum torque of 1600 Nm and 1900 Nm respectively. The three-axle Tourismo M and Tourismo L are powered by vertically mounted OM 457 LA engines with an output of 315 kW (428 hp) and an extremely high maximum torque of 2100 Nm. The vehicle’s sophisticated noise insulation system deserves particular mention, as the development engineers at EvoBus GmbH used the free space between the horizontally mounted engine and the passenger compartment to create a particularly sound-proof intermediate floor.
The BlueTec diesel technology featuring SCR and AdBlue injection into the exhaust gas results in reduced fuel consumption and a high level of environmental friendliness. The coaches offer low emissions in compliance with Euro 5 as standard. An EEV variant without particulate filter is optionally available.
The Tourismo RHD has a very long range, thanks to the high capacity of the fuel tank of 490 litres (two-axle version, 12 m), approx. 370 litres (two-axle version, 13 m) and 475 litres (three-axle version). The same applies to the Ad-Blue tank, which can hold either approx. 61 litres (two-axle) or approx. 47 litres (three-axle), depending on the variant. This amount of Ad-Blue is sufficient for a distance that corresponds to several fillings of the fuel tank. The Ad-Blue filler aperture is located right next to the fuel filler neck.
Highly efficient, due in part to long maintenance intervals
Because of its low fuel consumption, the Tourismo is also inexpensive to operate. However, the low operating costs are also due to the long maintenance intervals of 90,000 km. To this end, functionality has been the guiding principle in the design of the drive train down to the last detail. As a result, the Tourismo has the air intakes for the engine located far above the soiling area along the sides of the coach. This arrangement ensures that the corresponding filters will have a long service life.
Power transmission by means of six-speed transmissions
Engine power is transmitted to the tried-and-trusted Mercedes‑Benz HO6 hypoid axle as standard by means of six-speed transmissions with a joystick in the cockpit. Whereas coaches equipped with the low and medium-output engines are fitted with a Mercedes‑Benz GO 190 transmission, the GO 210 transmission is used in connection with the highest output rating. Gearshifting is by means of the joystick in the instrument panel. The integral Servoshift also ensures gear changes are smooth and precise.
Mercedes GO 240-8 PowerShift automated eight-speed manual transmission
Since the spring of 2009 the Tourismo has been optionally available with the Mercedes GO 240-8 PowerShift automated eight-speed transmission which has been developed specifically for use in the bus. In addition to reducing fuel consumption significantly in comparison to other engine-transmission combinations, the PowerShift's special features also make it an important safety element. Its particularly compact design results in a lower weight and advantages with regard to maintenance and servicing.
Thanks to the transmission's progressive gear ratio spread, its eight gears cover the range from delicate manoeuvring to low, fuel-efficient engine speeds for motorway cruising. The progressive stepping of the gears ensures perfectly smooth gear shifting. Shifting is jolt-free and swift, and the transmission's control system reacts quickly to changing topography or load demands.
Using the Mercedes GO 240-8 PowerShift automated transmission could not be simpler. The driver will generally drive the bus in automatic mode, but briefly pushing the shift lever forward or backward enables manual intervention at any time. Pressing the shift lever to the left suffices to switch the Tourismo to manual mode, in which the driver can change gear as he wishes, within the bounds of what is technically feasible.
The Tourismo on the road: comfortable, safe and agile
The chassis of the Tourismo is identical to that used in the brand’s other coach, the Travego. As such, it is proof of the highest levels of safety and comfort. The independent double wishbone suspension at the front, the drive axle featuring wheel location via longitudinal link plus a wishbone, and the stabilisers at the front and rear axles ensure high performance.
Like all buses and coaches from Mercedes‑Benz, the Tourismo is extremely manoeuvrable. The turning circle of the 12.1-metre Tourismo, for example, is only 21 metres. The other variants Tourismo M/2 (23.1 m), Tourismo M (21.3 m) and Tourismo L (23.7 m) are likewise extremely agile in relation to their lengths. In the three-axle models Tourismo M and Tourismo L, manoeuvrability is further improved by the electrohydraulic ZF RAS-EC trailing axle with independent wheel suspension as on the Travego. This steered axle is also active when driving in reverse, thus providing considerable assistance during manoeuvring.
Robust electrical and electronic systems
Like the Travego, the Mercedes‑Benz Tourismo is equipped with enhanced electronics. Although the electronic system is still based on the successful flexibly programmed control system (FPS), the number of control units has been cut to five, thereby reducing the complexity of the system as a whole. At the same time, its functionality has been further increased.
Many convenience systems on board the Tourismo deliberately utilise a conventional electronic system with fuses and relays. Among other things, the electronics operate the blinds, power windows, audio and video systems, and the on-board galley. In addition to being easily repairable anywhere in Europe and the adjoining countries, this electronic design was chosen because additional systems can easily be retrofitted. As a result, it is possible to fit a tow coupling (including power sockets), for example, without requiring any additional software downloads. All in all, the combination of FPS and conventional electronics is very robust and practical.
The Hoşdere plant is one of the most modern bus factories in the world
The Mercedes‑Benz Tourismo high-deck touring coach is manufactured at Daimler AG’s Hoşdere plant in Turkey, which is located near Istanbul. In addition to assembling other Mercedes‑Benz buses especially for the Turkish and eastern European markets, the Hoşdere plant has been producing the Mercedes‑Benz Travego SHD touring coach since 2005. Daimler has been manufacturing buses in Turkey since 1968, when it began producing the legendary Mercedes‑Benz O 302, which many bus operators and drivers still remember well.
Best possible corrosion protection thanks to new cathodic dip priming facility
The Mercedes‑Benz Tourismo is also benefiting from the extensive modernisation of the Hoşdere plant, which was completed in 2005. The key element of the modernisation measures was the installation of a new cathodic dip priming facility, which ensures the best possible corrosion protection. A new body shop was built as well. The production and quality standards in Hoşdere are at the same high level as in other DaimlerChrysler locations due to the use of identical processes and, above all, the high standards of training for the employees.
The coach's broad spectrum of applications is also testimony to the Tourismo's excellent build quality and service life: one such application is on demanding long-distance routes where some coaches clock up well in excess of 200,000 km a year.
An international career
The Tourismo is embarking on an international career: Mercedes‑Benz supplies the Tourismo to more than 50 countries around the world. This in turn helps ensure European coach operators and their vehicles can rely on top-quality service in all the countries usually on their itineraries. The full order book since the presentation of the Tourismo is testimony to the accomplished concept. The Tourismo is set to write a new chapter in this success story, following on from its illustrious predecessor.
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