Mercedes-Benz minibuses, model year 2012
Mar 29, 2012
Mercedes-Benz minibuses: The Sprinter Transfer, Travel, City, City 77 and Mobility
  • Current minibus range with 14 basic models for rural, touring-coach and urban use; separately mounted bus bodies
  • Sprinter Transfer series – five models, four lengths, for 12 to 22 passengers
  • Sprinter Travel series – iIts equipment offers the very best in touring comfort
  • Sprinter City series – low-floor models tailor-made for public local transport
  • Sprinter Mobility series – designed for passengers with restricted mobility
  • Safe, comfortable and economical – Adaptive ESP, ABS, ASR, EBD and BA plus economical and low-emission Euro V-compliant diesel engines
The success story of the current Mercedes-Benz minibus generation started in 2006. The line-up features four model series: Sprinter Transfer, Sprinter Travel, Sprinter City and Sprinter Mobility with a total of 14 basic models. The minibuses developed for use in urban, rural and touring-coach service as well as for services for passengers with restricted mobility are based on the current generation Sprinter. Mercedes-Benz Minibus GmbH, a fully owned subsidiary of EvoBus GmbH, produces the Mercedes minibuses in Dortmund. It is one of the largest suppliers in this segment throughout the whole of Europe, offering a 24-month warranty covering the complete vehicle for the complete minibus range.
Logically structured range
The current line-up comprises minibuses in six lengths ranging from 5.9–8.7 metres, all based on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The gross vehicle weight rating ranges from 3.5 to 6.8 tonnes. The model designations of the respective model series offer a clear indication of the size and intended usage of the vehicle in question. The Sprinter Transfer, for example, is a highly versatile minibus for regular-service rural routes and excursions, whereas the Sprinter Travel is perfect for longer excursions and tours. The Sprinter City is a low-floor model for regular-service use in urban environments. And the Sprinter Mobility is designed for the transportation of passengers with restricted mobility. The two-digit model designation provides information on vehicle length and tonnage. The first figure refers to the length (2 = Sprinter with medium wheelbase, 3 = long wheelbase, 4 = long wheelbase with long rear overhang, 5 = long wheelbase with additional rear extension, 6 = separately mounted body with two axles,
7 = separately mounted body with three axles – the longest variant). The second figure refers to the gross vehicle weight rating (3 = 3.5 tonnes, 4 = 4.0 tonnes, 5 = 5.0–5.65 tonnes, 7 = 6.8 tonnes).
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Transfer: numerous variants with room for 12 to 22 passengers
Featuring an extremely attractive look, an inviting interior, comprehensive safety equipment and a high level of comfort which also extends to the passenger seats, the compact and versatile Sprinter Transfer is the ideal choice for shuttle service and regular-service rural routes as well as day excursions.
Four different length variants (5.9, 6.9, 7.3 and 7.6 metres) and four different weight ratings (3.55, 4.0, 5.0 and 5.3 tonnes gross vehicle weight) combine to produce five basic models in the new Sprinter Transfer range, which is designed to meet practically any demand that might be made of a compact and highly manoeuvrable minibus. The variants in the four different lengths range from the shortest, the Sprinter Transfer 23 with 12 passenger seats, to the Sprinter Transfer 34, the Sprinter Transfer 35, the Sprinter Transfer 45 and the Sprinter Transfer 55, which can carry up to 22 passengers.
Attractive look with large windows
While the Sprinter Transfer is a highly attractive vehicle featuring large, parallelogram-shaped, flush-mounted side windows and a stylish character line on the flanks to emphasise its dynamic character, it is also fitted with broad rub strips on the side, which underline its practical utility. The unmistakable front end with the large Mercedes-Benz star mounted in the radiator grille signals the vehicle's elegant self-assurance - as does the rear, with its large window and the centrally positioned brand symbol.
The Sprinter Transfer 55, the largest model in the rural-service model series, is equipped as standard with a complete bus-type rear end featuring an integral luggage compartment flap in place of the double doors used in the smaller Transfer models.
Passenger compartment perfectly matches exterior look
Passengers can enter the vehicle through a wide sliding door, through an enlarged access point at the front of the bus or through one of the two outward-swinging doors that are available as an option. An electrically operated step is fitted as standard. The interior of the Sprinter Transfer has been harmoniously designed to match the outside of the vehicle. The ceiling, interior panelling and trim, stowage facilities and seats all combine to create a light and airy feel and a generous sense of space in the passenger compartment. Likewise, the use of high-grade materials that feel even better to the touch once again underlines the high quality standards of the Sprinter Transfer.
This attractive design also offers enhanced functionality. For example, with a ceiling five centimetres higher than in predecessor models, the Sprinter Transfer features a standing height of 1.90 metres as well as improved soundproofing and thermal insulation. Integrated in the ceiling are two attractive light strips, which are also equipped with a night light function.
Passenger seats permit flexible seating configurations
The Sprinter Transfer is equipped with comfortable passenger seats that bear the name of "Inter Star Sprinter". The 42-centimetre-wide seats are noticeably contoured so as to provide not only superb seating comfort but also excellent lateral support. Optionally, the vehicle can also be equipped with the "Travel Star Sprinter" touring coach seats, complete with reclining backrests, fold-down armrests on the aisle side, luggage nets attached to the backrests and fold-away tables with cup holders. Both seating types are available in a wide range of attractive upholstery designs from the Mercedes-Benz Bus and Coach Collection. All seats are equipped as standard with two-point seat belts. As an optional extra, three-point seat belts can also be fitted. The use of an innovative rail-type mounting system for the seats makes variable seating configurations possible.
Options for enhanced comfort on board the Sprinter Transfer minibus series include powerful passenger air-conditioning systems coupled with air-conditioning ducts running along both sides of the vehicle's roof liner, convector heaters, armrests, curtains and folding tables with cup holders.
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Travel: equipment for the very best in touring comfort
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Travel, which is the top-of-the-line model series in the new minibus range, offers a high level of comfort for excursions, touring and as a VIP shuttle transport. It is available in three variants: the Sprinter Travel 45, 55 and 65, measuring 7.3 m (Sprinter Travel 45), 7.6 m (Sprinter Travel 55) and 7.7 m (Sprinter Travel 65) in length. The Sprinter Travel 55 is fitted as standard with a complete bus-type rear end featuring a large luggage compartment flap and 1.45 m3 of stowage space.
Meanwhile, the Sprinter Travel 65 features a separately mounted bus body based on a frame structure. Large windows at the side plus a panoramic windscreen that extends back towards the vehicle roof help create an especially elegant look. The flagship of the model series also features a touring coach-type rear end complete with luggage compartment flap and 2.0 m3 luggage compartment, a large rear window and around 10 centimetres more width inside than the Sprinter Travel 55.
All the models of the Sprinter Travel series are equipped with an exclusively styled passenger compartment. The side walls and the ceiling of the interior are lined with an attractive fabric. Similarly, luggage racks and service sets with adjustable air vents, reading lamps and call-buttons all help create the feel of a luxury touring coach - as does the separate air conditioning system for passengers and the independently controllable Tempmatic air conditioning system for the driver. The seats feature reclining backrests and fold-down armrests on the aisle side. A host of other standard features further enhance the value of the Sprinter Travel, which is immediately recognisable by its chrome radiator grille.
The exclusive Sprinter Travel 65 pampers its passengers with the standard-fit Travel Star Xtra luxury seats, seat spacing of up to 920 mm, curtains, double-glazed windows, air-sprung rear suspension and much more besides. The service door comprises an outward-opening single door with 750 mm clearance width. It can carry up to 18 +1 passengers, making it the ideal minibus for comfortable group tours and VIP shuttle services.
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter City: low-floor models tailor-made for public local transport
The Sprinter City series is a real specialist for regular-service urban operations. Whereas the compact Sprinter City 35 (6.9 metres long, max. 22 passengers) is based on a modified panel van, the larger Sprinter City 65 (7.7 metres long, max. 30 passeng­ers) is instantly recognisable by its separately mounted bus body with supporting bus frame and panoramic windows. The elegant panoramic windscreen is cut right back into the vehicle roof and therefore also provides enough room for an integrated destination display (Sprinter City 35 with raised roof). The front end complete with engine cowling and headlights is from the original Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The Sprinter City 65 K, the short version of the Sprinter City 65, is the outcome of the rear overhang being shortened by 70 centimetres. Despite its extremely compact exterior length of 7.0 metres, the two-metre-wide low-entry bus has space for 30 passengers, making it the ideal vehicle for use in constricted inner-city areas.
The latest arrival to join the Sprinter City model series is the new Sprinter City 77. At 8.7 metres in length, this plugs the gap between the Sprinter City 65 and the 10.5-metre-long Citaro. The low-floor chassis with tandem rear axle, like the body of the Sprinter City 77, is an exclusive in-house development by the Mercedes-Benz minibus division. An extra metre in length not only gives the Sprinter City 77 room for another 10 passengers (total 40), but also stepless low-floor access along the full length of the passenger compartment and a second wheelchair space.
The suspension of the three-axle Sprinter City 77 is fitted with independent suspension and single tyres all round. With its comparatively short wheelbase and slim body design, even the largest Mercedes-Benz city minibus is as if predestined for work in narrow inner-city streets. In addition, the Sprinter City 77 is the ideal vehicle for use as a shuttle bus at airports and trade fair sites, as well as for operating rural transport services.
Featuring outward-opening double doors with a clearance width of 1.25 metres, all three models are the ideal solution for city service. Likewise, a low door sill provides access to the generously sized low-floor area between the axles, measuring around 3.2 m2 in the City 35 and 3.6 m2 currently in the City 65. The passenger compartment of the Sprinter City 77, at around 11.5 m2, has a particularly spacious low-floor area of 7.5 m2. This offers plenty of space for standing passengers, as well as for pushchairs and wheelchairs. In addition, a fold-down ramp or an electrically operated telescopic ramp is available to facilitate boarding and alighting for passengers with restricted mobility, as well as parents with pushchairs.
In the City 35 and City 36, one or two low steps lead up to the rear of the vehicle, in a design similar to that of a modern low-entry bus. Passengers in the City model series are accommodated in "City-Star Eco" high-strength plastic bucket seats. These light, ergonomically moulded seat shells are fitted with upholstered squabs and backrests.
The Sprinter City 65 comes with an additional outward-opening single door behind the rear axle as part the basic specification. On the Sprinter City 77, an outward-opening double door in the rear section is standard.
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter City series features an extensive range of functional and attractive equipment. The colour concept, floor and side panelling, the seats and the modular roof liner all deliberately cite the larger Mercedes-Benz Citaro, for example. The same applies to the heating and air-conditioning system. Powerful convector heaters with axial-flow blowers, and driver and passenger air-conditioning systems with fresh-air and air-recirculation functions are also included in the range of equipment.
The urban regular-service bus is powered by Euro V-compliant, four-cylinder diesel engines with a standard output of 95 kW (129 hp) for the Sprinter City 35 and 120 kW (163 hp) for the Sprinter City 65 and 77. Power transmission to the rear axle is via a convenient converter transmission. Air suspension at the rear axle is available as an optional extra with the Sprinter City 35 and fitted as standard in the three larger models. The optional vehicle "kneeling" facility for easier boarding and alighting is restricted to the Sprinter City 65, 65 K and 77. A retarder is available for all four city bus versions. The Sprinter City 35 has a gross vehicle weight rating of 5.0 tonnes, while the Sprinter City 65, 65 K and 77 have standard ratings of 5.65 tonnes or 6.8 tonnes, on account of the greater number of passengers.
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Mobility: two models for passengers with restricted mobility
The two models in the Sprinter Mobility series are carefully designed to meet the needs of passengers with restricted mobility. Both the Mobility 23 (5.9 metres long) and the larger Mobility 33 (6.9 metres long) are based on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter panel van with a high roof and double doors at the rear. Both models have a gross vehicle weight of 3.5 tonnes - an important feature with regard to EU-wide driving licence regulations.
The Sprinter Mobility 23 is fitted as standard with seven seats in the passenger compartment, and the Sprinter Mobility 33 with eight. If required, a host of other seating variants are available, tailored to individual transportation needs. The new seats with three-point seat belts are extremely robust and can, if required, be moved backwards. For transporting wheelchairs and when variable seating configurations are required, the vehicle floor is fitted with an integrated rail-type mounting system, which serves to anchor the feet of the seats as well as to secure the retaining strap of the wheelchairs.
If required, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Mobility can be tailored to fulfil a host of applications. Available, for example, are models fitted with electrically retractable steps for both the passenger door and sliding door as well as a choice of two lift systems at the rear: a linear platform lift or a swivel platform lift. A third variant takes the form of a space-saving underfloor lift inside the vehicle.
The ideal basis: the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
All the minibuses are based on the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans and crewbuses, which were launched at the beginning of 2006 and have set new standards in design and technology. The many highlights include a joystick gearshift, an ergonomically designed driver area similar to in a passenger car, extra stowage facilities, and remote-controlled central locking.
Euro V engines for high economy and environmental compatibility
The Mercedes-Benz minibus line-up is fitted with powerful and economical four-cylinder diesel engines from the OM 651 series with outputs ranging from 70 kW, 95 kW to 120 kW and the OM 642 six-cylinder diesel engine developing 140 kW. All are classified as low-emission engines, i.e. they fulfil the Euro V emissions standard, as an option even EEV (Enhanced Environ­mentally friendly Vehicle) – currently the most stringent, volun­tary emissions standard in Europe. Thanks to their outstanding performance and efficiency, the engines comply with Euro V and EEV by means of exhaust gas recirculation. The engines are equipped as standard with a diesel particulate filter.
The six-speed manual transmission ECO Gear transfers the power, helping substantially to reduce fuel consumption and improve ride comfort and dynamics even further. One outstanding feature is the extra-large gear-ratio spread with a short ratio in first gear and a long ratio in sixth to reduce engine revs. If required, vehicles with manual transmission can also be fitted with AAS Start-off Assist, which makes hill starts easier and safer. On inclines it maintains the brake pressure for approx. two seconds after releasing the brake pedal, preventing the vehicle from rolling back briefly. The automatic transmission is fitted as standard on the Sprinter City 35 and Sprinter City 65. It is available as an option for any of the other models in the minibus line-up. Customers choosing the converter transmission automatically find themselves with the added benefit of the Start-off Assist system.
The highly economical engines boast not only low fuel consumption but also long periods between oil changes. Indeed, all Sprinter minibuses are fitted as standard with a maintenance computer, which makes it possible to achieve, depending on the type of use, flexible oil-change intervals of at least 40,000 kilo­metres. Moreover, the interval until the first major service has been increased to 80,000 kilometres, which further helps reduce operating costs, as do the longer intervals between air-filter, oil-filter, transmission-oil and coolant changes and the easily accessible maintenance points. Likewise, the first inspection of the standard-fit diesel particulate filter is only due after 160,000 kilo­metres, because the permanent regeneration processes in the exhaust system ensure effective prevention against filter clogging. A fast and smooth supply of spares both in Germany and abroad via the Omniplus service network also contributes to short downtimes and thereby further reducing the already low lifecycle costs of the Mercedes-Benz minibuses.
Safe and comfortable
The minibuses based on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter are among the safest vehicles of their class. All vehicles are fitted as standard with the ESP Electronic Stability Program complete with "Adaptive ESP", which determines the vehicle's current centre of gravity on the basis of its actual load. Also fitted as standard equipment on all Sprinter minibus models are the anti-lock braking system (ABS), acceleration skid control (ASR), Electronic Braking Force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA). Adaptive brake lights, which start flashing when the vehicle is braked in an emergency, are standard safety features on all Sprinter models. This function enhances safety during emergency braking. The brake lights flash for the duration of the emergency braking manoeuvre instead of simply remaining lit, warning the traffic behind in highly dangerous situations. The adaptive brake lights are activated in emergency braking involving more than 75 percent of the maximum brake pressure. The initial speed also has to be above 50 km/h. Once the vehicle comes to a stop after emergency braking from more than 70 km/h, the hazard warning lights are automatically switched on. They are automatically switched off once the vehicle moves off again. The need for statutory approval means that the adaptive brake lights are not available for all countries
The 16-inch wheels provide the space to accommodate large and sturdy disc brakes all round. If required, bi-xenon headlamps with integrated active light function and cornering light function are available as an optional extra. In addition, all the vehicle occupants benefit from outstanding crash performance.
Both the handling and ride comfort are very similar to those of a passenger car. The suspension of the minibuses is safe and comfortable, with the spring set-up based on a cross-leaf spring at the front and parabolic springs at the rear. As an example of innovative technology, the cross-leaf spring at the front axle is now made of fibreglass-reinforced plastic. Air suspension at the rear axle is fitted as standard in the Sprinter City 65, Sprinter City 77 and Sprinter Travel 65, and available as an optional extra for the Sprinter Transfer/Travel 45 and 55.
Well-appointed cockpit
The driver's seating position is similar to that in a passenger car. Both the luxury driver's seat, standard in all the minibuses, and the room to move within the cockpit itself set the standards for this class of vehicle. The same applies to the well-thought-out system of stowage facilities, the ergonomically designed cockpit and the outstanding clear view afforded by the large exterior mirrors with an adjustable wide-angle lens, which is especially helpful for safer reversing. Last but not least, the Sprinter minibuses impress with their precise handling, responsive steering and a range of comfort-enhancing equipment such as power windows and a programmable remote control for the central locking.
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