17,500 of these best-selling vehicles produced since 1994
The milestone coach is handed over to Hauser-Reisen
Vehicle design leaves room for individual requirements
High-quality fittings for high-quality tours
No other Mercedes-Benz coach has achieved sales figures approaching those of the permanently best-selling O303 and certainly none has been as successful in the medium price segment. Its name says it all: we're talking here of the Mercedes-Benz Tourismo. Some 17,500 vehicles have been sold since the start of the O350 series in 1994. The introduction of the second generation in 2006 ushered in a new era for this economical coach. Since then, exactly 5,000 of these best-selling vehicles have been delivered. The milestone vehicle, a Tourismo M, formally left the Mannheim plant on 2 February 2012. At a press conference held to mark the event, Roman Biondi, brand spokesman for Mercedes-Benz buses and coaches at EvoBus GmbH, presented the symbolic key to the Keller family. "This vehicle makes it clear why the Tourismo design is so successful", said Roman Biondi at the presentation. "It gains top marks with its attractive price-performance ratio without looking like an anonymous mass-produced vehicle. Thanks to the wide range of equipment options available, it remains genuinely individual and full of character."
An economical all-rounder
The Tourismo owes its success to a consistent focus on producing a particularly economical and safe coach. Its contemporary styling, typical of the brand, and especially the Mercedes-Benz quality is appreciated by customers such as Hauser-Reisen. For Hauser, the Tourismo fully reflects the typical Mercedes-Benz brand values. "We can fit out the Tourismo to suit our individual requirements and operating needs. Whether it's as an all-round coach for excursions and short trips or as a luxuriously equipped 5-star coach for demanding long-distance travel, our Tourismo is always professionally and smartly turned out. Drivers, tour guides and passengers are all of the same opinion", said Hans Keller, touching on Hauser's own concept for the interior equipment of its Tourismo fleet.
Fittings to satisfy sophisticated demands
Hauser has adapted the Tourismo M bearing the serial number 5,000 to suit the range of tours it offers. The vehicle's interior is dominated by the high-quality seating with 5-star space between seats. 42 Travel Star Xtra (TSX), Luxline upholstered seats create a luxurious and generously-proportioned ambience, re-affirmed by the fully-integrated, high-grade galley occupying the entire rear area. In addition to overhead and floor-level cupboards and two refrigerators, each of 120 litre capacity, the galley also contains a fan oven for ready meals, pretzels and rolls, a microwave, a hot water boiler, a sink, an instant hot water geyser, a hotplate and an espresso and large coffee machine. Velour carpeting covers the entire floor area including below the passenger seats.
On-board entertainment is provided by a radio and video system, including CD/DVD player, plus a selectable navigation display and iPod interface. This allows passengers to receive up-to-date news from faraway Germany on two 19-inch TFT screens. A powerful 39 kW roof-mounted air-conditioning system plus additional driver's station air-conditioning make the Tourismo the ideal vehicle for travel in southern climes. The on-board toilet is optionally available as either a water-flushed or chemically-flushed version proving that Hauser's Tourismo can even operate in minus temperatures when the summer season is over.
Powerful, environmentally-friendly drive system
Hauser-Reisen has opted for the powerful OM 457 LA series 12 litre six-cylinder in-line turbodiesel engine capable of generating 315 kW (428 bhp). Producing maximum torque of 2,100 Nm, the engine meets the environmentally-friendly EEV exhaust emissions standard without particulate filter.
Power is transmitted to the familiar, well-proven Mercedes Benz HO6 hypoid drive axle via the Mercedes GO 240-8 PowerShift automated eight-speed transmission. It is the only specially designed coach transmission in its power category and contributes significantly to reducing fuel consumption. The transmission's eight graduated gears easily cope with different load requirements, from the varied topography experienced on intercity routes to even-surfaced, long-distance motorway journeys. The transmission ensures consistently precise, smooth and rapid gearshifting.
Based in the South German town of Rottweil, Hauser-Reisen is focused entirely on travel and transport. What began as a bus company pure and simple in 1948 has now grown into a group of companies including a travel agency, an advertising agency and a classic local public transport company. However, the coach side of the business remains particularly important. Hauser-Reisen operates 29 Mercedes-Benz coaches: 13 Tourismos and 16 Citaros. Quality, more than anything else, underpins the coach operation's business strategy. Passengers are looked after by escorts who accompany every coach tour. Drivers receive excellent training and are justifiably referred to as coach chauffeurs. Every season, over 20,000 passengers take up one of the tours on offer. In addition to coach tours to Morocco, Turkey, Greece and northern Spain, Hauser also operates tours to more northerly destinations such as Ireland, England, Scotland, Leningrad and the North Cape. The Mercedes-Benz Tourismo's design has proven to be the ideal match for Hauser-Reisen's varied tour program. As such, this 5,000th coach will be seen on the road throughout the length and breadth of Europe.