- Assistance systems: proximity control, Continuous Braking Limiter and Lane Assistant
- Clean, economical and powerful: the new Euro 4 engines
The new Mercedes-Benz Travego retains the outstanding characteristics of the first-generation models but it surpasses its predecessor in all important criteria: in terms of safety and comfort for passengers and drivers alike, and by virtue of its appointments, attractive appearance, and very environmentally friendly new, fuel-efficient Euro 4 engines, the Travego sets new standards for high-quality touring coaches.
Line-up of three high-deck touring coaches for Western Europe
The new Mercedes-Benz Travego’s line-up consists of the high-deck touring coach Travego (max. 15 rows of seats. 12.14 m long, two axles), the Travego M (max. 16 rows of seats, 12.96 m long, three axles) and the Travego L (max. 17 rows of seats, 13.99 m long, three axles). The overall height of all three variants is 3.71 m.
Shape and design further enhanced and more dynamic
While it clearly shares a “family resemblance” with its predecessor model, the Mercedes-Benz Travego makes an overall impression that is markedly more refined and elegant, masculine and contemporary. By way of example, the “face” of the touring coach below the unchanged, deep-drawn and inviting windscreen now has much more clearly defined features; the new front panel with air intake is three-dimensionally styled, has an arched upper edge and is visually more distinctive. Along with the brand symbol, the Mercedes star, which appears in bold relief on its base, the design of the front end evokes clear associations with Mercedes-Benz passenger cars. The new, larger headlamps with free-form surfaces and clear-glass polycarbonate covers have a pronounced ridge. The indicator lights are now integrated into the all-glass housing. The dynamic nature of the touring coach is enhanced by the formal integration of the fog lamps and the redesigned bumpers.
Powerful accentuation of the character lines
The sides of the new Mercedes-Benz Travego have also been re-accentuated. The three-dimensional profile of the B-pillar’s character lines emerges more forcefully than ever before out of the vehicle’s body. At the bottom it makes a sweeping arch that extends into the front door. A wedge-shaped area links it visually to the vehicle’s front and sides. The B-pillar elegantly rises to the top above the first two side windows without obstructing the vision of the passengers. Upon reaching the roof it smoothly merges with the housing of the roof-mounted air conditioning unit that is fully integrated into the vehicle’s contours. The housing envelops the edge of the coach’s roof, forming a harmonious whole in conjunction with the side wall.
To improve the field of vision of the passengers in the back row, the new Travego has steeper and more pronounced rear side windows in place of the previous windows with their distinctly rounded forms. The new LED side-marker lamps are designed to last as long as the vehicle, which means that the bulbs do not need to be replaced. The overall result of these changes is to make the new Mercedes-Benz Travego look more powerful, while at the same time increasing its elegance and, above all, creating a uniform whole. And so the design vocabulary of the new Mercedes-Benz Travego is a further evolution of that used in its predecessor.
Redesigned rear with eye-catching tail lights
The rear of the Travego has also been altered in several important respects. Particularly eye catching are the rounded, three-dimensional tail lights which wrap around the sides. On each side, they now contain three integrated bright covers for the indicator lights and the reversing lights. Similarities with the brand’s passenger car models are not coincidental, and the tail lights also show that the Travego is clearly positioned with the Mercedes-Benz brand world. Visual design lighting elements connect the tail lights to the engine flap, which is now flat. At the top, the engine flap now has a redesigned ventilation outlet that also prevents dust or rain water from getting into the engine compartment. Further up, new embossings in the rear panel mirror the shape of the ventilation system and break up the appearance of the surface.
The Mercedes star in the rear windscreen has been enlarged and now reaches upward into the glass pane for a striking appearance. The engine cover and rear panel bulge more strongly on the sides, as do the corners of the bumpers. The overall appearance of the second-generation Travego is harmoniously shaped in the dynamic manner typical of the brand, and is very distinctive.
The body of the new Travego high-deck touring coach still uses the tried-and-tested annular frame members. They ensure an extremely high level of strength and, consequently, safety. The designers have made some changes to the left side of the coach: in order to make things easier for the driver, the models Travego (15 RHD) and Travego M (16 RHD) now have two luggage-compartment flaps instead of three, and the Travego L (17 RHD) has three such flaps instead of the previous four. A lifting mechanism is fitted to the luggage compartment flaps, which cover a luggage compartment that extends between the front and rear axles and measures 8.4 m³ in the Travego and Travego M, and 11.0 m³ in the Travego L. These values apply to the variants with an on-board toilet respectively.
Lengthened front section benefits driver, tour guide and passengers
Another change in the new Travego is the lengthening of the front section by 140 mm, although the wheelbase has remained the same. This creates more room for the driver and tour guide and makes it possible to substantially expand the width of the entrance for greater passenger convenience. At the same time, the developers have also increased the angle of approach in order to improve handling and manoeuvrability. Despite the slight increase in overall length and the measures taken to make the coach fully compliant with Euro 4 EU emissions standards, the new Mercedes-Benz Travego weighs less than its predecessor. The three-star maximum seating versions of the coach contain 49 (Travego), 53 (Travego M) and 57 passenger seats (Travego L), respectively (variant with on-board toilet and not counting the seats for the driver and tour guide).
Exemplary safety features including Continuous Braking Limiter (DBL)
Previous versions of the Mercedes-Benz Travego had always set exemplary standards of safety. In the new Travego this level was once again substantially exceeded. The coach’s extensive range of standard equipment now includes the Continuous Braking Limiter (DBL), which is a control system that significantly reduces driver stress. The DBL prevents the coach from unintentionally accelerating above the speed limit when driving down a hill. The system automatically brakes the coach using the retarder, and then — after the driver has been warned to take action — by means of the coach’s service brakes. In this way, the system prevents the coach from accelerating beyond the statutory speed limit (100 km/h on the German autobahn) when driving down a long hill, for example. To ensure that the retarder operation remains stable during especially lengthy braking periods, the unit’s cooling performance was increased to improve the dissipation of the heat generated by the braking.
Numerous safety systems including ESP fitted as standard
As was the case in previous versions of the coach, the exemplary range of standard equipment in the Mercedes-Benz Travego includes an effective braking system with disc brakes all round, the electronic braking system (EBS), Brake Assist (BA), acceleration skid control (ASR), a retarder, and, above all, the Electronic Stability Programme (ESP). The standard-fitted Voith retarder can be set to five different retarder stages by means of a stalk (standard). To reduce wear and tear on the service brakes, the retarder is also activated via the foot brake by means of a feature known as “auxiliary brake integration”. In critical driving situations, ESP keeps the coach stable on the road as far as is physically possible by selectively braking individual wheels and reducing engine output.
The range of standard equipment also includes large H7 halogen headlamps with high light efficiency. Optionally, the coach is also available with high-performance Litronic lamps with gas-discharge technology which are similar to the xenon headlamps used in passenger cars. Other standard features include the fog lamps, an efficient mirror system for excellent all-round vision, a high-strength frame with annular frame members, and the passenger seats with impact zones in the backrests. All of these features are just as intrinsic to the new Mercedes-Benz Travego as its comfortable and safe chassis.
New assistance systems: proximity control and Lane Assistant
Available for the first time in the Travego is the optional proximity control system (ART) which automatically maintains a pre-selected safety distance to vehicles travelling up ahead. For example, if the coach comes too close to a slower vehicle in front, or if a slower vehicle cuts in front of the coach, the proximity control system automatically activates the retarder and service brakes to slow the coach down sufficiently so that the pre-set safety distance is once again maintained. At most, the deceleration uses 20 % of the total possible braking force. If the distance to the obstacle increases once again, the coach automatically accelerates to the cruise control’s preset speed. Drivers particularly benefit from the proximity control system when travelling on motorways. However, it is also beneficial when driving along country roads, as well as in city traffic because the system is effective from 15 km/h.
Another optional feature is the Lane Assistant (SPA), which is now available for all new Travego models. The Lane Assistant is equipped with a camera system that tracks the lane’s boundary markings in order to recognise if the coach is about to leave its lane. Should the vehicle drift out of its lane, the system warns the driver by creating a vibration in his or her seat on the side on which the coach has crossed the boundary markings.
Further enhanced driver area
The developers have also enhanced many aspects of the Travego’s interior. For example, drivers benefit from the expanded adjustment area for their seats as a result of the extension of the coach’s front section by 140 mm. In addition, the area behind the driver seat can now accommodate a bag or similar gear. On the left-hand side, the console has been redesigned with its large number of convenient trays. The operating lever for the parking brake has now been relocated so that it is within easy reach. Another improvement becomes evident when the joystick gearshift lever is operated, as the enhanced Servoshift allows the driver to shift gears more smoothly and with even greater precision.
The instrument panel, which already had an exemplary ergonomic design in the predecessor model, has been further enhanced in the new Travego. For example, the previous monochrome display in the instrument cluster has been replaced by a new, clearly structured, high-contrast colour display as standard. The standard equipment line “Flair” now features a leather steering wheel with wood-look trim. The new Mercedes-Benz Travego, on the other hand, comes with a leather steering wheel with fine multipoint structure in the equipment line “Fashion”.
As a result of the extension of the Travego’s front section, 70 mm are added to both the tour guide area and the entrance. The passengers now board the coach via low, wide steps. The redesigned tour guide seat features an electrical adjustment system for the cushion and backrest as an option.
Video system with DVD player and flat-screen monitors
The roof trim above the driver and tour guide in the new Travego has been completely redesigned. It now has a visually open and appealing arrangement with enlarged and lockable stowage areas on the left and right. A precondition for the new design was the use of flat-screen monitors for the new Travego’s video system instead of the previous cathode ray tube monitors. If desired, the front monitor can be electrically folded away to provide the passengers with an expanded field of vision. Standard equipment also includes a DVD player. In another improvement, the blind on the windscreen is now split from top to bottom in order to enhance the field of vision and provide individualised protection against the sun’s rays. As a result, the driver can set the blind to meet his or her needs without restricting the field of vision of passengers seated on the right-hand side. An electric control system is available as an option for operating the two blinds at the push of a button. In addition, an optional heating system is available for the windscreen.
New lighting concept and new service sets in the passenger compartment
When passengers enter the vehicle they are already welcomed by the name of the brand “Mercedes-Benz” at the entrance. This lettering is also found in the interior, above the driver and tour guide areas on the left and right-hand sides of the coach, where it is accompanied by the model designation “Travego”. Passengers are meant to feel at home on the Travego, which is why the coach’s dimensions have remained unchanged: 2.55 m exterior width and an ample standing height of 2.10 m. The result provides passengers with an airy feeling of spaciousness. In the new Travego, passengers will appreciate the redesigned service sets underneath the air ducts, as they now have a more cohesive look. The inductive switches for the reading lamps and the hostess or tour guide call function are now illuminated, and the control buttons have been logically integrated into the system next to the reading lamps. The adjustable air nozzles are now controlled by means of thumbwheels.
The lighting concept for the Travego passenger compartment is also completely new. Interior lighting is now provided by fluorescent tubes that run along the luggage racks on the ceiling. The tubes can be set to two different settings. Coach operators will particularly benefit from the fluorescent tubes’ long service life. Another new feature is the discreet ambient lighting with offset lamps for dazzle-free lighting of the floor along the centre aisle. Passengers seated in the back row will notice the improved field of vision they enjoy in the new Travego, as the side windows have been pulled back to eliminate the previous arch that extended to the corner pillars.
Footrests now standard equipment
The tried-and-tested seating of the Travego remains unchanged, except for the use of a new collection of fabrics. However, the comfortable “Travel-Star Xtra (TSX)” seating which is fitted as standard now features footrests for the passengers while the upholstery also has new darts. To individualise their Mercedes-Benz Travego, coach operators can choose from 20 different colours for the velour covering of the side walls and the middle of the ceiling, five different floor coverings and a large number of fabric and leather seat covers. The two equipment lines “Flair” (standard) and “Fashion” (optional) have been retained. In the equipment line “Flair”, the decorative wood inserts in the grab handles, the side panels of the passenger seats and the instrument panel are darker in the new Travego models than in their predecessors.
Output of air conditioning system increased up to a maximum of 39 kW
In particularly hot regions, passengers on the Travego benefit from the higher output of the roof-mounted air conditioner – now up to 39 kW in its most powerful version. There is also another new air conditioning system that has 35 kW of cooling power. These two air conditioners both use eight evaporator blowers to achieve a strong air flow. Depending on the application and vehicle variants, operators of the new Travego can now choose between air conditioners with output ratings of 32 kW, 35 kW and 39 kW. The tried-and-tested hot-water convector heater has been retained from the predecessor. Alternatively, a propeller fan heater is available for the coach as an option.
Corresponding to the new Travego’s higher standards are the robust covering of the luggage compartment floor and the luggage compartment flaps, which are now lined on the inside. The coach is equipped with a spacious multi-purpose closet next to the middle entrance. This closet is separated from the middle entrance by a blind and can either be used as an additional stowage area or as a room for an optional driver sleeping area. Standard equipment includes a central locking system for doors and flaps, which is supplemented by an electropneumatic remote control for the luggage compartment flaps. As an option, the coach also comes with a convenient locking system that also closes and locks the driver window and the hatches in the roof.
Clean and economical engines thanks to future-proof technology
The engines used in the Travego are economical and environmentally friendly. The Mercedes-Benz Bus and Coach unit is accompanying the launch of the new model with the introduction of Euro 4-compliant engines that are particularly fuel efficient and low in emissions. The engines are equipped with the new Blue-Tec diesel technology on the basis of SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction). Blue-Tec has been proving its worth in heavy-duty Mercedes-Benz trucks since the beginning of 2005. More than 40,000 of these trucks have been sold to date, with the majority of them already powered by Euro 5-compliant engines.
Euro 4-compliant engines with reduced fuel consumption, thanks to Blue-Tec
Blue-Tec has a number of advantages over other exhaust gas purification systems: it reduces fuel consumption, the system is designed to last as long as the drive train, and the maintenance intervals of the Travego have been increased from 60,000 km to 90,000 km. An indicator of the new Travego’s superior profitability is the reduction in the coach’s fuel consumption compared to today’s Euro 3-compliant vehicles.
Blue-Tec is very simple to handle in the new Travego. On the right-hand side of the vehicle and right next to the filler neck of the fuel tank or in its immediate vicinity is a flap for a second, separate and unmistakeable filler neck for Ad-Blue. It is not possible to confuse the diesel and the Ad-Blue tank when filling up, as the two filler necks are of different sizes and an automatic safeguard device prevents such mistakes from occurring. Depending on the model in question, the Ad-Blue tank has a volume of 61 litres (Travego) or 47.5 litres (Travego M and Travego L), which suffices for travelling many thousands of kilometres. The petroleum industry is currently setting up a comprehensive network of filling stations for Ad-Blue in Europe. Of course operators can instead supply their vehicles with Ad-Blue at their own filling station or workshop. For this purpose, the manufacturers of Ad-Blue supply the liquid in various types of container.
In times of permanently high fuel prices, the economical operation of the Travego engines with Blue-Tec diesel technology becomes particularly important. Because the engines are very economical in their consumption of diesel fuel and the touring coaches are fitted with high-capacity fuel tanks of 490 litres (Travego) or 475 litres (Travego M and Travego L), the vehicles can travel for very long stretches without having to make any annoying refuelling stops. The tank housings are made of light-weight plastic.
New base engine: 315 kW (428 hp) and more torque
Because of the impending introduction of the Euro 4 emissions standard, the engineers also revised the new Mercedes-Benz Travego’s engine range, which they significantly upgraded. Although the programme still consists of the OM 457 LA six-cylinder in-line engine with 12 litres of displacement and the OM 502 LA V8 engine, the previous OM 457 LA entry-level engine with an output of 260 kW (354 hp) has been eliminated. It is being replaced by the next most powerful variant, whose performance has also been significantly increased.
The Travego’s new base engine has an output of 315 kW (428 hp). However, even more important than the increase in the engine’s rated output is the jump in its pulling power. As a result, the six-cylinder’s peak torque has risen from 1900 Nm to the impressive value of 2100 Nm. Thanks to its new, especially powerful base engine, the Mercedes-Benz Travego’s driving performance lives up to its dynamic appearance under all conditions.
No change has been made to the performance of the most powerful engine for the Travego, the eight-cylinder OM 502 LA V-engine with 15.9 litres of displacement and an output of 350 kW (476 hp). This engine also has a peak torque of 2100 Nm. It is available as an option for the three-axle Travego M and Travego L variants.
Servoshift makes gearshifting easier and more precise
The air intake for all engines is located on the left above the drive axle, in an area that lies outside the zone in which dirt can be thrown up by the rear wheels. The air filters have a correspondingly long service life. In all models, the engine power is transmitted by the Mercedes-Benz GO 210 six-speed manual transmission. As in the previous Travego, this transmission is operated by means of a joystick in the instrument panel. An enhanced Servoshift makes gearshifting even easier and more precise than was previously the case. The new Travego can instead be equipped with the optional AS-Tronic automated manual transmission from ZF, which has twelve forward gears. As was the case in the predecessor model, all Travego coaches feature the tried-and-tested Mercedes-Benz HO6 drive axle unit.
Less complex electronics
The new Mercedes-Benz Travego 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 now been cut from six to five, thereby reducing the complexity of the system as a whole. At the same time, its functionality has been further increased.
For many convenience systems on board the new Travego, the Mercedes-Benz Bus and Coach unit deliberately utilises 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 now possible to fit a trailer coupling (including power sockets), for example, without the additional software download previously required. All in all, the combination of programmable control system and conventional electronics is very practical.
The Hoşdere plant is one of the most modern bus and coach factories in the world
The new Mercedes-Benz Travego is manufactured at the DaimlerChrysler AG plant in Hoşdere, Turkey, which is located near Istanbul. Besides a number of other Mercedes-Benz buses, this plant has also been producing the Mercedes-Benz Tourismo high-deck touring coach for the past ten years. More than 12,000 units of this coach have rolled off the plant’s assembly line since 1995 — a clear indication of the vehicle’s success. At the FIAA 2006 in Madrid, Mercedes-Benz will be displaying its flagship coach model, the Travego, as well as the successor to the previous Mercedes-Benz Tourismo high-deck touring coach.
DaimlerChrysler 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. The company has built around 45,000 buses and coaches in Turkey since 1968, many of which have been successfully exported to western Europe. Examples include the Mercedes-Benz Tourismo touring coach and the Mercedes-Benz Conecto or Mercedes-Benz Intouro regular-service buses. By establishing a production facility in Hoşdere, DaimlerChrysler helped to make Turkey a full-scale automotive location early on. Turkey is a country with approximately 70 million inhabitants as well as a rapidly growing economy that produces more than one million passenger cars, vans, trucks and buses every year. Around two-thirds of these vehicles are exported, primarily to Europe.
Since January 2005, the Mercedes-Benz Bus and Coach unit has also manufactured the new Travego in the variants Travego 15 SHD and Travego 17 SHD, which are especially adapted to the needs and preferences of the Turkish market. These two super-high-deck touring coaches are 12.0 m and 13.85 m long, respectively. They are both 3.97 m high and are powered by the familiar Euro 3 engines of the previous model, in accordance with the needs of the Turkish market. More than 1250 units of the SHD version of the new Travego had been sold in Turkey by the time the FIAA 2006 commenced. Externally, this super-high-deck touring coach differs from the Travego RHD mainly through its larger luggage compartment flaps, a higher-placed front moulding and a shorter front section.
Best possible corrosion protection thanks to new cathodic dip priming facility
To accommodate the production of the new Mercedes-Benz Travego, DaimlerChrysler extensively modernised and expanded the Hoşdere plant. The construction measures were completed in June 2005 with the festive reopening of the plant. The key element of the modernisation measures was the installation of a new cathodic dip priming facility, which ensures the best possible corrosion protection. In its construction, the engineers incorporated their experiences with the cathodic dip priming facility at the Mannheim plant in order to ensure the perfect long-term protection of the vehicle bodies. A new body shop was built as well. Approximately € 75 million was invested in the expansion and modernisation of the Hoşdere plant, which had been originally built in 1995. 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. Every purchaser of a Travego can therefore be certain that he or she has
obtained a touring coach that is not only appealing, but also of the highest quality so that it has an extremely long service life and maintains its value over time.
More Mercedes for the same price
On the basis of the numerous product improvements, the Mercedes-Benz Bus and Coach unit is planning an annual production of about 450 units of the new Mercedes-Benz Travego high-deck touring coach, despite the currently lacklustre markets in Western Europe. This figure corresponds to the production output of the predecessor model. Around 250 Travego high-deck touring coaches, launched in Europe in 2006, with Euro 4 engines will have been sold to customers before the start of the FIAA 2006.
The numerous modifications to the equipment and concept of the new Travego high-deck coach ensure added value and utility for customers, without a corresponding increase in price. The only price change resulted from the changes made to ensure compliance with the EU’s Euro 4 emissions standard, which is required by law.
The Mercedes-Benz Travego at the FIAA 2006 in Madrid
At the FIAA 2006, Mercedes-Benz is presenting the top-class high-deck Travego touring coach as the flagship of its product line-up. The Travego M on show at the FIAA 2006 features a comprehensive range of equipment and details that ensure unsurpassed safety and comfort. Included in this impressive array are the proximity control system ART, the Lane Assistant, the elegant equipment line “Fashion”, “Travel-Star Xtra” seats with leather applications, and the monitors above the centre aisle that can be folded away with an electronic control. Other special features of the Travego are a second refrigerator unit, panorama camera, navigation system that can also display its screen on the monitors, and video monitoring of the centre aisle. The powertrain comprises an OM 457 LA six-cylinder in-line turbocharged diesel engine (315 kW/428 hp) that satisfies the Euro 4 emissions standard, in tandem with a GO 210 manual six-speed transmission.