Mercedes-Benz with "all-rounder" and new Sprinter drive system
Setra with two world premieres
Omniplus with BusFleet and new ServiceCard
At the biggest bus and coach show of the year 2009, Busworld in Kortrijk,
Belgium, on three exhibition stands in hall 5 and in the open-air section, from 16 to 21 October Daimler is showing its current range of buses and coaches for touring and regular-service operation, including a large number of innovations and new products. The exhibition programme encompassing 20 buses and coaches of the Mercedes-Benz and Setra brands documents the great innovative power and scope of the full-line supplier and highlights the joint service brand, Omniplus, with its highly specialised offers for bus and coach operators.
Premieres at the Mercedes-Benz stand
The new Tourismo RH takes on the role of all-rounder in the bus and coach range of Mercedes-Benz in future, adding a raised-floor version (RH) for the upmarket intercity and touring segment to Europe's best-selling touring coach range and closing the gap between the established rural regular-service bus Mercedes-Benz Integro and the Tourismo RHD high-deck touring coach. As Tourismo RH with a length of 12.14 m, and Tourismo RH M with 12.98 m overall length, with standard seats the new raised-floor units afford a large capacity, seating 51 and 55 passengers, respectively. The luggage compartment volume also is very ample: 6.7 m³ and 7.9 m³ allow the coach operator to cover his short trip offer without any problems. In addition to the standard-fitted Inter Star Eco fully-upholstered seats, fully fledged touring coach seats with adjustable backrests, lateral adjustment, integral grab handles and folding armrests along the aisle are available. For the drive system, the series OM 457 hLA in-line six-cylinder with 12 litres displacement is offered in two output variants: 260 kW (354 hp) and, for operation under more demanding topographical conditions, 300 kW (408 hp). Both engines feature the BlueTec diesel technology, which meets the ecological requirements of the EU's Euro 5 emission standard and affords highest fuel economy – a unique combination. Much importance also has been attached to the standard-fitted safety equipment of the new Mercedes-Benz Tourismo RH: Electronic Braking System (EBS), disc brakes on all wheels, anti-lock braking system (ABS), acceleration skid control system (ASR), Brake Assist (BA), cruise control, retarder, Continuous Braking Limiter and above all the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) are included in the specifications.
Also premiering at the Mercedes-Benz stand: the minibuses with a new drive system for even better economy, comfort and environmental friendliness. Thanks to their tremendous efficiency the new engines OM 651 (120 kW/163 hp) and OM 642 (140 kW/190 hp) meet both the Euro 5 standard and the (currently voluntary) EEV (Enhanced Environmentally friendly Vehicle) standard, the most rigorous in Europe. The engines additionally impress with their acceleration and pulling power. Together with the new drive unit and the ECO Gear transmission the Sprinter Travel 55 and Travel 65 exhibit further new details in Kortrijk: the exemplary safety level is further enhanced with adaptive brake lights and heated wide-angle rear-view mirrors. The rear luggage compartment with a capacity of 1.45 m³ and the new outward swinging door also are included for the first time. In addition the passenger-carrying capacity of the Travel 65 has been increased to 18 + 1 through the use of a new rear seat bench.
No less impressively, the current regular-service buses and touring coaches represent highly attractive conveyances offered to passengers today from the local transport level to high-quality coach tours. The Mercedes-Benz Citaro LE Ü on display represents a family of vehicles which has grown to become the most successful urban bus family with 25,000 units being built in ten years. Not least of all, the basis of this success is highest economy over the period of operation (lifecycle costs) as well as a host of innovations over the years. This last point is underscored among other things by the latest electrically operated hybrid bus and the recently introduced Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid, which operates emission-free. These technologies, which are moving more and more into public focus, also will be presented in the Mercedes-Benz Forum on the exhibition stand in Kortrijk along with topics such as Bus Rapid Transit, plus safety technologies, including the Active Brake Assist that is already offered in the Mercedes-Benz Travego and is frequently ordered by customers.
Setra with two world premieres
Highlights on the Setra exhibition stand are the new Setra ComfortClass 400 and the new raised-floor coaches S 415 H and S 416 H of the MultiClass 400 series.
No fewer than 35 innovations in the new Setra ComfortClass testify to the importance of this bestseller in the Setra range. The most important of these innovations are safety equipment like the Front Collision Guard (FCG), light elements featuring efficient LED technology, a new driver’s workplace with 3-D instrument cluster, a camera in the rear entrance area, or a trailing axle with independent wheel suspension, rain/light sensor, new cornering light function and much more. The driver's workplace is equipped with a new multifunction steering wheel with integrated button-operated functions; it is available also in the materials carbon fibre, bird's-eye maple wood and burr walnut wood as a special leather-covered version. The instrument panel with the new arrangement of the controls also is available in wood or carbon look. The new instrument cluster in 3-D look was adapted to the TopClass 400 and now has a colour display in which among other things the status of the individual vehicle flaps as indicated by sensors is shown, and a trip computer with fuel consumption display is integrated. Externally the freshened-up look of the front end with the new corner/side panels tells that this is the new generation of the ComfortClass 400.
With the world premiere of the S 415 H and S 416 H from the MultiClass 400 series Setra presents a new raised-floor bus that will serve as the classic double-income earner. It will be sold in a 12-metre and a 13-metre variant with two axles. The advantage of the new interurban coach, available beginning in March 2010, is obvious. The centre aisle of the raised-floor bus is about 1040 mm over the road so that the vehicle could be designed with an attractive luggage compartment capacity of up to 7.9 m³. It thus can earn income for the operator in two ways: providing regional scheduled service from Monday to Friday, on weekends it is optimally suited for use in the excursion business. The S 416 H premiering in Kortrijk has space for 56 passengers. It is equipped with a 260 kW (354 hp) OM 457 hLA in-line engine in BlueTec diesel technology and a six-speed manual transmission (GO 190) with retarder.
With their innovative developments and their high-grade appointments the vehicles premiering at Busworld in Kortrijk document the premium claim of the Setra bus and coach brand, the same as do the representatives of the familiar vehicle series, the TopClass 400 touring coaches with their flagship S 431 DT, featuring Active Brake Assist, or the MultiClass 400 buses like the S 415 NF or the S 417 UL with wheelchair lift.
Fleet management system BusFleet and new service cards from Omniplus
Under the Omniplus label, Daimler offers unique services in the bus sector for Mercedes-Benz and Setra. With BusFleet and scaled-service cards Omniplus introduces two new systems on the occasion of Busworld in Kortrijk. BusFleet is the fleet management system developed specifically for buses and coaches. It focuses on efficiency and safety. This includes the documentation and analysis of operating data and tachograph data, the documentation of driving style, or up-to-the-minute tracking of location and route. BusFleet is suited not only for fleets of Mercedes-Benz and Setra, but for mixed fleets too. All major European bus and coach manufacturers use the standardised FMS interface for their vehicles. The data to be transmitted is temporarily stored in an additional onboard computer in the vehicle. Data transmission is via GPRS to a central server. Registered BusFleet users have secure access to their specific data and the respective analyses via internet. The cost of BusFleet is limited to the additional onboard computer and its installation, the use of telematics services and the transmission of the data.
The graduated service card concept also is new. The present Omniplus ServiceCard is now promoted to the "ServiceCard Premium". If a user can dispense with parts of that card's comprehensive package of services, like the fuel service or the toll, tunnel and ferry service, he now chooses the cross-brand Omniplus ServiceCard Basic. Its services include the workshop service, no-charge 24h service phone numbers in the language of the customer's country, substitute bus service including driver from the Omniplus BusPool in Germany, international address pool to meet the need for a substitute bus, as well as rapid assistance from the Omniplus TireService in the event of flats. Supplementing this is a mobility package which prevents surprises in connection with breakdown service and its invoicing.
The Omniplus service brand from Daimler Buses offers unrivalled service to fill all bus-related requirements, including maintenance and repairs, efficient driver and service training, a large range of used vehicles for sale, as well as made-to-measure financial services. With more than 600 service outlets in Europe, Omniplus has the largest bus and coach-specific service network in Europe. The Spare Parts and Logistics Center in Neu-Ulm stands as an example of the network's high capacity and efficiency. The centre stocks more than 100,000 genuine parts, from complete engines to the smallest screws. All parts of a bus are available without limitation for at least 15 years after production of the bus ceases.