News from DaimlerChrysler Buses 2007
Kortrijk
Sep 04, 2007
Mercedes-Benz buses and coaches at "Busworld 2007" in Kortrijk, Belgium
  • Comprehensively revised product range
  • Environmentally friendly drive systems for today and tomorrow
  • Bus system for high traffic density
At "Busworld", a biennial event in , and ’s largest and most important trade fair for the sector, the Mercedes-Benz Bus and Coach unit will be presenting its recently completely revamped vehicle range from . The touring coaches and regular-service buses in Hall 5 and the outdoor exhibition area reflect the high technical standard of modern buses and coaches in terms of comfort, cost-effectiveness and safety. Blue-Tec 4/5 technology and EEV vehicles (Enhanced Environmentally friendly Vehicle) are examples of future-oriented developments for environmentally friendly passenger transport by bus and coach. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Travel 65 from the new Minibus range will celebrate its debut at the fair in .
New Minibus range now complete
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Travel 65 completes the new Minibus range. The Travel 65 has a bus body framework with a comfortable interior width, air suspend­sion and fully-fledged touring-coach appointments, TravelStar Xtra or Luxline seating, easily accessible luggage shelves, curtains, carpet flooring, double-glazed panoramic windows all round, an efficient air conditioning system and a luggage Capa-City of 2.1 m3.
The introduction of the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has led to the creation of a completely new Mini­bus range comprising four model series with twelve basic models and Capa-City for 8 – 28 passengers. The model designations clearly indicate the intended applications for these minibuses: Transfer, Travel, City and Mobility. The Sprinter Transfer is a versatile minibus for rural regular-service operations and excursions. The Sprinter Travel is suitable for excursions and tours over longer distances. The Sprinter City is a low-floor model line for urban regular-service operations. Finally, the Sprinter Mobility is primarily intended for passengers whose mobility is restricted.
These new Mercedes-Benz minibuses are equipped with powerful but economical OM 646 DE 22 LA four-cylinder diesel engines with outputs of 65 kW (88 hp), 80 kW (109 hp) and 110 kW (150 hp), as well as the OM 642 DE 30 LA six-cylinder diesel developing 135 kW (184 hp). All the engines are low-emission units meeting the Euro 4 limits, and are equipped with a diesel particulate filter as standard. Power is transferred by a six-speed manual transmission, with a five-speed auto­matic transmission available as an option (standard in the Sprinter City). The start-off assist system (AAS), which makes moving off safer and more comfortable on gradients, is also available for vehicles equipped with the manual transmission.
The new minibuses based on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter are among the safest vehicles in their class. One highlight they all share as standard is the adaptive Electronic Stability Program ESP. The anti-lock braking system ABS, acceleration skid control ASR, electronic brake force distribution EBV and Brake Assist BAS are likewise standard equipment in all new Sprinter minibus models. 16-inch wheels provide plenty of space for large, fade-resistant disc brakes all round. Bi-xenon headlamps with active light function and cornering light function are available on request. Moreover, all the occupants have the advantage of improved crash characteristics.
The cockpit also benefits from the model changeover. The seating position corres­ponds to that in a passenger car – both the freedom of movement and the luxury driver’s seat that comes as standard in all the minibuses set new standards in this vehicle class. The same applies to the well-conceived stowage system, the cockpit ergonomics and the improved visibility provided by the large, new exterior mirrors, which have an adjustable wide-angle section for additional safety, particularly when reversing. Other impressive attributes include the precise steering and handling of these Sprin­ter minibuses, as well as features such as power windows and programmable remote control for the central locking system.
Mercedes-Benz Travego: safely into the future
The second-generation Mercedes-Benz Travego has been on the market since spring 2006. This is the top model in the Mercedes-Benz touring coach range, and an improvement over the first generation in all major respects: safety and comfort for the driver and passengers, appearance and appointments, and with the out­standing environmental compatibility and economy of the Blue-Tec engine. The new Travego has attracted great attention and enhanced the public image of bus travel as a "Safety Coach" with safety features such as the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and the Continuous Braking Limiter (DBL), as well as driver-assistance sys­tems such as proximity control (ART) and Lane Assistant (SPA).
The new Mercedes-Benz Travego range comprises the high-deck touring coach models Travego (max. 15 seat rows and a length of 12.14 m with two axles), Travego M (max. 16 seat rows and a length of 12.96 m with three axles) and Travego L (max. 17 seat rows and a length of 13.99 m with three axles). The overall height is 3.71 m for all three variants. All models are powered by diesel engines complying with the Euro 4/5 exhaust emission standards. The range of available outputs extends from 315 KW (428 hp) to 350 KW (476 hp).
With the wheelbase unchanged, the front end of the new Travego has been lengthened by 140 mm. This has provided more space for the driver and the courier, as well as a significantly wider entry for the convenience of passengers.
The interior of the Travego has also undergone further development in numerous respects. The driver benefits from the longer front end in having a larger seat adjustment range, with space for a large bag behind the driver’s seat. The cupboard to his left has been redesigned with numerous practical stowage spaces. The operating lever for the parking brake has now been relocated to a new, more accessible position, for example. Operation of the joystick shift lever is now easier too, as the improved Servoshift enables the driver to shift the gears even more precisely and smoothly than before.
The already exemplary, ergonomically designed instrument panel of the preceding model has been significantly upgraded in the new Travego. Its features now include a new, high-contrast colour display which replaces the previous, monochrome display in the ­­instrument cluster. In the standard "Flair" equipment line, the driver sits at a leather-covered wheel with wood trim, while the "Fashion" line now has a leather-lined steering wheel with a fine multipoint structure.
The courier’s seat and entry benefit from the longer front end of the new Travego with 70 mm of extra space. Passengers now enter the vehicle via particularly wide, shallow steps. In addition to fore-and-aft adjustment, the redesigned courier seat now also has mechanical backrest adjustment.
Mercedes-Benz Tourismo a winner in the business segment
As a touring coach in the business segment, the new Mercedes-­Benz Tourismo was launched in the market in spring 2007. Whereas the preceding model was a stand-alone product, the new Tourismo takes the form of an entire model series with a business-oriented interior concept.
The range of Mercedes-Benz Tourismo touring coaches comprises four high-deck models: the two-axle Tourismo (length 12.1 m), the two-axle Tourismo M/2 (13 m) and the three-axle Tourismo M (13 m) and Tourismo L (14 m). The height is a uniform 3620 mm, including the central, roof-mounted air conditioning unit. The Tourismo is also available in right-hand-drive versions, and on request it can be issued with approval as a regular-service bus.
Accordingly Mercedes-Benz is able to almost completely cover the increasingly attractive and highly competitive business segment for practical high-deck touring coaches. In this way the Tourismo meets the requirements of bus operators for a tailor-made high-decker with a wide range of uses more comprehensively than ever before. The target markets for the new Tourismo are Europe including Turkey, the Mediterranean region and the Middle East.
Where economy really counts, the Tourismo with a length of 12.1 m and especially the two-axle Tourismo M/2 variant with a length of 13 m are very interesting. Thanks to a wheelbase increased from 6080 mm to 6900 mm, the latter offers one row of seats or four seats more than usual for the same number of axles, e.g. 53 passenger seats if equipped with 3-star seating and an onboard toilet. This variant is particularly interesting for countries such as France, with a permissible gross vehicle weight of 19 t for two-axle vehicles. Thanks to its kerb weight of only just over 13 tonnes with the usual appointments, however, the Tourismo M/2 is also a particularly economical alternative for other countries. This is helped by the fact that this two-axle high-deck touring coach incurs considerably lower toll charges than a three-axle vehicle in many countries.
The Tourismo M/2 immediately benefits from the strictly weight-optimised design of the Tourismo, but without any loss of stability. Examples include the optimised chassis and body framework, the reduced thickness of the side windows, a weight-optimised heating system and a lighter front box. Moreover, aluminium wheels are already included as standard equipment. As an option, customers are also able to dispense with a spare wheel for a further weight reduction.
Passengers board the new Tourismo via a wide entry at the front, which benefits from the 140 mm longer front end. Four steps take them to the driver’s platform, from where two shallow steps lead to the centre aisle. Entry at the centre door is via five steps leading to the centre aisle, which is 1315 mm above the road surface. The passenger area is both welcoming and practical in design. The headroom of 2010 mm in the centre aisle is adequate even for tall passengers. Thanks to the exterior width of 2550 mm, passengers enjoy great freedom of movement in the interior. Large windows make the interior particularly light and airy, and allow a practically unobstructed view to the side along the entire length of the vehicle.
Those familiar with the previous Tourismo will recognise the interior lighting as a design feature retained in its successor, as the centrally positioned interior lights have the typical, oval shape of the preceding version. The lights themselves are new, however. They combine several functions such as two-stage interior lighting and dimmed ambient lighting for overnight travel.
Safety has a high priority in all Mercedes-Benz buses and coaches, and the same applies to the new Tourismo. Like all the brand’s new touring coaches, the Touris­mo is equipped with a number of exemplary safety features as standard. These include the electronically controlled braking system (EBS), disc brakes all round, the anti-lock braking system (ABS), acceleration skid control (ASR), Brake Assist (BA), cruise control, a hydro­dynamic retarder, the Continuous Braking Limiter (DBL), and above all the Electronic Stability Program (ESP).
Another important aspect of active safety is the operating safety resulting from the ergo­nomically exemplary design of the cockpit, right down to the electrically adjustable, heated exterior mirrors with their large field of vision. And in the event of an accident being unavoidable, the high-strength construction of the body framework with annular frame members ensures the best possible protection even during a rollover.
The new Tourismo is powered by 12-litre Euro 4/5 in-line six-cylinder turbodiesel engines from the OM 457 series. The two-axle Tourismo and Tourismo M/2 variants are equipped with horizontally installed OM 457 hLA engines in two output classes, either with 260 kW (354 hp) or 300 kW (408 hp). Maximum torque is 1600 Nm and 1900 Nm respectively. The three-axle Tourismo M and Tourismo L feature vertical OM 457 LA engines developing an output of 315 kW (428 hp) and a particularly powerful maximum torque of 2100 Nm. The sophisticated noise in­sulation is particularly worthy of note, as the development engineers have used the free space between the horizontal engines and the passenger area as a special, sound-insulating intermediate floor.
Tourino now even more attractive
The two-door, two-axle Mercedes-Benz Tourino midi touring coach with a length of 9.35 m and up to 38 passenger seats has been significantly upgraded for the 2007 season. 
There is now a four-star seating variant with seven seat rows on the left and right, as well as a rear galley. Three different versions of the familiar, particularly spacious rear galley are available for the Tourino. A compact galley can now be specified at the rear entry, in front of door 2 and behind the last seat row. This can be installed on request, without the loss of any seating Capa-City.
The cockpit has also been redesigned: the instrument panel with its "Soft Touch" surface reflects the latest ergonomic findings and creates the basis for safe, relaxed driving. The design of the instruments and controls is now in line with the large buses and coaches bearing the Mercedes star. In the same way the keys and switches are now even more easily accessible, while the driver’s microphone is conveniently integrated into the seat.
All the displays are non-reflecting, with backlighting. In conjunction with the electri­cally heated and adjustable exterior mirrors, the large, one-piece windscreen of slightly tinted, laminated glass ensures excellent all-round visibility at all times.
The continuous luggage compartment has a Capa-City of 4.1 m3, and is quickly and conveniently loaded via two pivoting flaps on each side. In the interests of operating convenience, the opening angle of the flaps has now been increased from 126 degrees to 150 degrees. The large luggage Capa-City and easy loading even of large, bulky items combines with the rear-mounted engine to distinguish the Mercedes-Benz Tourino very clearly and impressively from conventional midi touring-coach concepts, which are based on truck chassis with a front-mounted engine.
The Mercedes-Benz Tourino features a state-of-the-art drive train which impresses with a number of innova­tions. In addition to the rear-mounted engine, a completely newly developed front axle with independent suspension is available for the Tou­rino. Another new item is the Mercedes-Benz HO4 rear axle with a permissible axle load of 9.44 t as opposed to the 8.5 t for the previous unit. This in turn makes an increase in the permissible gross vehicle weight to 13.14 t possible. The resulting, significant increase in payload reserves allows scope for additional accessories such as a ski box or a two-tonne trailer (e.g. for bicycles).
The Tourino midi touring coach is powered by a vertical, rear-mounted OM 926 LA six-cylinder turbodiesel engine with a displacement of 7.2 l. This now features Blue-Tec diesel technology with an SCR catalytic converter to comply with the Euro 4/5 exhaust emission standard. This is accompanied by a noticeable increase in engine output to 210 kW/286 hp at 2200 rpm. Maximum torque is 1120 Nm at the previous 1200 – 1600 rpm. This Euro 4/5 engine with Blue-Tec diesel technology not only excels with its clean emissions, but also has an optimised combustion process for a markedly lower fuel consumption.
Safety was given a particularly high priority during the development of the Mer­cedes-Benz Tourino midi touring coach. Major active safety features include the electronically controlled braking system (EBS) with disc brakes all round, integral acceleration skid control (ASR) and the anti-lock braking system (ABS) as standard. The latest-generation, pneumatically operated disc brakes with integral Brake Assist (BA) respond sensitively and provide powerful, uniform brake pressure to all the wheels. Like all the current touring coaches from Mercedes-Benz, the Tourino is equipped with ESP as standard. In addition, even the standard version of the Mercedes-Benz Tourino comes with a model VR 123 Voith retarder.
Mercedes-Benz Integro: tailor-made for rural-service operations
The Mercedes-Benz Integro was completely redesigned and configured for rural-service operations in 2006. This two-door specialist in three length variants and two axles (Integro and Integro M) or three axles (Integro L) covers the entire spectrum from short regular-service routes in the suburbs right up to long-distance rural operations, and is also ideally suitable for shuttle operations and excursions. With this successful, income-generating combination, the Integro is a particularly cost-effective proposition with dual benefits for the operator.
As with all touring coaches, a wide range of special equipment is available so that the new Integro can be configured for the requirements of its intended operations. Both visually and technically, it therefore fits perfectly into the large Mercedes-Benz family of buses and coaches.
As in the new Travego, the developers have extended the front end of the Integro by 140 mm. This additional space primarily benefits the cockpit on the left side, while on the right the more generous entry, the optional courier seat and the passenger seats benefit from the increase. At the front the Integro has a 774 mm wide outward-swinging door. The second, 1224 mm wide outward-swinging door in the centre has two wings in its standard configuration, but is also available with a single wing on request – a solution for feeder routes with few stopping points. Each door wing in the Integro features a halogen spotlight as an entry aid.
Like the centre aisle, the cockpit of the Integro is 860 mm above the road surface. As in all Mercedes-Benz buses and coaches, the cockpit is decidedly driver-oriented and ergonomically designed. All controls are arranged in a semicircle in front of the driver for ease of access. Immediately in front of the driver is the instrument cluster with its large, easily legible speedometer and rev counter, as well as a centrally located digital display. The displays for the fuel level and coolant temperature are also located here.
The operating keys and the rotary switch for the vehicle lights are conveniently located to the left of the instruments, while the switch array for the air conditioning and door operation is on the right. The joystick-type shift lever is ergonomically positioned in immediate proximity to the steering wheel to save space, and comes perfectly to hand. Outstanding gearshifting precision is ensured by a short shift travel and the pneumatically assisted Servoshift function.
The passenger compartment of the Mercedes-Benz Integro provides generous headroom of 2.17 m, however the pleasant feeling of spaciousness inside is also due to the new exterior width of 2.55 m, with correspondingly more room in the smoothly contoured interior, which is devoid of nooks and crannies. The inner ceiling with its lighting elements, as well as the luggage racks with perforated aluminium shelves extending from front to rear, are both elegant and practical in design. The ceiling is also easy to clean, and features integral lighting which can be supplemented with subdued night lights on request. The centre aisle has a generous width of 560 mm.
The Integro is powered by powerful Euro 4/5 turbodiesel engines with Blue-Tec diesel technology based on SCR. These not only impress with low exhaust emissions, but are extremely economical thanks to low fuel consumption. In the light of continuing high diesel prices, this is yet another persuasive argument in favour of the Blue-Tec engines from DaimlerChrysler from the point of view of bus operators.
The tried and tested Mercedes-Benz OM 457 hLA in-line six-cylinder engine with a displacement of 12 l is installed horizontally in all Integro models. The standard version develops an output of 220 kW (299 hp) and a maximum torque of 1250 Nm at a low engine speed of only 1100 rpm. A variant is also available with an output 260 kW (354 hp), in which case the torque is 1600 Nm at 1100 rpm. The latter engine is installed as standard in the Integro L with three axles and a length of 15 m, and this longest Integro model can also be had with an output of 300 kW (408 hp) and 1900 Nm of torque. A fuel Capa-City of 340 litres of diesel distributed between two tanks located ahead of the front axle ensures that all the Integro variants have a long operating range.
Power transfer is by a manual, six-speed Mercedes-Benz transmission with joystick operation and Servoshift assistance in place of a conventional shift lever. The driver’s shift commands are relayed from the cockpit to the transmission by a cable. Even greater gearshifting convenience will be provided by the ZF AS Tronic automated twelve-speed manual transmission, which becomes optionally available at the end of October 2007.
Safety is a major priority for the new Mercedes-Benz Integro. Disc brakes are installed all round, and to reduce servicing costs the discs are identical for each axle. The new rural bus is equipped with the anti-lock braking system (ABS) and engine-driven acceleration skid control (ASR) as standard. Two-axle variants of the Integro equipped with the six-speed manual transmission are also optionally avai­lable with the Electronic Stability Program (ESP), which includes the Electronic Braking System (EBS) and Brake Assist (BA). Integro rural-service buses with the manual transmission are also available with a hydrodynamic Voith retarder on request.
The electronics in the Mercedes-Benz Integro are based on linking conven­tional switch circuitry with a freely programmable control system (FPS), whose modules are networked via a CAN databus. FPS consists of "intelligent" components which are integrated at decentralised points of the vehicle where an electronic control function is necessary. This has the advantage that the electronic system as a whole requires fewer relays and cables.
The reduced complexity makes for more operating reliability and fewer servicing tasks. Thanks to an integral diagnostic system, personnel in a service workshop are quickly able to pinpoint any problems and reduce the vehicle’s downtime. A new addition to the Integro is the Power Distribution Board (PDB), on which all the main fuses for the onboard electronics are clearly grouped.
Citaro K rounds off the range of regular-service buses
The Mercedes-Benz Citaro already counts as one of the great bestsellers in the history of regular-service buses. More than 17,500 examples sold in almost all major European cities since the start of series production in 1998 have made it internationally well-known. First presented at the UITP Congress in Stuttgart in 1997, the Citaro has since gone from strength to strength as an urban regular-service bus. The Citaro has recently been visually and technically upgraded in many respects. Moreover, three low-entry variants and the new Mercedes-Benz Citaro K have been added to the Citaro family of urban and rural regular-service buses.
The new Citaro K has recently extended the wide range of bestselling Citaro regular-­service buses to include a compact variant with a length of 10.5 m. Accor­dingly the Citaro range now comprises 16 urban-bus variants (including the Capa-City) and 6 rural-service variants, catering for the needs of every regular public transport service operator in the urban and rural sectors with a large number of length variants. In addition to the new Mercedes-Benz Citaro K, the urban regular-service buses include the 12 m long Citaro, the 15 m long Citaro L and the arti­culated Citaro G with a length of 18 m. Rural operations are also catered for by the Citaro Ü (12 m), Citaro MÜ (13 m) and Citaro LÜ (15 m), as well as the Citaro GÜ articulated pusher bus (18 m). Other new models are the low-entry Citaro regular-service bus variants first presented in autumn 2005. These are available as an urban bus (Citaro LE) with a length of 12 m (2 or 3 doors) and in two rural variants (Citaro LE Ü and Citaro LE MÜ) measuring 12 m and 13 m respectively. All in all, this results in a uniquely varied, full range of low-floor regular-service buses for urban and rural operations.
The 19.54 m long Capa-City, a high-Capa-City articulated bus, is also derived from the Citaro range. In addition to vehicles with diesel engines, the range also includes regular-service buses powered by natural gas. The well-known small series of fuel- cell-powered buses was also developed from the Citaro model range.
The new, compact variant of the Citaro was created from the varied module system of the Citaro range: it is based on the 12 m Citaro, whose wheelbase was shortened by precisely 1447 mm, from 5845 mm to 4398 mm. The front and rear overhangs are identical to those of the original model. The result is a compact, 10.5 m long, two-axle low-floor regular-service bus with two entry doors, which is ideally suited to urban routes with low passenger numbers. Owing to its approx. 700 kg lower kerb weight compared to the 12 m Citaro, while retaining a permissible gross vehicle weight of up to 18 t, the Citaro K has a maximum Capa-City of between 85 and 91 passengers depending on the seating (the 12 m Citaro has a Capa-City of 106).
The shorter wheelbase also ensures remarkable agility. The turning circle measures just 17.2 m, almost 4 m less than the already very manoeuvrable Citaro urban bus with a length of 12 m. Another major attribute is the small turning track of only 4.6 m during tangential entry into a 25 m circle (Citaro 12 m: 5.7 m). This makes the Mercedes-Benz Citaro K outstandingly suitable for routes in particularly narrow and twisting inner-city areas. Thanks to its comparatively high passenger Capa-City, it is however still flexible enough to cover all other service routes efficiently as well.
Large Capa-City regular-service bus as a new entrant
The new Mercedes-Benz Capa-City demonstrates the attractiveness and efficiency of a bus-based transport system. As a non-rail-bound high-Capa-City vehicle it combines the typical advantages of a bus, like great flexibility and high efficiency, with tram-like properties such as high passenger-carrying Capa-City. The Capa-City thus represents an ideal component of innovative transport systems and a welcome addition to existing tram systems.
While the Capa-City is based on the Mercedes-Benz family of urban buses, and therefore makes use of well-proven, low-cost components, its distinctive design already indicates that this is an urban regular-service bus of a very special kind. The 19.54 m long Capa-City has a transport Capa-City of up to 193 passengers and allows rapid passenger flows thanks to four double-width doors, while being extremely versatile in operation owing to its manoeuvrability and dynamic per­for­mance.
The Capa-City benefits from an advanced vehicle concept and the use of tried-and-tested series components from other Mercedes-Benz regular-service bus series. As a result, it is fundamentally different from the technically exo­tic or extremely sophisticated and expensive solutions of other high-Capa-City vehicle concepts.
Owing to its length of 19.54 m and the fourth axle, which combine to increase the permissible gross vehicle weight to up to 32 tonnes, the Capa-City offers a signify­cantly higher passenger Capa-City compared to articulated buses. Assuming maximum permissible use of the standing space with eight persons per square metre, and depending on the seating arrangement, this is increased by up to 40 % to a maximum of 193 passengers. In addition to the larger available space, this is primarily due to an increase in payload by more than three tonnes. The four double-width doors, two of which are in the rear section, no entry or exit steps and generous centre platforms for standing passengers, parents with pushchairs and wheelchair users lead to a fast passenger throughput.
Despite its length of 19.54 m, the four axles (two of them steered) and single arti­culation of the Mercedes-Benz Capa-City allow the bus to move through the traffic just as easily as a conventional articulated bus measuring around 18 m. The 22.85 m turning circle of the Capa-City is exactly the same as that of the 17.94 m long, three-axle Citaro G articulated bus, for example. The turning track of the new Capa-City is therefore just as favourable as that of the well-proven Mercedes-Benz Citaro G articulated bus. At 0.42 m, the rear swing-out is well below the permissible limit of 0.60 m. This makes the Capa-City easier to handle than other high-Capa-City bus concepts with dual joint or trailer which are currently on the market.
As the Mercedes-Benz Capa-City makes do with only one joint, slow manoeuvres and reversing are far less complicated and therefore safer. The driver always has the rear and the doors in full view. In contrast to a double-articulated bus or a trailer combination, reversing is just as easy as with any articulated bus.
The Mercedes-Benz Capa-City is powered by the well-proven, rear-mounted Mercedes-Benz OM 457 hLA in-line six-cylinder engine with a displacement of twelve litres. This economical and clean Euro 4/5 turbodiesel with Blue-Tec diesel technology based on SCR drives the third axle. Thanks to an engine output of 260 kW (354 hp), and despite its higher weight, the Capa-City delivers performance and traction that is clearly superior to the concepts of its competitors. The Capa-City will be a prime beneficiary when certificated EEV engines are available.
Following extensive practical trials, the Mercedes-Benz Capa-City regular-service bus has received an extremely positive assessment from transport operators, and the first orders have already been received. The vehicle is also a prime candidate for integration into high-performance transport systems such as Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems are the answer to current and future traffic planning challenges in fast-growing cities, or when eliminating bottlenecks in existing transport structures. As partners for vehicle concepts and vehicle management systems, the traffic specialists at the Mercedes-Benz Bus and Coach unit back up the planning process, from analysis and development to the imple­mentation stage. The result is an economical and ecological traffic concept which takes full account of existing local structures and personnel resources.
Environmentally friendly drive technologies for today and tomorrow
Using the new Blue-Tec diesel technology with SCR exhaust gas aftertreatment to comply with present and future exhaust emission standards has proved to be the correct approach. It combines ecological requirements with economic aspects in a previously unprecedented way. UITP measurements on urban buses according to SORT procedures (Standardised On-Road Test Cycles) have, for example, shown that vehicles equipped with SCR exhaust gas aftertreatment consume just under 7 % less fuel than vehicles featuring other technical solutions.
For a medium-sized fleet of 30 vehicles with an average annual mileage of 60,000 km and a 12-year period of ownership, this means half a million euros in lower diesel fuel costs for the operator.
Mercedes-Benz buses have been on the market with Blue-Tec 4 technology since early 2006, and by the end of 2007 Blue-Tec 5 technology will be available for almost all the bus models. The limits prescribed by the exhaust emission standards are reliably met or even bettered with Blue-Tec technology. Even the hotly dis­cussed ultra-­fine particulates with a diameter of less than 0.1 micrometres are almost completely eliminated thanks to optimised combustion.
The new Blue-Tec diesel technology from DaimlerChrysler is essentially based on refined engines and exhaust gas aftertreatment. The high efficiency of the com­bustion process ensures emissions which already correspond to a filtered exhaust stream in terms of soot particles and fine particulates. The nitrogen oxides are then converted into harmless nitrogen and water vapour in a catalytic converter, with the help of integrated aftertreatment which follows the principle of SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) and with the addition of an aqueous reducing agent. In con­junction with Blue-Tec this reducing solution is known as "Ad-Blue". Controlled by the engine electronics, a requisite amount of Ad-Blue from a separate tank is sprayed into the hot exhaust gases, where it is hydrolysed into ammonia. This triggers a chemical reaction after which only the normal constituents of air (nitrogen, water vapour and CO2) are released and emitted.
EEV versions of almost all Mercedes-Benz urban buses are available for transport operators whose policies require even further reductions in exhaust emissions. EEV stands for Enhanced Environmentally friendly Vehicle, and is a voluntary exhaust emission standard in Europe. The exhaust emission limits specified in this standard are met by the familiar Citaro natural-gas-powered buses, and also by Blue-Tec diesel buses in which SCR aftertreatment is accompanied by an upstream diesel particulate filter with an oxidising catalytic converter. Particulate emissions are reduced even further with this method.
A further step towards lower emissions and lower fuel consumption will be the hybrid bus, which is due to be presented at the end of 2007 on the basis of the Mercedes-Benz Citaro articulated bus. This uses a diesel-electric serial hybrid drive system which can operate purely on battery power over a proportion of its routes. In serial operation the diesel engine not only acts as a constant drive unit, but also as a generator to produce electrical power. There is no longer any mechanical link between the engine and the drive axles, as the centre and rear axles are powered via four electric wheel hub motors. The Mercedes-Benz Citaro with diesel-hybrid drive will enter trials in early 2008, and series production is planned for 2009.
The Citaro hybrid is a logical step towards the urban regular-service bus with a fuel-cell power unit and zero emissions. The practical efficiency of such a system has been demonstrated in trials involving 36 fuel-cell-powered buses based on the Mercedes-Benz Citaro over a mileage of more than 2,000,000 kilometres in Europe, Australia and China. Major development work is still required until series-pro­duc­tion maturity is achieved, and the concept must still be made cost-effective if it is to be used by public transport operators.
Product range tailored to the market
Mercedes-Benz Buses offers its customers a full product range which has been renewed or revised in all segments in recent years. Buses and coaches for regular-service operations and touring, from the minibus to the flagship Travego and the articulated Capa-City, represent the most up-to-date and comprehensive range in the competitive lineup. In economic terms too, this range offers bus operators and transport companies a varied and attractive proposition for their passengers. At the same time Mercedes-Benz buses are the trendsetters with regard to safety, environ­mental compatibility and the conservation of resources. Developments in these areas will extend well into the future, and will continue to reaffirm the competitive­ness of buses and coaches bearing the Mercedes-Benz star even under constantly changing conditions.
 
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