Environmental compatibility, economy and passenger safety lie at the heart of the developments for the Mercedes-Benz Bus and Coach unit. The range of new models and features at the International Commercial Vehicle Show covers everything from the innovative Sprinter City 77 – the minibus in XXL format –, the emission-free Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid, to the EEV emissions standard without particulate filter for the full-size buses. Passenger comfort is also writ large with the new generation of touring coach seats.
New Sprinter City 77: innovative flagship urban bus joins the minibus line-up
This minibus is XXL: Mercedes-Benz caps its urban minibus range with the new Sprinter City 77. The three-axle 8.7-metre-long urban bus is based on a conventional Sprinter up to the B-pillar. The bus body with twin rear axle and continuous low-floor area is an exclusive in-house development for the Sprinter City 77. Thanks to its capacity of 40 passengers it plugs the gap between the Sprinter City 65 and the Citaro K. The new Sprinter City 77 is around a metre longer than the previous City 65 flagship model and – depending on the equipment options – boasts ten extra passenger seats. The gross vehicle weight of 6.8 t facilitates the high passenger-handling capacity.
Two outward-swinging double doors, which are operated using an innovative drive concept, and a kneeling function along with the stepless low floor throughout ensure fast passenger flow and convenient boarding and alighting. Depending on the configuration a wheelchair bay with a ramp is available at the front or rear. The bright interior with its large windows and large glass doors is spacious and attractive.
The Sprinter City 77 has a wheelbase of 4100 + 990 mm. The air-sprung rear axles feature 235/65 R 16 C single tyres all-round. The relatively short wheelbase and the sleek design make the minibus extremely manoeuvrable: the width of the separately mounted body is just 1.99 metres, making the largest member of the Mercedes-Benz minibus line-up likewise ideally suited to tight inner city areas. Moreover, it is also an ideal solution as a shuttle bus for airports or trade fairs, as well as for rural services.
A Mercedes-Benz Sprinter with the most powerful version of the four-cylinder diesel engine provides the platform. Its output of 120 kW (163 hp) and maximum torque of 360 Nm delivers appropriate performance. The Sprinter City 77 is among the cleanest on the block with its EEV emissions standard certification. Power transfer comes courtesy of a convenient fully automatic 5-speed transmission as standard.
Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid: whisper-quiet and emission-free around town
The innovative, tried-and-trusted Mercedes-Benz Citaro is once more about to set new standards: the 30,000th unit of this record-breaking urban bus was delivered this year. A shining example of the potential of the urban bus is the emission-free Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid with fuel-cell drive. The third generation of the Mercedes-Benz fuel-cell buses combines the experience of the first two generations with the diesel-electric Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid, turning it into a groundbreaking drive concept on the back of further technical developments.
The technology in the Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid is mounted on the roof to save space. The compressed-gas tanks store up to 35 kg of hydrogen. The lithium-ion traction batteries have an energy capacity of 26 kWh. Two wheel-hub motors drive the vehicle with a constant output of 120 kW and a maximum output of 240 kW. The Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid boasts a range of over 250 km on a full tank of hydrogen, depending on the usage profile.
Two fuel-cell systems are located behind the air conditioning system on the roof. Their guaranteed lifespan has been extended threefold compared with the previous generation. Instead of the diesel engine, transmission and drive axle on the conventional urban bus, the Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid houses electronic components that efficiently drive the ancillary units.
Compared with the second generation, hydrogen consumption has been halved thanks to drive hybridisation, efficient energy management and the enhanced fuel-cell system.
Mercedes-Benz intends to roll out a small production series of 30 Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid buses. From 2011 the first ten vehicles will undergo field tests on routes run by public-transport operator Hamburger Hochbahn. Europe-wide major trials with around 20 vehicles are also planned in several cities.
EEV without particulate filter: lower fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and costs
The Citaro also demonstrates just how clean a diesel engine can be: simply with the aid of in-engine measures the non-articulated and articulated buses now comply as an option with EEV – the most stringent voluntary emissions standard – without a particulate filter – testimony to the efficiency of the BlueTec engines. The advantages are obvious: the purchase price is lower than a bus fitted with a particulate filter, all coupled with lower fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and maintenance costs. At the same time, the kerb weight has been reduced by around 70 kg while the modified installation position provides space for up to two additional seats. As an option, Mercedes-Benz can still supply the Citaro with a particulate filter.
As such, the Citaro once again turns out to be the tailor-made urban bus: it comes in Euro 5 and EEV without particulate filter, in EEV with particulate filter, as the Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid, the FuelCELL Hybrid as well as with a natural-gas drive. The diesel and natural-gas-drive models also come with the “Blue Angel” eco-label as an option.
Citaro LE Ü: the consummate all-rounder
A Citaro LE Ü will demonstrate the adaptability and flexibility of the Citaro at the International Commercial Vehicle Show. The low-entry bus is one of more than a dozen Citaro body variants, including the derived CapaCity high-capacity bus. The 12-metre-long non-articulated bus as a two-door model with 275/70 R 22.5 tyres, folding ramp for wheelchairs and hazard warning flasher system for school bus operation covers the whole gamut of regular-service applications for urban and rural services.
Tourismo: the economical all-rounder
The Mercedes-Benz Tourismo boasts similar flexibility for touring services. It is available as a high-floor coach and high-deck touring coach and covers the full range of business-class touring coaches. A large flat-screen monitor with a 19-inch screen diagonal in the front is a new feature. The Tourismo RH high-floor coach is available with a further seating option: the Travel Star Eco (TSE) seats with standard-fit adjustable backrest emphasise the Tourismo RH’s suitability for excursion services.
Travego: premiere for the new generation of touring coach seats
The seats have always played a major role on Mercedes-Benz buses and coaches. They are manufactured in-house and set the standard within the industry in terms of safety, comfort and design details. The new generation of touring coach seats will continue this tradition, with Mercedes-Benz presenting the new seats in a Travego M at the International Commercial Vehicle Show. Leaving aside the familiar designations Travel Star Xtra (TSX) with a choice of Softline and Luxline upholstery options, the seats share nothing in common with their predecessors.
The design of the new seats is both attractive and practical. Aluminium is used for the side trim for instance, providing an overall stylish, high-grade and lightweight finish. A large, clearly labelled rocker-type switch provides effortless, intuitive lateral adjustment of the aisle-side seats and adjustment of the backrest angle.
The armrest for the new seats has an elegant shape as well as a large and ergonomic surface. The extremely simple and easy-to-use pivoting mechanism for folding away the armrest is a patented development. The backrest and the seat cushion also have a new shape. The seat cushion rests on a sprung design for the first time and can be easily removed for cleaning or repairs.
Virtually unlimited choice thanks to modular system
The optional stitching for the new upholstery allows a multitude of colour, shape and material compositions, providing an even higher-quality look and more individual appointments. The choice is virtually unlimited thanks to a modular system. The developers have designed both fold-down cinema-style seats and fully folding seats for buses used for both inter-urban regular-service bus and touring coach operations.
A steeper backrest angle in the starting position makes it easier for passengers to stand up. If the backrest is inclined, it can revert to its starting position when the passenger leaves the seat. The aisle-side arrangement of the belt buckles on all seats is a new feature, making them easier to use for passengers sitting nearest the wall and facilitating access for the rescue services after an accident.
The seat frame is based on a lightweight aluminium twin-tube design which, together with a new mounting, prevents annoying seat vibrations when driving with no passengers on board. The use of lightweight materials has substantially reduced the weight for each double seat. In a 12-metre-long, three-star touring coach, the reduction amounts to around 70 kg.
At the International Commercial Vehicle Show, Mercedes-Benz will be presenting the new touring coach seating in a Travego M in the Travel Star Xtra (TSX) version with Luxline upholstery featuring the distinctive hallmark side fold. The badge with the Mercedes star as an emblem in the backrest is reminiscent of the Travego front panel. Seat centre sections in “Duo” fabric, mars red side folds on the backrest, leather headrests in silver, fabric pockets on the backrests as well as footrests, folding tables, seat numbering and bag hooks are just some of the numerous equipment variants. The new Mercedes-Benz touring coach seat will gradually be rolled out in all touring coaches and rural-service buses over the coming months.
EEV without particulate filter for the Mercedes-Benz touring coaches
EEV-certified engines without a particulate filter add a compelling option to the Mercedes-Benz touring coach and rural-service bus line-up. All variants of the OM 457 six cylinder in-line units are now available with EEV certification as an option. This provides a wide range of benefits, most importantly the combination of today’s most stringent voluntary exhaust emissions standard without any increase in fuel consumption and, in turn, CO2 emissions – a benefit operators can leverage to the full in their marketing strategy. Lower road tolls in Austria can be worked out on a cent per kilometre basis. Operators can also look forward to long-term access to major conurbations and cities, as well as a high resale value. The Travego M on show complies with EEV without a particulate filter. Its vertical six-cylinder in-line OM 457 LA engine develops 315 kW (428 hp) from a displacement of 12 litres.
Source: Daimler AG