On 25 October 2013, three Intouro rural-service buses were handed over to transport operator Willms Reinhold Verkehrsgesellschaft mbH at the Mannheim bus plant. One of the three vehicles was the milestone vehicle itself, bearing the chassis number 6000. Ralph Willms, Managing Director of Willms Reinhold Verkehrsgesellschaft mbH, received the symbolic key to the milestone vehicle from Rüdiger Kappel of the Mercedes-Benz Bus and Coach unit.
The raised-floor Intouro model has been specially configured for inter-city transport use such as regular rural-service or school bus services, or as a company shuttle bus, and has only been built in this form since 2007. The figure of 6000 units delivered in just six years of production is clear evidence of the popularity of this economical rural-service bus. In this price-sensitive segment of the market in particular, where value for money, a high passenger capacity and constant availability at all times are key factors, the Intouro scores well as a reliable “workhorse”. This is primarily thanks to the longevity of the individual components from the Mercedes modular system, its robust engineering and a standard specification package configured for rural-service use.
When the going gets tough… the school bus gets going
Willms Reinhold Verkehrsgesellschaft mbH is also well aware that the Intouro is just as well suited for use on school bus routes and the company ensured that its vehicles are equipped accordingly. With 51 seats each, a pram/pushchair area opposite door 2 and a full-length grab rail, the three Intouro are ideally suited to the demands of regular rural-service use. The high demands made of the seats are met by the Inter Star Eco (ISE) fully upholstered version. These feature two corner grab handles on the aisle side, 2-point seat belts, horizontal grab handles and backrests fully upholstered in robust needle felt. The information system at the front, to the side and at the rear is based on clearly visible LED technology.
The 12.14 metre-long vehicles are powered by the Mercedes-Benz six-cylinder in-line OM 457 hLA engine, mounted horizontally. The output of this powerful turbodiesel engine, as standard, is 220 kW (299 hp). The engine with BlueTec diesel technology meets the EU emissions standard EEV even without a diesel particulate filter. Shifting the gears is a ZF EcoLife six-speed automatic transmission.
The Mercedes-Benz Intouro succeeded the successful rural-service variant of the Mercedes-Benz Conecto Ü in early 2007. The Conecto had been built for the Turkish and eastern European markets since 1998. The Intouro is manufactured in a state-of-the-art plant at Ho ş dere, near Istanbul, by Daimler’s subsidiary in Turkey, Mercedes-Benz Türk A.S. Built purely as a raised-floor model, the Mercedes-Benz Intouro makes direct use of the existing Mercedes-Benz modular system for rural-service buses. And, with a view to ensuring that the Intouro delivers long-term profitability as quickly as possible, it combines an economical approach to procurement and use to deliver excellent value for money. Daimler Buses is able to take advantage of the flexibility of its global co-ordinated production system to react quickly to changing demand in this price-sensitive segment of the market.
The robust engineering, coupled with a standard package of equipment and appointments designed primarily with rural-service use in mind, very quickly found its fans in western Europe, with the result that the 6000th Intouro has now been handed over, after just six years of production.
Source: Mercedes-Benz Buses