The Mercedes-Benz Citaro Euro VI prevails convincingly in an international comparison
Economic efficiency as main focus of development
Numerous safety features set new benchmarks
Stuttgart/Versailles/Hanover – Its technical innovations have helped it to knock the technical trailblazers of a new era out of the running: in this year's rivalry for title of "Bus of the Year 2013" the new Citaro with Euro VI engine won the overwhelming support of the international jury of experts, way ahead of its competitors, almost all of whom were relying on hybrid technology. The new Citaro is already the first standard-production regular-service bus to include Euro VI technology and continues to extend its competitive advantage. In order to conform with Euro VI, the buses feature a complex emission control system that combines the familiar Mercedes-Benz SCR technology comprising AdBlue injection and an oxidation catalytic converter with an exhaust gas recirculation system and a closed-loop particulate filter. A completely new generation of engines in conjunction with this complex emission control system takes emissions to the very margins of detectability, thus representing a further step in the ongoing development of diesel technology.
"Our prime concern when developing the new Citaro was that we should be able to match economy and efficiency with corresponding gains in performance, safety and comfort", emphasised Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses. The beating heart of this "economic miracle" from Mercedes-Benz is represented by the newly developed BlueEfficiency Power engine series, consisting of the six-cylinder in-line units OM 936 with a displacement of 7.7 litres and OM 470 with a displacement of 10.7 litres. Both engines meet the Euro VI emission standard as a matter of course and are characterised by their durability together with their low consumption of fuel, oil and AdBlue. Such technical innovations have, however, neither increased the weight of the Citaro nor reduced its spaciousness. Also helping it to make economic savings is an innovative 24 volt recuperation module: energy produced without any expense by the alternator during overrun phases is stored in double-layer capacitors, known as supercaps, which the bus can then use as an additional source of energy during the acceleration phase. The lower boarding height at the rear doors also helps to reduce energy consumption. Overall, the Citaro achieves fuel savings of between three and five percent. Given normal usage, this corresponds to a good 1000 litres of diesel or 2.6 tonnes of CO2 per year. Maintenance of the diesel particulate filters now only needs to be undertaken every two years or after every 120,000 kilometres.
A further factor in the new Citaro's success as "Bus of the Year 2013" is its attractive and distinctive design. To accommodate the new engines, the engineers developed a new rear frame, which makes the vehicle 30 millimetres longer. The decorative facing to the domed rear end of the Citaro gives the bus a particularly dynamic profile, but neither the turning circle nor the overall height of the vehicle is affected by these modifications. An elegantly rounded, glass panel above the rear window further enhances the classy look of the new Citaro. The engine flap and rear light clusters have also been redesigned. Energy-saving and long-life LED units have been used for the tail lamps, brake lamps and indicators.
And of course the Citaro scored extremely well in terms of safety. It includes a new crash element to protect the driver in the event of a collision, while the bus was designed overall with consideration to the future ECE R 66/01 standard, which specifies a larger survival space for the interior in the event of the bus tipping over. Although this is not due to come into effect until 2017, passengers as well as the company are already able to enjoy the benefit of this extra level of safety. It has also been possible to make numerous elements of the bodyshell lighter and yet even stronger. Furthermore, the new Citaro is the first regular-service bus ever to feature ESP.
Passenger comfort was another area that saw the "Bus of the Year" jury vote for the Citaro. Seen on the approach to a bus stop, the bus already looks inviting: the entry and exit areas at each door are brightly lit with a broad LED lighting band. This friendly lighting concept continues in the interior, ensuring a welcoming atmosphere. With the roof vent flaps acting as reflectors, the ceiling lights convey the effect of indirect lighting. Additional lighting elements have been used to create discrete quiet areas and reading corners while, at the same time, the good level of illumination in the rear section of the vehicle helps to reduce the risk of vandalism. The new design of the horizontal grab rails means that they can be used both for the integration of additional lighting elements and for interchangeable advertising inserts or even scrolling text, thus opening up whole new possibilities for companies to generate additional income through advertising.
The Citaro driver can be sure of enjoying a freshly designed workspace that sets new standards in terms of ease of use, ergonomics, instrumentation and comfort. The door to the driver's cab is hinged at the rear and opens from the front, so ensuring direct access from the front door to the driver's seat and vice versa. The stowage facilities in the door have been improved and now offer a larger compartment for the driver's bag as well as a section for a drinks bottle. The partition to the driver's working area is larger than before and features a wider forward curvature.