- More space for the driver, guide and passengers
The new Mercedes-Benz Integro has been designed with the specific requirements of rural-service operations in mind. Featuring two doors, the newcomer is available in three lengths on two (Integro and Integro M) or three axles (Integro L) and is therefore able to cover the full spectrum of operations from suburban services on short routes to long-distance rural services and is also ideal for shuttle services and excursions. With its winning combination of comfort and economy as well as its ability to adapt flexibly to a wide range of applications, the new Integro represents a particularly economical choice as it allows operators to use it in two different ways: after operating on regular-service routes during the week, it can be redeployed at weekends for excursions and weekend breaks, etc. and can thus be used to its full capacity. This flexibility is very much in keeping with the „full-line supplier“ philosophy of the Mercedes-Benz Bus and Coach unit, meeting the whole spectrum of customer requirements from minibuses to low-floor and low-entry regular-service buses right up to rural-service buses and luxury touring coaches.
The new Integro has been completely redesigned from the front end to the engine flap. As with the touring coaches, a wide range of special equipment is available so that each new Integro can be tailored to meet the specific requirements of its operator and its future fields of application. It therefore harmonises perfectly, in terms of appearance and technology, with the new Citaro and Travego, its stable mates in the large family of Mercedes-Benz buses and coaches.
Clear and unmistakable styling shares family traits with the touring coach
The sculpted, three-dimensional front panel with its central air intake and the prominent base for the Mercedes star closely parallels the appearance of the new „face“ of the Travego touring coach. The sweeping form of the panel makes a friendly impression and evokes a smiling face. The relationship to the Travego is also emphasised by the three-part bumper with its integral fog lamps.
The design of the Integro, in keeping with its character, is defined principally by functionalism. The windscreen, which rises vertically all the way to the roof, permits the integration of a large destination display and thus makes optimum use of the available space. Another new design feature characterised by clear, distinctive lines is the smooth, easily cleaned side wall with its large, flush-bonded side windows and slender roof pillars. Fitted as standard with single glazed windows featuring four flush-integrated hinged windows, the new Integro can be equipped with double glazing as an option. The marker lights along the side walls feature low-maintenance LED technology.
As well as enhancing the looks of the Integro, the narrow door seals are indicative of the high quality of the bodyshell. The width of the rubber sealing strips has been reduced by about a third compared with the predecessor model. All doors are glazed down to floor level as standard.
V-shaped rear window, tail lights from a shared modular system
The smooth side walls lend themselves to the application of the operator’s lettering or logo, as does the rear end of the bus. This is also an all-new design, which – in keeping with the field of application of the Integro – has a restrained, functional appearance incorporating many styling cues. As well as emphasising that the vehicle belongs to the Mercedes-Benz bus and coach family, these provide an obvious external link between the new rural-service bus and the new generation of Travego touring coaches.
A particularly prominent characteristic and a typical styling feature of Mercedes-Benz buses and coaches is the „V“ shape suggested by the form of the rear window, behind which the high-level tail lights are concealed. The three-dimensional tail lights in the rear pillars demonstrate the close affinity with Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and are also to be found in the new Mercedes-Benz range of Travego touring coaches. These light units are a high-quality, visually appealing solution which ensures that the new Integro shares the characteristic look of the brand. The light units frame the engine flap which takes up the formal vocabulary of the rear window and demonstrates that a rural-service bus does not have to be boxy and angular. But there is more to the rear of the vehicle than just its attractive appearance: for example, a new ventilation system prevents dust and dirt from entering the engine compartment, while the three-part bumper ensures that minor knocks when manoeuvring do not result in major repair costs.
More space for the driver, touring guide and passengers
As with the new Travego, the developers of the new Integro have increased the length of the front end of the two-axle variants by 140 mm. On the left-hand side, this additional space makes itself felt first and foremost in the driver’s area. On the right-hand side, it is the spacious entrance area, the optionally available tour guide seat and the passenger seats that benefit from the extra length. The Integro is equipped at the front with a 900-mm-wide, single-leaf, outward-swinging door. In its standard version, the second, 1380-mm-wide outward-swinging door in the centre of the vehicle is a two-leaf door. Customers have the option of ordering this door as a single-leaf door – a solution for feeder services with few stops. The new Integro is equipped with one halogen spot entry light for each door leaf.
Based on an intelligently designed modular system, the new Mercedes-Benz Inte-gro is available in three lengths. The basic model is the two-axle Integro with a length of 12.14 m, a maximum of 15 rows of seats and a 6080-mm wheelbase. It is complemented by the Integro M, also with two axles (length 12.98 m, wheel-base 6920 mm) and space for a maximum of 16 rows of seats, and the three-axle Integro L (length 14.92 m, wheelbase 6920 + 1600 mm) with an extended front overhang and a maximum seating capacity of 19 rows. With the optional roof-mounted air conditioning system included, all Integro variants measure 3.35 m in height. They have a common rear overhang of 3300 mm and make full use of the statutory permitted width of 2.55 m; this gives passengers more room and creates a marvellous sense of spaciousness on board.
Redesigned cockpit places emphasis on driver’s needs
Like the centre aisle, the driver’s area of the new Integro is situated 860 mm above the road surface. As in all Mercedes-Benz buses and coaches, the redes-igned cockpit places particular emphasis on meeting the needs of the driver and follows ergonomic principles. All the controls are arranged within easy reach in a semicircle in front of the driver. Immediately ahead of the driver, the instrument panel features a large, clearly legible speedometer and rev counter as well as a central digital display which provides the driver with precisely the information which he or she requires at any given moment. This display also shows the fuel level and coolant temperature readings.
Situated within easy reach to the left of the instruments are the pushbuttons and the rotary control for the light switch. The climate control area and the door con-trols are to be found over to the right. For optimum ergonomics and in order to save space, too, the lever of the joystick gearshift has been positioned immedi-ately adjacent to the steering wheel and falls perfectly to hand. Short shift paths and a pneumatically assisted servoshift function ensure outstanding shifting ac-curacy. Furthermore, the joystick-style gearshift and the pneumatically adjust-able steering column ensure easy access to the driver’s area.
Immediately below are the DIN slots for the audio system, tachograph and other installations. To the left of the cockpit, the driver has access to spacious stowage facilities, an open stowage tray for small oddments and – also within easy reach – the parking brake which is integrated in the new side panelling.
Available as optional extras:
separate cab, refrigerator, stowage cupboard and much more
As an option, the driver of the new Integro can benefit from a fully equipped cab with a rear partition and a door on the driver’s side. The joystick-type gearshift, which is now also to be found in the Integro, and the pneumatically adjustable steering column are particularly pleasant to use and make for easy access to the driver’s workplace. An optional stowage facility capable of accommodating a large bag can be fitted to the door. The new cockpit is the ideal platform for the integra-tion of other items of equipment. It permits the flexible installation of various ticket counter systems, for example. On request, all the preparatory work for fit-ting the supporting brackets for a cash desk and ticket cancellers can be carried out before the vehicle is delivered to the operator. Further evidence of the Mer-cedes-Benz development team’s commitment to making the driver’s job easier is provided by the 20-litre capacity of the reservoir for the windscreen washing sys-tem (increased from eight litres in the predecessor model) and the availability of an optional heated windscreen.
Operators who use the new Integro not only on regular-service routes but also for excursions will appreciate the fact that an optional refrigerator with a capacity of 40 litres can be installed in the right-hand section of the instrument panel. An al-ternative option is a stowage cupboard with two hinged doors, in which travel documents and maps can be kept. The optional folding tour guide seat near the front entrance is also intended for excursion use. It is also possible for the new Integro to be equipped with an optional second tour guide seat.
Spacious passenger compartment with new rural-service-bus seating
One of the many pleasing and practical characteristics of the passenger com-partment of the Mercedes-Benz Integro is its generous standing height of 2.01 m. The pleasant sense of space aboard the new Integro is also a consequence of the new exterior width of 2.55 m which translates into a correspondingly generous passenger area, not least thanks to the smooth, fluid surfaces which characterise the interior design. The new ceiling, with its new lighting and (also new) continu-ous luggage racks which extend from the front to the rear and feature dynami-cally structured perforated aluminium panels, is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. It is also extremely easy to clean and incorporates the interior lighting which can be complemented by discreet night lighting as an option. Measuring 560 mm in width, the aisle allows the passengers to reach their seats easily and comfortably.
Manufactured in-house, the passenger seats in the Integro are mounted on 170-mm-high platforms. The high-strength „Inter-Star Eco“ seats – an all-new de-velopment specially designed for the new rural-service bus – are based on a modular system which allows them to be supplied with a range of different back-rest heights. Comfortably upholstered and offering a pleasant degree of lateral support, they also have a visually appealing form and feature slender head re-straints which improve the view for the passengers and contribute to the airy, spacious feel of the interior. Grab handles are situated to the left and right of each head restraint. As the double seats are attached to C-rails on the side walls, the space between the seats can be adjusted as required with minimal effort. The form of the aisle-side seat legs recalls that of the frame of the classic tubular-steel chairs found in elegant, stylish offices. Another notable characteristic of the seats in the new Integro is that they are significantly lighter than those of the prede-cessor models.
Customers can also order the versatile Integro with either the particularly com-fortable „Inter-Star Plus“ or „Travel-Star Eco“ seating and thus benefit from the comfort of a touring coach. The Integro is also available with an optional push-chair space or a demountable platform (four folding seats) opposite the centre door. Furthermore, customers have the option of ordering their vehicle with venti-lation nozzles and reading lamps for all passenger seats.
The new Mercedes-Benz Integro has a maximum capacity of 72 passengers (53 seated and 19 standing in the version with a double-width door or 49 seated and 23 standing if a pushchair space has been specified). In the case of the Inte-gro M, the maximum capacity is 66 (57 seated and 9 standing or 53 seated and 13 standing). The Integro L can carry a maximum of 115 passengers (69 seated and 42 standing or 65 seated and 50 standing). The driver’s seat is not included in any of these figures.
Powerful air conditioning system with three power ratings
A comfortable interior temperature is provided by means of side-wall radiators with blowers. Depending on the length of the Integro, the interior is equipped with four or five radiators with an output of 4 kW each. These are complemented by the front heater and the auxiliary heater. The Integro is equipped as standard with two turbo fans while a powerful air conditioning system mounted centrally on the roof can be ordered as an option. It is available in three power ratings –32 kW, 35 kW and 39 kW – with six to eight radial blowers and also has a „re-heat“ function that helps to prevent fogging of the windows. The new air condi-tioning system is thus also able to meet the requirements which apply in „hot-weather countries“ which are subject to extremely high temperatures. Other win-ning features of the new air conditioning system include its reduced weight and improved comfort characteristics: it is equipped with an air-mixing circuit and low-maintenance blowers, and the service life of the filters has been doubled.
Optimum facilities are also provided for the passengers’ luggage. The interior of the new Integro rural-service buses is equipped as standard with spacious lug-gage racks above the passenger seats. Even the basic Integro, which measures some 12 m in length, has a spacious luggage compartment offering 4.5 m³ of stowage space between the axles. The absence of an additional partition wall in the stowage compartment means that full through-loading functionality is pro-vided. The luggage compartment is equipped with enlarged, hinged flaps for par-ticularly easy access. In the case of the 12.14-m Integro, for example, there are now only two rather than the previous three luggage flaps on the left-hand side of the vehicle. This makes it considerably easier for the driver to load and unload items of luggage.
Powerful and economical engines comply with Euro 4 exhaust emissions standard
The new Integro is driven by powerful turbodiesel engines which comply with the Euro 4 exhaust emissions standard and which feature BlueTec diesel technology based on the SCR principle. These power plants are therefore characterised not only by their low pollutant emissions, but also by their highly economical operating profile resulting from low fuel consumption. Sustained high diesel prices mean that this is another sound reason for bus operators to choose engines with BlueTec diesel technology from DaimlerChrysler.
The engine used in all models of the new Integro is the tried-and-tested, horizontally mounted Mercedes-Benz OM 457 hLA six-cylinder in-line unit with a displacement of twelve litres. In its standard form, it has an output of 220 kW (299 hp) and maximum torque of 1250 Nm at the low engine speed of just 1100 rpm. A 260-kW (354-hp) variant with 1600 Nm of torque at 1100 rpm is available as an option. This is the standard power plant for the 15-metre-long, three-axle Integro L. As an alternative, the longest Integro can be ordered with an output of 300 kW (408 hp) and 1900 Nm of torque. All Integro variants have a large operating range thanks to the 350-litre combined capacity of the two diesel fuel tanks situated ahead of the front axle.
Choice of three transmission variants
In standard form, power transmission is performed by a Mercedes-Benz GO 210 six-speed manual transmission with joystick operation and Servoshift support instead of a conventional shift lever. The shift commands are transmitted from the cockpit to the transmission using a traditional cable system. Even greater shift comfort is offered by the GO 190 and GO 210 automated six-speed transmissions which will be available as options (depending on the engine output) under the designation „EPS 3“ from the end of 2006. With this system, in which shifting and clutch operation are performed electropneumatically, the driver can select either automatic or manual operation. Other alternatives to the standard manual transmission are available in the form of optional, fully automatic torque converter transmissions from ZF (ZF-HP Ecomat) and Voith (Voith Diwa).
ESP available as an option
Safety is as much of a priority in the Integro as it is in every other bus and coach from Mercedes-Benz. Disc brakes are therefore used on all wheels. In order to reduce service costs, all the axles use identical brake discs. The new rural-service bus is equipped as standard with the anti-lock braking system (ABS) and acceleration skid control (ASR). The two-axle variants of the new Integro with the GO 190 six-speed manual transmission or – from autumn 2006 – the automated EPS 3 manual transmission can also be equipped optionally with the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and Brake Assist (BA). It is also possible to order the new Integro rural-service buses with a hydrodynamic Voith retarder.
The passive safety offered by the Integro is enhanced significantly by the design of the bodyshell, which uses a system of annular frame members consisting of a series of transverse tubular elements connected by means of side members. This results in a high level of torsional stiffness. The bodyshell skeleton goes through a cathodic dip priming process, in the course of which it is completely immersed in order to ensure that it is primed comprehensively and thus provided with op-timum corrosion protection.
Particularly comfortable and safe chassis set-up - as in a touring coach
The key to the extremely safe and comfortable handling of the new Mercedes-Benz Integro is to be found in its chassis which features authentic touring-coach technology, optimised for the special requirements of rural-service operations. The front wheels use the dual-wishbone independent suspension from the new Travego. As well as being extremely safe and comfortable, this design allows very large steering angles (as much as 58 degrees for the wheel on the inside of the curve) which make the vehicle exceptionally manoeuvrable. As a result, the Integro has a turning circle of just 21.1 m. At 23.2 m and 23.6 m respectively, the corresponding figures for the longer variants – the two-axle Integro M and the three-axle Integro L – are similarly favourable.
The driven axle is the proven Mercedes-Benz HO6 hypoid axle which is also used in a number of other models, including the Travego and Tourismo touring coaches. The trailing axle used for the Integro L is the RL 75 A from ZF which fea-tures electrohydraulic RAS (Rear Axle Steering).
Low operating costs, long service intervals
With its favourable operating costs, long service life (of both the vehicle and its components), high standards of quality and, of course, the flexible range of applications and „double-earner“ potential, the Mercedes-Benz Integro represents an attractive and costeffective solution for bus operators. Numerous measures to optimise the weight of the vehicle, such as the use of new and computer-optimised materials from the touring-coach sector (notable examples being the optimised roof frame or the lighter air conditioning system) have also helped to ensure that the three variants of the new Mercedes-Benz Integro weigh some 200 kg less than their predecessors. The reduced kerb weight enables a higher payload and, with exactly the same load on board, lower fuel consumption. The long service intervals of up to 60,000 km (engine oil change) and the reduced fuel consumption keep operating costs down for the long term.
All the electronics aboard the new Mercedes-Benz Integro are based on the integration of conventional switching systems with the flexible programmable control system (FPS) whose modules are networked via a CAN databus. The FPS consists of „intelligent“ modules that are decentrally integrated at points of the vehicle where electronic control is required. The advantage of this arrangement is that fewer relays and cables are required for the electronic system as a whole. This reduction in complexity ensures a higher level of operational reliability and reduces the amount of maintenance required. An integrated diagnostic system enables workshop staff to identify the solution to problems quickly and effectively in an emergency, thus reducing vehicle downtime. A new feature of the Integro is the Power Distribution Board (PDB) which simplifies maintenance checks and repairs by bringing all the main fuses for the vehicle’s electronics together in a single group.
Series production of the new Mercedes-Benz Integro begins with effect from the middle of 2006
Series production of the new Mercedes-Benz Integro begins in June 2006. The roll-out process will continue gradually until September, by which time all three length variants of the Integro will be on the market and available for delivery.