TecForum Citan: New variants and appointments round off the Citanmodel range
- New Citan 111 CDI: powerful, smooth, economical
- New Citan 112: lively, comfortable, cost-effective
- New extra-long Citan crewbus with up to seven seats
- Mercedes-Benz Bodybuilder Centre – the Citan made to measure
One for all: The Mercedes-Benz Citan is one of the great all-rounders among urban delivery vans. As additions to the already familiar models 108 CDI and 109 CDI, two powerful new models now round off the model range: the new Citan 111 CDI develops 81 kW (110 hp) and the Citan 112 petrol model no less than 84 kW (114 hp). In parallel with this, the extra-long Citan crewbus with up to seven seats expands the range by a practical and versatile variant for commercial passenger transport. The Citan model range is already very broad, with three lengths and panel van, Mixto and crewbus variants. Should industry-specific versions be required, Mercedes-Benz working in cooperation with well-known bodybuilders under the certification scheme VanPartner by Mercedes-Benz is also able to offer numerous tested Citan-based solutions for commerce, tradespeople and official bodies. For buyers the certificate represents a seal of real quality for the fully converted vehicle.
Mercedes-Benz Citan: successfully established
One year after its launch, the urban delivery van bearing the Mercedes star has established itself well in a difficult market environment. It has meanwhile been introduced in all the EU countries, in Switzerland, in Norway and in Turkey. Russia is currently set to follow as a sales market. The next steps are already in preparation, with the Citan crossing the borders of Europe and becoming a global van with plans for a market launch in e.g. Chile and Singapore.
The basis for the Citan's success is its combination of great practicality and cost-effectiveness, superior driving comfort and extensive safety features including Adaptive ESP as standard. It also impresses with a load capacity of up to 3.8 cu.m. and a max. payload of 735 kg. Both operators and drivers benefit from the high level of quality and dynamic performance. Added to these are its unmistakable appearance, especially by virtue of the front section that is a hallmark of the brand, plus the cockpit, controls and seats of the Citan. The versatile Mercedes-Benz Citan is adaptable to any situation - whether for commerce, trades, artisans, official bodies, service providers or for mixed operation with a proportion of private, recreational use.
New Citan 111 CDI: powerful, smooth, economical
The Citan also shows its versatility when it comes to engines. The range of output variants begins with 55 kW (75 hp) for the 108 CDI. The new top-of-the-line diesel model is the Citan 111 CDI. It develops 81 kW (110 hp) at 4000 rpm from a displacement of 1.5 l. Maximum torque is 240 Nm, constantly available from 1750-2750 rpm. This means that the Citan 111 CDI is powerful and strong in pulling power over a very wide engine speed range.
Superior performance with low fuel consumption and emissions
The Citan 111 CDI is a lively performer, accelerating from 0-100 km/h in 12.3 seconds. Its top speed of 170 km/h also makes it eminently suitable for long distances. At the same time it is among the most economical and environmentally friendly vehicles in its class: Equipped with the optional BlueEfficiency package including the Eco start/stop function, the Citan 111 CDI achieves an outstanding combined fuel consumption of up to 4.4 l per 100 km. This corresponds to CO2 emissions of only 115 g/km, and efficiency class A for the Citan crewbus.
The low operating costs are in part also due to long service intervals of max. 40,000 km or two years. The same applies to the toothed belt driving the camshaft, which has an operating life of 240,000 km or ten years.
Powertrain systematically configured for efficiency
The basis for good performance and the low fuel consumption and emission figures is a powertrain that has been systematically configured for efficiency. At its heart is the OM 607 four-cylinder diesel engine with a displacement of 1461 cc. The engine's undersquare configuration (bore/stroke: 76.0/80.5 mm) is a precondition for a high level of torque.
The electronically controlled direct injection with highly precise and extremely fast piezo-injectors is based on a common-rail system with a maximum injection pressure of 1600 bar. In contrast to the other two output variants of this diesel engine for the Citan, a VNT turbocharger is used here. This ensures a fast response even at low engine speeds, and therefore high torque over a wide engine speed range.
Like the other two diesel variants, the Citan 111 CDI features cooled exhaust gas recirculation for low emissions. The oxidation catalytic converter is installed close to the engine, with the maintenance-free particulate filter downstream. The oil pump and thermal management are demand-controlled. The engine is also known for its high level of refinement.
Six-speed manual transmission as standard
While the Citan 108 CDI and 109 CDI feature a five-speed manual transmission, power in the Citan 111 CDI is distributed by a six-speed transmission as standard. The final drive and transmission ratios are specifically configured for the higher output. With its wide ratio spread, the transmission ensures both powerful start-off characteristics and low engine speeds at higher road speeds. Accordingly this is accompanied by low driving noise and a favourable fuel consumption. When in the highest gear at a road speed of 100 km/h, the engine speed is a mere 2150 rpm or so. Even when driving at top speed, the engine speed is considerably below the rated engine speed.
The new Citan 111 CDI is outstandingly suitable for customers with high performance expectations who require variants with high permissible gross vehicle weights, frequently carry maximum loads and have operating profiles with a high proportion of motorway and long-distance driving. Within the model mix, Mercedes-Benz expects around 20 percent of unit sales to be accounted for by the Citan with the most powerful diesel engine.
Numerous body and weight variants
With the exception of the short panel van, the Citan 111 CDI is available in all the body and weight variants of this model series. This means that the Citan 111 CDI is available as a long or extra-long panel van, a Mixto and as a crewbus. Depending on the variant, the permissible gross vehicle weight is between 1920 kg and 2200 kg. The maximum braked towing capacity of 1050 kg for the panel van, Mixto and N1 crewbus, and up to 1350 kg for the M1 crewbus, also makes the Citan 111 CDI very suitable as a powerful towing vehicle.
Compared to the Citan 109 CDI with 66 kW (90 hp) and the five-speed transmission, the extra cost of the Citan 111 CDI with 81 kW (110 hp) and the six-speed transmission is precisely € 910 (excl. VAT) in Germany. The list price for the long panel van is therefore € 17,130 (excl. VAT). The five-seater crewbus with passenger car registration costs € 18,790 (excl. VAT).
New Citan 112: lively, comfortable, cost-effective
Within the European Union, one in ten urban delivery vans registered have a petrol engine, and in Germany the figure is even over 20 percent. The new Citan 112 with a petrol engine therefore addresses a wide market, where it impresses with its engine-specific strengths: it is agile and lively, and particularly quiet and comfortable. For purely economic reasons there are also typical markets for petrol-powered vehicles, for example Switzerland or Russia where the price of petrol is considerably lower than in other European countries.
Other financial considerations can also influence the buying decision in favour of a petrol model: buyers of the Citan 112 benefit from a price advantage of up to € 1510 (for M1 crewbus in Germany) compared to the Citan 111 CDI. The petrol model can therefore be worthwhile for infrequent users with relatively low mileages. In Germany the cost-effectiveness threshold is currently around 10,000 km per year.
Highest output from the smallest displacement
Apart from economic aspects, the Citan 112 has another special appeal: at 84 kW (114 hp), it obtains the highest output from the smallest displacement (1192 cc) in the entire model series. The state-of-the-art, turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with a lightweight aluminium crankcase excels with four valves per cylinder and two overhead camshafts, electronically controlled direct injection, a turbocharger and a three-way catalytic converter for emissions control. With a bore of 72 mm and a stroke of 73.2 mm, the engine ratio is practically square. This allows large valve diameters and therefore efficient cylinder charging. Six-hole injection nozzles ensure optimum fuel injection.
More than 170 Nm, i.e. 90 percent of the torque, is already available from the M 200.71 petrol engine at 1500 rpm. With a maximum torque of 190 Nm it achieves the high tractive power of a diesel engine. Moreover, the maximum torque is available over a very wide range from 2000 rpm to 4000 rpm, a precondition for excellent driveability through a wide engine speed band.
Six-speed transmission with a wide ratio spread
The Citan 112 is likewise equipped with a six-speed manual transmission as standard. The overall ratios are configured for the characteristics of the petrol engine. A wide ratio leads to lively acceleration and also to low rpm at higher speeds – this means low fuel consumption and emissions, plus a subdued noise background.
Lively performance, low costs
The performance of the Citan 112 is correspondingly impressive. With a top speed of 173 km/h and acceleration from zero to 100 km/h in 11.7 seconds, it is one of the most lively urban delivery vans.
At the same time the Citan 112 is one of the most cost-effective and low-emission urban delivery vans. A demand-controlled oil pump and BlueEfficiency technology with an Eco start/stop function are standard features of the Citan 112. The combined fuel consumption is at the low level of up to 6.1 l/100 km, corresponding to 140 g/km of CO2. This means that as a crewbus with passenger car registration, the Citan 112 achieves the favourable efficiency class C.
Long service intervals also make a decisive contribution to the good economic and environmental balance of the Citan 112. Depending on wear, these are a maximum of 30,000 km or two years.
Mercedes-Benz offers the Citan 112 as a long panel van. It is also available as a crewbus with passenger car registration. Across all the markets, Mercedes-Benz Vans expects a unit sales proportion of five percent for the Citan 112. This proportion will however be considerably higher in some sales markets. The price in Germany for the Citan 112 panel van is € 15,810 (excl. VAT), while the five-seater crewbus with passenger car registration costs € 17,280 (excl. VAT).
The extensive Citan model range
With the new models, the engine range for the Citan consists of three diesel power units with a displacement of 1.5 l and outputs ranging from 55 kW (75 hp) and 66 kW (90 hp) to 81 kW (110 hp). It therefore covers all the normal performance requirements in this vehicle class. The new Citan 112 petrol model with 84 kW (114 hp) is positioned in the upper performance segment.
There is also a wide range of body variants for the Citan. Three different lengths, closely sequenced gross vehicle weight classes from 1.8 to 2.2 t and body versions as a panel van, Mixto, crewbus with commercial vehicle registration and crewbus with passenger car registration meet practically all requirements. With a wide selection of special equipment, the Citan is also adaptable to the individual needs of its buyers.
Special equipment and an extensive range of accessories for individual customer needs
Customers are able to configure their own, very personal Citan with numerous extras available ex factory. For example, the Construction package includes an increased ground clearance, steel and plastic underbody protection and heavy-duty tyres. Individual extras such as the ladder flap or the folding co-driver seat for carrying very long items are also available, as are a wood floor in the load compartment, wall cladding in the load compartment and additional lashing eyes on the sides.
Via its own-retail outlets and dealerships, Mercedes-Benz also offers a range of tested and approved accessories for the Citan. A selection of these is shown in a model 109 CDI panel van. This is fitted with a fixed trailer coupling at the rear and a roof carrier with two cross-bars and a ladder holder on the roof. Hard-wearing seat covers and all-season floor mats prevent excessive soiling in the interior. The same applies outside, where mud flaps are fitted at the front and rear. Lashing straps reliably secure the cargo, and a portable refrigerator box cools drinks and snacks for breaks taken during a journey. Twelve-spoke aluminium wheels further upgrade the appearance of the Citan – on request these can be further enhanced with valve covers bearing the brand emblem.
The range of genuine accessories also includes cargo baskets with loading rollers or a set of angled brackets for roof carriers, and loading systems such as holding tubs and stowage boxes ensure a tidy load compartment. The zig-zag loading sill protector guards the rear area against scratches during loading – and protects clothing against soiling.
New extra-long Citan crewbus with up to seven seats
As a new addition to the range, the Citan is available as a highly variable crewbus with up to seven seats. It is based on the extra-long variant (length: 4705 mm) with 2.2 t permissible gross vehicle weight. This crewbus is intended for commercial passenger transport as a taxi, commercial transport of personnel and/or cargo or mixed commercial and private use.
The new third seat row in the Citan consists of two individual seats. These are independently adjustable fore-and-aft by 130 mm, and can be individually folded down or removed as required. These fully-fledged individual seats are also suitable for adult passengers. They are easily accessible after folding down the seats in the middle row. Passengers in the rear row also have stowage facilities in the side wall panels available to them.
The new Citan as an extra-long crewbus with up to seven seats impresses with a variability that was previously unknown in urban delivery vans. Depending on the position of the individual seats, the load space behind them will take between 300 and 400 litres of luggage. If these seats are removed, the cargo capacity of the Citan increases to 2200 litres. And if the middle row of 3 seats is folded down in addition, a total capacity of 3500 litres becomes available. The standard equipoment of the extra-long crewbus includes a flexible load compartment cover and lashing eyes in the floor to secure loads when the seats have been folded down or removed. It is available in two engine variants, as the Citan 109 CDI and Citan 111 CDI.
Bodybuilder Centre – the Citan made to measure
Individual solutions for special requirements – conversions and custom bodies have always been an important tradition at Mercedes-Benz Vans. What is not available ex factory can be taken care of by bodybuilders, from a mobile workshop to a police vehicle. Every customer is able to drive a personal van made to measure. In Europe around 50 percent of all newly registered Sprinter vans receive a body or interior fittings from a specialist. The conversion rate for the Vito is around 25 percent, and already around 16 percent in the case of the Citan.
A team of 40 personnel in the Bodybuilder Centre at Mercedes-Benz Vans concerns itself with this aspect. The Centre works together internationally with locations in Stuttgart, at the van plant in Ludwigsfelde and at the Sprinter assembly plant in Charleston/USA. A fourth location will be set up in Brazil in 2014, and in the mid-term the activities in the Russian and Chinese markets will also be expanded. Specialised bodybuilder managers are already active in the individual markets today as liaison contacts for customers.
Mercedes star only after approval by the Bodybuilder Centre
The Bodybuilder Centre is cross-functional in several respects. Its personnel are partners to the body and conversion specialists, provide them with technical advice for new models and supply them with the necessary CAD data. The specialists give the bodybuilders individual advice and price quotations for basic vehicles which have been tailored to their particular needs. They are also there to advise their partners when it comes to modifying the basic vehicle beyond the scope of the body/equipment mounting directives. Examining the conversions is also part of their activities, as only vans approved by the Bodybuilder Centre can bear the Mercedes star.
In addition the specialists from the Bodybuilder Centre accompany new developments by Mercedes-Benz Vans to make sure that the interests of bodybuilders and converters are taken into consideration. They also inform and train the sales personnel of Mercedes-Benz own-retail outlets and dealerships on aspects related to bodybuilding and conversions. As experts they work with bodybuilders to develop all-in solutions from a single source for end-users. They act as intermediaries between Mercedes-Benz and specialist companies when orders are administered by a general contractor, e.g. in the case of tenders issued by official bodies. In addition they are involved in the case of exports from another country to a third country, i.e. when orders are processed across three countries.
And last not least, the end-users also benefit from the Bodybuilder Centre at Mercedes-Benz Vans: The publicly available information portal www.vanpartner.info provides an overview of more than 300 product solutions from around 90 partners, already among them numerous specialist versions for the Mercedes-Benz Citan – a trend that is increasing.
The VanPartner certificate from Mercedes-Benz Vans
The companies featured on the website qualify as a VanPartner by Mercedes-Benz, and have achieved a special status: In this case Mercedes-Benz Vans has not only approved the relevant solution, but even recommends it to end-users separately purchasing the vehicle and conversion. There is a qualifying process before this certificate is issued, however: The Bodybuilder Centre checks and assesses both the quality of the body/conversion and the level of sales and service. The process includes a validation visit to the company – end-users must always be able to rely on a VanPartner.
What began in Germany a few years ago has now been expanded to include Europe: By the end of 2013 there will be VanPartners qualified by Mercedes-Benz Vans according to a standardised assessment process in all major European markets. Bodybuilders and converters benefit from this in two ways: Mercedes-Benz Vans recommends them to its customers, and they are permitted to advertise their respective solutions using the title "VanPartner by Mercedes-Benz" and the Mercedes-Benz house lettering.
Although it was only launched one year ago, there are already numerous, sometimes highly specialised conversions available for the Mercedes-Benz Citan. Whether as a wheelchair taxi, mobile workshop or fresh food service, as a police vehicle or airport follow-me vehicle – with interior fittings and conversions the Citan fulfils a wide variety of tasks that go well beyond merely transporting passengers and goods. 15 examples from five countries present a cross-section of the many possibilities.