The Citaro already set new standards when it was first launched in 1997, with a passenger compartment that was as cheerful as it was practical. The new Citaro follows in this tradition by setting another milestone in the development of regular-service buses with a multitude of innovations.
New doors save weight and increase strength
The new inward-swinging doors, manufactured in-house, have a lightweight, low-maintenance design, and feature an optimised rubber seal at the bottom for a snug fit when closed. The new sealing concept produces a virtually air-tight seal around the doors, largely eliminating wind noise in the vehicle interior in the process. The new doors stand out for their low weight, sturdy frames and highly accurate fit. The door leaves are individually controllable and are operated separately. Alternatively, the Citaro can be equipped with a new pivot-and-slide door at the front entrance too, which is available exclusively for the Citaro. This door is inclined slightly outwards as it slides forwards, allowing it to pass the nearside exterior mirror without touching it. The characteristics of the new pivot-and-slide door likewise include low weight and high stability.
Lower, well-illuminated entrances
The passenger compartment of the new Citaro has a particularly inviting feel to it. The pleasant experience for passengers begins at the bus stop thanks to the use of broad LED light strips to light up the entrance and exit areas brightly at all doors, both inside and outside the bus. A large plaque bearing the brand logo and lettering, which is integrated into the new door leading to the driver's cab, lets all passengers know as soon as they step on board the new Citaro that they are taking a seat in a Mercedes-Benz.
Sophisticated lighting technology for increased comfort and safety
The new Citaro’s passenger compartment stands out for its bright and cheerful design. This applies to both the colour scheme and the interior lighting concept. The ceiling lamps have multidimensional lenses, meaning their light doesn't just shine down directly, but also reflects off the roof hatches to produce an indirect lighting effect. LED bulbs can be fitted in place of the standard fluorescent tubes as an option. In future, it will be possible to have extra light fittings installed around the edge of the ceiling. This lighting technology can be used to create quiet zones and reading corners within the seating area. The good lighting levels will have the additional effect of reducing the risk of vandalism at the rear of the bus.
Lighting units that can be integrated into the new grab rails on the Citaro are likewise available. The upright grab rails basically feature the same outward-curving shape taken from the predecessor, which served as a model solution for the entire industry. The new uniform distribution achieved by attaching the grab rails to a continuous overhead section to form just two lines gives the interior a more orderly appearance. Straight grab rails are fitted at the front. They are positioned further apart here, giving passengers boarding the bus the impression of more space. The horizontal grab rails are now mounted in front of the vertical rails, which also has the effect of giving the passenger compartment a more tranquil appearance and creates a line for the eye to follow when looking around the interior.
Innovative grab rails with advertising and lighting
The horizontal grab rails are made from extruded aluminium sections and are oval in section. This, together with their larger diameter, makes them particularly easy to grip. The new shape furthermore allows lighting elements as well as exchangeable advertising inserts with clip fasteners to be integrated into the grab rails, paving the way for a brand new form of advertising. The new, wraparound stop-request buttons are easier to find, especially for passengers with impaired vision.
The partition behind the driver’s cab as well as the outer ceiling flaps can now be used as advertising space too. There is also the option of route displays which can be integrated into the outer ceiling sections. Pre-fittings for monitors with a 48.26 cm or 55.88 cm screen diagonal are furthermore provided behind the cross-duct and in the rear section of the bus for information and advertising purposes.
Smaller cross duct, new stowage facilities
The cross duct between the front entrance and the main passenger compartment is much flatter on the new Citaro. This has the advantage of increasing headroom, enhancing the sense of spaciousness and optimising the driver's view of the passenger compartment through the interior mirror. Also new to the passenger compartment are the stowage shelves with closed bases instead of the grilles that were previously used around the grab rails. The stowage shelves and frame can now be painted in different colours.
The modified wheelchair bay that is optionally available offers added protection for passengers with reduced mobility thanks to a raised bulge on the grab rail and a glass retaining wall. Its design blends in harmoniously with the rest of the new Citaro interior. The new and distinctively styled glass partitions are screen-printed to make them easier to see. The shape of the glass panels increases the distance between them and the grab rail, making it easier for passengers to hold on.
A new inner ceiling facilitates ventilation
The new centre section of the ceiling running the length of the passenger compartment has a composed, uniform design with an even perforation pattern that extends into the ceiling segments underneath the roof hatches too. This perforated ceiling allows the passenger compartment to be ventilated evenly over a large area. Fresh air enters through the ceiling segments underneath the open roof hatches. These can be raised open electrically and close automatically whenever the windscreen wipers are operated or the engine is switched off. Like the outgoing model, the new Citaro also offers the option of a highly effective ventilation system with overhead ducting and built-in heater – an unusually elaborate concept in the urban regular-service bus segment. The interior is heated as standard by new sidewall heaters, with the option of convector heating.
Compact air-conditioning system lowers procurement and running costs
Mercedes-Benz now offers the Citaro rigid bus with a new compact air-conditioning system as an additional option to bridge the gap between the familiar ventilation and air-conditioning systems. It takes the form of individual independent units, which are positioned over the roof hatches and do not require any additional cabling other than for supplying power. Thanks to its slight cooling effect combined with uniform movement of the air, the system can maintain a comfortable interior climate at average summer temperatures for Central Europe. The system is regulated according to the outside temperature. Both procurement and running costs are lower than with a conventional air-conditioning system, where the high cooling capacity is attained regardless of the exterior temperature. The refrigeration capacity is 3.8 kW per unit.
The proven seating concept has been retained
The new Citaro has adopted the previous model’s proven seating concept with cantilever mounting. The seats are manufactured in-house. The City Star Eco version is fitted as standard in urban buses, while the Citaro Ü comes equipped with the Inter Star Eco rural-service seat, in view of the longer time that tends to be spent in the vehicle. There are many different variants to choose from for both the seating design and the arrangement of the seats in the passenger compartment.