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Press Kit: Mercedes-Benz buses and coaches at the FIAA 2006 in Madrid
Nov 14, 2006
The Mercedes-Benz Integro: rural bus with touring coach roots
  • Kinship with the touring coach is evident in the styling
  • More room for the driver, tour guide and passengers
  • EPS 3 for the GO 190 and GO 210 transmissions as well as fully automatic torque converter transmissions from ZF and Voith
  • Power Distribution Board (PDB) ensures neatly grouped electronics
  • New Inter-Star Eco, Inter-Star Plus and Travel-Star Eco seating options
  • Spacious passenger compartment with innovative rural bus seats
  • Powerful yet thrifty Euro 4 engines with Blue-Tec diesel technology
  • A chassis that ensures safety, provides a comfortable ride like a touring coach, and weighs 170 kg less than in the prior models
The Mercedes-Benz Integro, recently launched into series production, is uncompromisingly tailored for out-of-town traffic. This specialised two-door bus comes in three different lengths and with two axles (Integro and Integro M) or three axles (Integro L) to cover the entire range from short suburban routes to long-distance rural traffic. It is also equally well suited for shuttle trips or excursions. With this well-thought-out combination of options, the Integro is an especially profitable solution that benefits the operator as a versatile money-maker through its utility in dual roles.
The Mercedes-Benz Integro has been completely redesigned from the front end all the way to the engine flap. As in a touring coach, a wide range of special equipment options is available, so the new Integro can be tailored exactly to the individual requirements of the operator and customised for its intended uses. In its new guise it fits in perfectly with the large family of Mercedes-Benz buses, both in looks and in technology.
Clear and distinctive styling shows kinship with the touring coach
The distinctive three-dimensional styling of the Integro’s front moulding with the central air intake and sculpted base for the Mercedes star closely resembles the styling of the new Travego touring coach. The soft curve of the moulding has a friendly appeal, like a gentle smile. The kinship with the Travego is further underscored by the three-part bumper with integrated fog lamp.
The Integro’s basic shape is determined by functional considerations related to its purpose. The steep windscreen is big enough to accommodate a large destination display and also allows optimum use of the available space. The new sidewall design is clear and distinctive — as well as being smooth and easy to clean. Its large side windows are seamlessly bonded to slender window pillars. While single glazing is standard with four flush-mounted, hinged windows, double glazing is also available as an option. The marker lights mounted along the sidewall are durable LEDs.
Narrow door seals not only improve the Integro’s styling but also attest to the high quality of its bodywork. Compared to the predecessor, the width of the rubber seals has been reduced by about one-third. Full-length door windows are standard.
V-shaped rear window, modularly designed tail lights
The smooth sidewall lends itself perfectly to displaying lettering, as does the rear end, which has likewise been completely redesigned along functional lines in accordance with the Integro’s purpose. Its distinctive styling further underscores the fact that this is a member of the Mercedes-Benz family of buses, and make the Integro rural bus more closely resemble the new generation of Travego coaches even in external appearance.
The slight but distinctive V-shape of the rear window also fits with the typical styling of Mercedes-Benz buses. Mounted discretely high up behind the rear windscreen are the tail lights. Integrated within the rear pillars, the sculpted tail lights are very similar to those in Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and Mercedes-Benz Travego coaches. They are both a visually appealing and a high-quality solution that enhances the Integro’s brand-specific look.
The engine flap picks up the design vocabulary of the rear window and demonstrates that a rural bus does not have to look bulky. But the rear-end design does not merely look good: the new ventilation system prevents the entry of rainwater, dust and dirt into the engine compartment, and the three-part bumper reduces repair costs after minor collisions.
More room for the driver, tour guide and passengers
Much as in the new Travego, the development engineers have stretched the front section of the two-axle versions by 140 mm. On the left, the additional length is assigned to the driver’s space. Benefiting from the added space on the right are the spacious entrance, as well as the optionally available tour guide seat and the passenger seats. At the front the Integro sports a 774 mm wide, single-wing, hinged door that opens outward. The second door in the middle of the bus is 1244 mm wide, with double wings as standard. Optionally available is a single-wing version, especially suitable for shuttle routes with few stops. The Integro is equipped with one halogen spotlight per door wing to illuminate the entrances.
The Mercedes-Benz Integro is available in three different lengths based on a well-thought-out modular design. The basic model is the two-axle Integro with a length of 12.14 m, up to 15 rows of seats, and a 6080 mm wheelbase. This version is supplemented by the Integro M, also with two axles (length: 12.98 m, wheelbase: 6920 mm) and room for up to 16 rows of seats; and by the three-axle Integro L (length: 14.92 m, wheelbase: 6920 + 1600 mm) with a larger front overhang and up to 19 rows of seats. Including the optional, roof-mounted air conditioning unit, all Integro versions are 3.36 m high. They feature a uniform rear-end overhang of 3300 mm and fully exploit the legally permissible width of 2.55 m. As a result, there is more room for the passengers, and the interior evokes a sense of spaciousness.
A cockpit perfectly optimised for the driver
Like the centre aisle, the Integro’s driver space is located 860 mm above the road surface. As in all buses from Mercedes-Benz, the cockpit is ergonomically designed and perfectly optimised for the driver. All control elements are arranged within easy reach in a semicircle in front of the driver. Straight ahead, the driver faces the instrument panel with its large and easily legible speedometer and tachometer dials, as well as a centrally located digital display. Also located here are the fuel gauge and coolant temperature displays.
Within easy reach to the left of the instruments are the control buttons as well as the rotary light switch. Located on the right are the heating/air conditioning and door control units. The lever of the gearshift joystick is positioned ergonomically close to the steering wheel — saving space, and within immediate reach of the driver’s hand. The gear-changing precision is maximised by short gear-shifting distances and a pneumatically power-assisted gearshift function.
Immediately underneath are the standard-sized DIN slots for the audio system, the tachograph and other built-in units. To the left of the seat, the driver has access to two roomy stowage compartments, a pedestal-supported tray for small items, plus the parking brake, which is also, of course, within very easy reach.
Available options: driver’s cab, refrigerator chest, stowage cabinet — and more
The Integro is optionally available with a fully equipped driver’s cab with a rearward partition and a cab door on the left-hand side. The door can be optionally equipped with a roomy stowage space for a large bag. The cockpit is an ideal platform for the integration of other optional equipment items, like the installation of different payment systems. The Mercedes–Benz engineers’ focus on the driver’s needs is further underscored by the enlargement of the windscreen washer reservoir from eight to 22 litres and the optionally available heated windscreen.
If the Integro is intended not only for regular route service but also for excursions, a refrigerator chest with a capacity of 50 litres can be installed in the right side of the instrument panel. An optional alternative to this is a spacious storage cabinet with twin doors to hold papers, travel documents and maps, or the like. Also available for excursion trips is an optional folding seat for the tour guide near the front entrance. The Integro can also be equipped with a second optional seat for another tour guide.
Spacious passenger compartment with innovative rural bus seats
An appealing feature of the Mercedes-Benz Integro is the generous floor-to-ceiling height of 2.17 m. The pleasant sense of roominess is also enhanced in the interior by the new exterior width of 2.55 m, providing more interior space with smooth walls and no corners or edges. Passengers will be pleased by the stylish and functional design of the ceiling, the ceiling lighting, and the full-length baggage racks from front to rear with their perforated aluminium bottom. The ceiling is easy to clean and incorporates the interior lighting, optionally complemented by subdued night lights. The centre aisle has a very generous effective width of 560 mm.
The Integro’s passenger seats are supported by platforms 170 mm in height and are manufactured in-house. Designed especially for the new rural bus model series, the very rugged modular Inter-Star Eco seating system provides backrests of different heights. These seats appeal not only because of their comfortable upholstery with a pleasant degree of lateral support, but also because of their visual appeal, including the slender headrests. The new seating provides a better view for the passengers and make the interior feel roomier. Grab handles are provided near the headrests.
The twin seats are suspended laterally from wall-mounted C-tracks. This makes it easy to change the spacing of the seats as desired. The seat support along the aisle is reminiscent of the curved legs of an elegant, modern office chair. Last but not least, these seats are significantly lighter in weight than those in the predecessor models.
The versatile Integro is furthermore available optionally with the superbly comfortable Inter-Star Plus or Travel-Star Eco seating systems, which provide the comfort of a touring coach. Other options include a pram space or a nappy changing station opposite the middle door. Options also include adjustable ventilation nozzles as well as reading lights for every passenger.
The Mercedes-Benz Integro provides a passenger transport capacity of up to 72 passengers (53 seats and 19 standing spaces in the version with the double-width door, or 49 seats and 23 standing spaces in the version with a pram space). The Integro M has a maximum capacity of 66 passengers (57 seats and 9 standing spaces, or 53 seats and 13 standing spaces). The Integro L can transport up to 115 passengers (69 seats and 42 standing spaces, or 65 seats and 50 standing spaces), not counting the driver’s seat in each case.
Effective heating/air conditioning system in three power levels
The temperature of the interior is controlled by sidewall heaters with blowers. Depending on the length of the Integro, from four to six heaters are distributed throughout the passenger compartment with an output of 2.2 KW, 3.5 kW, or 6.5 kW, respectively. In addition there is a front-end heater plus an auxiliary heating system. Two roof–mounted rotary ventilators are standard in the Integro. Optionally available is a powerful air conditioning system that is roof-mounted over the centre of the bus. This system is available — depending on the bus version — in three output levels of 32 kW, 35 kW and 39 kW with six to eight dual radial blowers, as well as a “reheat” function that minimises fogging of the window panes. Other benefits of the new A/C system include reduced weight and increased convenience: the system includes a mixing circuit, the blowers are low-maintenance, and the service life of the filters has been doubled.
Spacious baggage racks, large luggage compartment
Spacious baggage racks above the passenger seats are standard in the Integro. And even the 12-metre Integro variant provides a roomy luggage compartment with a capacity of 4.5 m³ between the axles. What is more, since there is no additional partition in the luggage compartment, all the space is available for luggage. The compartment is now equipped with larger hinged doors that provide excellent access. In the 12-metre Integro variant for instance, only two instead of three doors are provided. This facilitates loading and unloading by the driver.
Powerful yet thrifty Euro 4 engines with Blue-Tec diesel technology
The Integro is powered by high-performance turbodiesel engines, compliant with the Euro 4 emissions standard and equipped with SCR-based Blue-Tec diesel technology. These engines excel not only in their low pollutant emission levels but also in their very economical operation due to low fuel consumption. As high diesel prices persist, this provides bus companies with another sound reason for choosing engines with Blue-Tec diesel technology from DaimlerChrysler.
All models of the Integro come equipped with the tried-and-tested, horizontal in-line six-cylinder Mercedes-Benz OM 457 hLA engine with 12-litre displacement. This engine comes as standard with a power output of 220 kW (299 hp) and a maximum torque of 1250 Nm at a low engine speed of only 1100 rpm. An optional version delivers 260 kW of power (354 hp), and a torque of 1600 Nm, also at 1100 rpm. This is the standard engine in the Integro L with three axles and a 15-metre length. This longest Integro is optionally available with an output of 300 kW (408 hp) and a torque of 1900 Nm. All Integro versions are equipped for long-distance travel thanks to two fuel tanks, mounted forward of the front axle, with a total capacity of 340 litres.
Three transmission variants to choose from
The engine power is transmitted by a manually operated, mechanical, six-speed Mercedes-Benz transmission, with joystick operation plus servo assistance instead of a conventional gearshift lever. The gear-changing commands are transmitted from the cockpit via cable to the transmission. For certain output ratings, shifting gears will become even more convenient in future when the automated EPS 3 six-speed manual transmissions become optionally available early in 2008. In these transmissions the gearshifting and clutch operation are performed electropneumatically, and the driver can choose between an automatic and a manual driving programme. Optional alternatives to the manual transmission are fully automatic torque converter transmissions from ZF (ZF-HP Ecomat) and Voith (Voith Diwa).
ESP is optionally available
Safety is a top priority in the new Mercedes-Benz Integro. Disc brakes are used all round. To minimise service costs, identical brake discs are used on all axles. An anti-lock braking system (ABS) as well as engine-mounted acceleration skid control (ASR) are standard equipment in the new rural bus. The two-axle versions of the Integro equipped with the manually operated six-speed manual transmission or the automated EPS 3 manual transmission are optionally available with the Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), which includes the electronic braking system (EBS) and Brake Assist (BA). The Integro rural buses with manual transmission are also optionally available with a hydrodynamic Voith retarder.
A chassis that ensures safety — and provides comfort on a par with that offered by a touring coach
A prerequisite for safe handling as well as a comfortable ride in the new Integro is a chassis replete with touring coach technology, tailored to the special requirements of rural traffic. The front axle for instance features the independent double wishbone suspension arms from the new Travego. This suspension is not only safe and easy to handle but can also achieve wide steer angles (up to 58 degrees for the inner wheel in a turn) that provide extraordinary manoeuvrability. Consequently, the turning circle of the Integro amounts to only 21.1 m. The longer versions as well — the two-axle Integro M and the three-axle Integro L — achieve similarly good values of 23.2 m and 23.6 m, respectively.
The drive axle of the Integro is the tried-and-tested Mercedes-Benz HO6 hypoid axle, which is also used in the Travego and Tourismo coaches. The trailing axle in the Integro L is the ZF unit RL 75 A with electrohydraulic rear axle steering (RAS).
Less weight, longer intervals between maintenance
Low operating costs, a long service life, high quality standards and, last but not least, flexible use and its role as a versatile money-maker make the new Mercedes-Benz Integro a desirable and profitable solution for a bus business. Many weight-reducing design features, such as the use of new and computer-optimised materials taken from coach construction — for example the optimised roof frame or the weight-reduced air conditioning system — have furthermore reduced the weight of the three Mercedes-Benz Integro versions by about 170 kg compared to their predecessors.
The reduced kerb weight increases the maximum payload and, if the load is not increased, reduces fuel consumption. Operating costs are consistently minimised by the lower fuel consumption and the longer intervals between maintenance services of up to 60,000 km (engine oil changes).
Electronics made up of “intelligent” modules
The electronics system in the Mercedes-Benz Integro is based on the integration of conventional switching systems with the flexibly programmed control (FPS), whose modules are interconnected via a CAN data bus. The FPS consists of “Intelligent”, distributed modules that are integrated into the vehicle at those locations where closed-loop or open-loop electronic controls are required. The advantage of this arrangement is that the electronics system as a whole requires fewer relays and cables.
The consequent reduction in complexity increases operational reliability and requires fewer maintenance steps. An integrated diagnostic system enables service technicians to resolve problems more selectively as well as faster, shortening the downtime of the vehicle. Another new feature in the Integro is the Power Distribution Board (PDB), on which all main fuses of the electronics are neatly grouped together.
The Mercedes-Benz Integro at the FIAA 2006 in Madrid
The versatility of the new Mercedes-Benz Integro is underscored by the show bus, a 13-metre Integro M. An interchangeable pram platform at door 2, a wheelchair immobiliser, Inter-Star Eco seating, and a refrigerator chest in the front end underscore the Integro’s compatibility with both regular-route service and excursions. Both of these applications are well supported by a drive train comprised of the OM 457 hLA Euro 4 engine with a power output of 260 kW (354 hp) and the Mercedes-Benz EPS 3 automated six-speed manual transmission.
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