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Press Kit: Mercedes-Benz buses and coaches at the FIAA 2006 in Madrid
Nov 14, 2006
Mercedes-Benz minibuses: premiere for the Sprinter City, Transfer, Travel and Mobility
  • New minibus generation with numerous variants; 12 basic models for rural, touring-coach and urban use; separately mounted bus bodies
  • Sprinter Travel — Flagship model featuring equipment for the very best in touring comfort
  • Sprinter City — Low-floor models for urban travel
  • Sprinter Mobility — Designed for passengers with restricted mobility
  • Sprinter Transfer — Four lengths for 12 to 22 passengers
  • Safe, comfortable and economical — Adaptive ESP, ABS, ASR, EBD and BA plus ultramodern and low-emissions Euro 4-compliant diesel engines
The new-generation Sprinter Transfer, Sprinter Travel, Sprinter City and Sprinter Mobility are about to usher in a new era in minibus transport from Mercedes-Benz Minibus GmbH. A total of four new model series are included in the line-up, the models of which are available in a host of variants. The result is a broad yet clearly structured range of vehicles, comprising 12 basic models for every type of use in urban, rural and touring-coach service, as well as a variety of individual designs. All the models are based on the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, which is either converted as it is by Mercedes-Benz Minibus GmbH or fitted with a separately mounted bus body.
Mercedes-Benz Minibus GmbH, a fully owned subsidiary of EvoBus GmbH, produces Mercedes minibuses in Dortmund. It is one of the largest suppliers in this segment throughout the whole of Europe. The new minibus range from Mercedes-Benz Minibus GmbH comes with a 24-month warranty covering the complete vehicle.
Logically structured range
The new line-up comprises completely newly developed minibuses in five lengths ranging from 5.9–7.7 metres, all based on the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The gross vehicle weight rating ranges from 3.5–5.0/5.5 tonnes. The new model designations offer a clear indication of the size and intended usage of the vehicle in question. The Sprinter Transfer, for example, is a highly versatile minibus for regular-service rural routes and excursions, whereas the Sprinter Travel is perfect for longer excursions and tours. The Sprinter City is a low-floor model for use in urban environments. And the Sprinter Mobility is designed for the transportation of passengers with restricted mobility. The new two-digit model designation provides information on vehicle length and tonnage. The first figure refers to the length (2 = Sprinter with medium wheelbase, 3 = long wheelbase, 4 = long wheelbase with long rear overhang, 5 = long wheelbase with additional extension, 6 = with separately mounted bus body — the longest variant). The second figure refers to the gross vehicle weight rating (3 = 3.5 tonnes, 4 = 3.88 tonnes, 5 = 5.0–5.5 tonnes).
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Transfer: numerous variants with room for 12 to 22 passengers
Featuring an extremely attractive look, newly designed interior, comprehensive safety equipment, even greater comfort levels and new passenger seats, the compact and versatile Sprinter Transfer is the ideal choice for shuttle service as well as regular-service rural routes and day excursions.
Four different length variants (5.9, 6.9, 7.3 and 7.7 metres) and three different weight ratings (3.5, 3.88 and 5.0 tonnes gross vehicle weight) combine to produce five basic models in the new Sprinter Transfer range, which is designed to meet practically any demand that might be made of a compact and highly manoeuvrable minibus. The variants in the four different lengths range from the shortest, the Sprinter Transfer 23 with 12 passenger seats, to the Sprinter Transfer 34, the Sprinter Transfer 35, the Sprinter Transfer 45 and the Sprinter Transfer 55, which can carry up to 22 passengers.
Attractive look with large windows
While the new Sprinter Transfer is a highly attractive vehicle featuring large, parallelogram-shaped, flush-mounted side windows and a stylish character line on the flanks to emphasise its dynamic character, it is also fitted with broad rub strips on the side, which underline its practical utility. The unmistakable front end with the large Mercedes-Benz star mounted in the radiator grille signals the vehicle’s elegant self-assurance — as does the rear, with its large rear window and the centrally positioned brand symbol.
The Sprinter Transfer 55, the largest model of the new model series, is equipped as standard with a complete bus-type rear end featuring an integral luggage compartment flap in place of the double doors used in the other models. This bus-type rear end is also available as an optional extra with the Sprinter Travel 45.
Newly designed passenger compartment perfectly matches exterior look
Passengers enter the vehicle via a wide sliding door. An electrically operated step is fitted as standard. The interior of the Sprinter Transfer has been harmoniously designed to match the outside of the vehicle. The ceiling, interior panelling and trim, stowage facilities and seats all combine to create a light and airy feel and a generous sense of space in the passenger compartment. Likewise, the use of high-grade materials that feel even better to the touch once again underlines the high quality standards of the Sprinter Transfer.
This attractive design also offers enhanced functionality. For example, with a ceiling five centimetres higher than in predecessor models, the Sprinter Transfer features a standing height of 1.90 metres as well as improved soundproofing and thermal insulation. Integrated in the ceiling are two attractive light strips, which are also equipped with a night light function.
New passenger seats permit flexible seating configurations
The Sprinter Transfer is equipped with newly designed passenger seats that bear the name of “Inter-Star Sprinter”. The 42-centimetre-wide seats are cleverly contoured so as to provide not only superb seating comfort but also excellent lateral support. Alternatively, the vehicle can also be equipped, as an optional extra, with the newly designed “Travel-Star Sprinter” touring coach seats, complete with reclining backrests, fold-down armrests on the aisle side, luggage nets attached to the backrests and fold-away tables with cup holders. Both seating types are available in a wide range of attractive upholstery designs from the Mercedes-Benz Bus and Coach Collection. All seats are equipped as standard with two-point seat belts. As an optional extra, three-point seat belts can also be fitted. The use of an innovative rail-type mounting system for the seats makes variable seating configurations possible.
If required, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Transfer also comes with an integrated ventilation duct complete with air vents, a choice of powerful roof-mounted air conditioning units, reading lamps and hostess call-buttons to ensure the very best in on-board comfort. Last but not least, a five-kilowatt hot-water auxiliary heater is fitted as standard, and a convector heater is also available as an optional extra.
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Travel: equipment for the very best in travel comfort
The new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Travel, which is the model series in the new minibus range, offers a high level of comfort for excursions, touring and as a VIP shuttle transport. It is available in three variants: the Sprinter Travel 45 (7.3 metres in length), 55 and 65 (both 7.7 metres in length). The Sprinter Travel 55 is fitted as standard with a complete bus-type rear end featuring a large luggage compartment flap.
Meanwhile, the Sprinter Travel 65 features a separately mounted bus body based on a ribbed structure. Large windows at the side plus a panoramic windscreen that extends back towards the vehicle roof help create an especially elegant look. The flagship of the model series also features a bus-type rear end complete with integrated luggage hold, a large rear window and around 10 centimetres more width inside than the Sprinter Travel 55.
All the models of the Sprinter Travel series are equipped with an exclusively styled passenger compartment. This includes not only the equipment on offer with the Sprinter Transfer but also a host of dazzling extras. For example, the Sprinter Travel is fitted with “Travel-Star Sprinter” seats, complete with a range of comfort features such as reclining backrests and fold-down armrests on the gangway side. In addition, the side walls of the passenger compartment are lined with an attractive fabric. Similarly, luggage racks and service sets with adjustable air vents, reading lamps and hostess call-buttons all help create the feel of a luxury touring coach — as does the separate air conditioning system for passengers and the independently controllable Tempmatic air conditioning system for the driver. A host of other features further enhance the value of the Sprinter Travel, which is immediately recognisable by its chrome radiator grille.
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter City: the low-floor urban minibus variant
The new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter City is a real specialist for urban service. Whereas the compact Sprinter City 35 (6.9 metres long, max. 22 passengers) is based on a modified panel van, the larger Sprinter City 65 (7.7 metres long, max. 28 passengers) is instantly recognisable by its separately mounted bus body with supporting bus frame and panoramic windows. The elegant panoramic windscreen is cut right back into the vehicle roof and therefore also provides enough room for an integrated destination display (Sprinter City 35 with raised roof). The front end complete with engine cowling and headlights is from the original Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.
Featuring outward-opening double doors with a clearance width of 1.25 metres, both models are the ideal solution for city service. Likewise, an entry step height of only 25 centimetres into a low-floor area over three square metres in size provides comfortable access as well as standing room for passengers plus space for pushchairs or wheelchairs. In addition, there is also a fold-down ramp for passengers with restricted mobility as well as parents with pushchairs.
Two low steps lead up to 10 or, alternatively, 12 passenger seats situated at the rear of the Sprinter City, which is therefore of a similar design to a modern low-entry bus. Passengers are accommodated in new, light and ergonomically moulded plastic bucket “City-Star Eco” seats with upholstered squab and backrest surfaces. The larger Sprinter City 65 also comes as standard with an additional outward-opening single door at the rear of the vehicle for faster passenger flow.
Both variants of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter City feature an extensive range of functional and attractive equipment. For example, the ceiling of the Sprinter City 65 is similar in design to that of the new Mercedes-Benz Citaro. Likewise, a convector heater ensures passengers enjoy similar levels of comfort to those travelling in larger Mercedes-Benz buses and coaches. As an optional extra, the Sprinter City is also available with a roof-mounted air conditioning system.
Both vehicles are powered by Euro 4-compliant, four-cylinder turbodiesel engines with a standard output of 80 kW (109 hp) for the Sprinter City 35 and 110 kW (150 hp) for the Sprinter City 65. Power transmission to the rear axle is via a convenient five-speed converter transmission. Air suspension at the rear axle is available as an optional extra with the Sprinter City 35 and fitted as standard in the larger model. The optional vehicle “kneeling” facility for easier boarding and alighting and a retarder are restricted to the Sprinter City 65. The Sprinter City 35 has a gross vehicle weight rating of 5.0 tonnes, and the Sprinter City 65 of 5.5 tonnes, on account of the greater number of passengers.
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Mobility: two models for passengers with restricted mobility
The two models from the new Sprinter Mobility series are carefully designed to meet the needs of passengers with restricted mobility. Both the Mobility 23 (5.9 metres long) and the larger Mobility 33 (6.9 metres long) are based on the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter panel van with a high roof and double doors at the rear. Both models have a gross vehicle weight of 3.5 tonnes — an important feature with regard to EU-wide driving license regulations.
The Sprinter Mobility 23 is fitted as standard with seven seats in the passenger compartment, and the Sprinter Mobility 33 with eight. If required, a host of other seating variants are available, tailored to individual transportation needs. The seats are extremely robust and can, if required, be moved backwards. If the vehicle is to be used to transport wheelchairs or variable seating configurations are required, the vehicle floor can be fitted with an integrated rail-type mounting system, which serves to anchor the feet of the chairs as well as secure the retaining strap of the wheelchairs.
If required, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Mobility can be tailored to fulfil a host of applications. Available, for example, are models fitted with electrically retractable steps for both the passenger door and sliding door as well as a choice of ramp and lift systems at the rear: a mechanical two-piece folding ramp, a linear platform lift and a swivel platform lift. Another new feature is a space-saving underfloor lift inside the vehicle.
The ideal basis: the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
All the new minibuses are based on the latest generation of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans and minibuses, which were launched at the beginning of this year and have set new standards in design and technology. The many highlights include a joystick gearshift, a steering-wheel position similar to that of a passenger car, extra stowage facilities, and remote-controlled central locking.
Euro 4 engines for high economy and environmental compatibility
The new Mercedes-Benz minibuses are all fitted as standard with powerful and economical four-cylinder diesel engines from the OM 646 DE 22 LA series with outputs ranging from 65 kW (88 hp) to 80 kW (109 hp), 95 kW (129 hp) and 110 kW (150 hp). All are classified as low-emission engines, i.e. they fulfil the Euro 4 emissions standards and are equipped as standard with a diesel particulate filter. A six-speed manual transmission is fitted as standard in all models except the Sprinter City series, which comes with a five-speed automatic transmission. This is also available as an optional extra for other models. If required, vehicles with manual transmission can also be fitted with the AAS anti-stall assist, which makes hill-starts easier and safer.
The highly economical engines boast not only low fuel consumption but also long periods between oil changes. Indeed, the new Sprinter minibuses are the first vehicles in this class to be fitted as standard with a maintenance computer, which makes it possible to achieve, depending on the type of use, oil-change intervals of at least 40,000 kilometres. Moreover, the interval until the first major service has been increased to 80,000 kilometres, which further helps reduce operating costs, as do the longer intervals between air-filter, oil-filter, transmission-oil and coolant changes and the easily accessible maintenance points. Likewise, the first inspection of the standard-fit diesel particulate filter is only due after 160,000 kilometres, because the permanent regeneration process in the exhaust system ensures effective prevention against filter clogging. A fast and smooth supply of spares both in Germany and abroad via the Omniplus service network also contributes to short downtimes and thereby further reducing the already low lifecycle costs of the Mercedes-Benz minibuses.
Safe and comfortable
The new minibuses based on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter are among the safest vehicles of their class. All vehicles are fitted as standard with the ESP Electronic Stability Programme complete with “Adaptive ESP”, which determines the vehicle’s current centre of gravity on the basis of its actual load. Also fitted as standard equipment on all new minibus models are the anti-lock braking system (ABS), acceleration skid control (ASR), Electronic Braking Force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA). The 16-inch wheels provide the space to accommodate large and sturdy disc brakes all round. If required, bi-xenon headlamps with integrated active light function and cornering light function are available as an optional extra. In addition, all the vehicle occupants benefit from significantly enhanced crash performance.
Both the handling and ride comfort are also very similar to those of a passenger car. The suspension of the new minibuses is safe and comfortable, and although the spring set-up — a cross-leaf spring at the front and parabolic springs at the rear — is the same basic design as that used in the previous Sprinter, it has nonetheless been fully modified and redesigned. For example, the cross-leaf spring at the front axle is now made of fibreglass-reinforced plastic. Air suspension at the rear axle is fitted as standard in the Sprinter City 65 and available as an optional extra in the Sprinter Transfer/Travel 45 and 55. Other new suspension features include a modified spring and shock absorber configuration at the rear axle and enhanced axle kinematics.
Well-appointed cockpit
The cockpit also benefits from the change in model generations, with a seating position similar to that in a passenger car. Both the driver’s seat and the room to move within the cockpit itself set new standards for this class of vehicle. The same applies to the well-thought-out system of stowage facilities, the ergonomically designed cockpit and the improved, clear view afforded by the new, large exterior mirrors with an adjustable wide-angle lens, which is especially helpful for safer reversing. Last but not least, the Sprinter minibuses impress with their precise handling, responsive steering and a range of comfort-enhancing equipment such as power windows and a programmable remote control for the central locking.
Mercedes-Benz Minibus GmbH at the FIAA 2006 in Madrid
The Sprinter City 65 low-floor minibus will be on show at the FIAA 2006 in Madrid to showcase the numerous innovations featured in the new minibus generation from Mercedes-Benz. The 7.7-metre urban minibus is fitted with a separately mounted bus body complete with large windows and a bus-type rear end. In addition to 12 passenger seats in the rear, the urban minibus also features three folding seats in the low-floor entry area, which are mounted on the wall behind the driver’s seat, plus another folding seat in the space set aside for pushchairs. The destination display features a DOT matrix display. The powertrain consists of a Euro 4-compliant four-cylinder turbodiesel engine with an output of 110 kW (150 hp) together with a five-speed automatic transmission.
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