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English   The new Mercedes-Benz Intouro
07.12.2006 von admin

As well as offering attractive value for money, the new Intouro picks up plenty of points for its high resale value, too. This is due principally to its standardised equipment package and the fact that many of its elements are tried and tested in-dividual components and assemblies from the other rural-service bus ranges of-fered by the Mercedes-Benz Bus and Coach unit. As a robust "workhorse", built for demanding everyday use, it meets the special requirements of the Eastern European markets for a durable vehicle capable of high mileages on roads which are sometimes in very poor condition. This two-axle, two-door vehicle is available in two lengths (the Intouro, measuring 12.14 m, and the Intouro M, measuring 12.98 m) and seats 55 or 59 passengers, depending on the variant.

Design „Made by Mercedes-Benz“

From the front end to the engine flap, the new Mercedes-Benz Intouro has a com-pletely new and harmonious design, thanks to which it fits perfectly, both visu-ally and technically, into the Mercedes-Benz bus and coach family. The front sec-tion of this attractive rural-service bus, with its individual headlamp units, is characterised by taut lines, an impression which is reinforced by the integral air intake slot in the front moulding as well as by the rounded bumper which can be equipped with integral fog lamps as a special-equipment option. In keeping with its role, the lines of the new Integro are characterised above all by a high degree of practicality. The steeply angled windscreen extends right up to roof level to of-fer optimum visibility as well as sufficient space for the integration of a large des-tination display; this design feature has the additional advantage of allowing the available space to be used to optimum effect.

This new and clearly defined design idiom is also reflected by the side walls which are smooth and easy to clean thanks to their large, flush-bonded side win-dows and slender roof pillars. Like the rear, the side surfaces are ideally suited for the application of the operator’s own lettering or logo. The rear section incor-porates many characteristic styling cues which reflect the fact that the vehicle be-longs to the Mercedes-Benz bus and coach family. A particularly prominent fea-ture of the rear is the rounded form of the rear window, behind which the high-level tail lights are integrated. These light units are a high-quality, visually ap-pealing solution which ensures that the Intouro shares the characteristic look of the brand. The new rear light units frame the engine flap which takes up the for-mal vocabulary of the rear window and demonstrates that a rural-service bus does not have to be boxy and angular. But the design of the rear of the vehicle also functions at a practical level: for example, the new ventilation system prevents run-off rainwater, 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.

As well as enhancing the looks of the Intouro, the narrow seals on the doors and flaps are indicative of the high quality of the bodyshell, the latter also benefiting in its entirety from the optimum corrosion protection provided by the cathodic dip-priming process.

Economical purchase, operation and maintenance

Numerous measures to reduce the weight of the vehicle, such as the use of new and computer-optimised materials from the touring-coach sector have helped to ensure that the two length variants of the new Mercedes-Benz Intouro weigh less than their comparable predecessor model, the Conecto Ü high-floor bus. The re-duced 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 (en-gine oil change) and the reduced fuel consumption keep operating costs down for the long term.

In contrast to the predecessor model (Conecto Ü), the new Mercedes-Benz Intouro benefits from the functionality provided by the advanced FPS control concept for the onboard electronics. With this system, the vehicle’s electronics are managed by the integration of conventional switching systems with the freely programma-ble control system (FPS) whose modules are networked via a CAN. The FPS con-sists 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 cables, interfaces and relays are required. As well as ensuring a higher level of operational reliability, this reduction in complexity helps to cut the amount of maintenance required. An integrated diagnostic system enables workshop staff to identify the solution quickly and effectively in the event of a problem, thus reducing vehicle downtime to a minimum.

Also new is the optionally available FMS interface for standardised fleet man-agement. The Fleet Management System (FMS) gives the bus operator access to a complete overview of the technical condition of his/her Intouro bus or the current vehicle operating data. This is made possible by a vehicle-mounted interface, designed to a standardised specification by the leading bus and coach manufacturers, in the form of an FMS socket. The information which can be called up with this system includes the vehicle mileage, fuel consumption and gear-selection statistics.

In order to simplify maintenance and repair work, the front-end flap can be folded down completely. The bumpers at the front of the vehicle with the headlamps and indicators can be replaced individually in the event of damage, as can the three-part rear bumper. Minor damage can thus be repaired quickly and inexpensively.

High standard of ride comfort

The Mercedes-Benz Intouro also sets new standards for ride comfort in its seg-ment. This is ultimately due to the use of high-quality components found in its rural-service stablemates from the Mercedes-Benz Integro model series. The chassis, which features authentic touring-coach technology, has been optimised for the special requirements of rural-service operations and plays a decisive role in the new Intouro’s safe and well-balanced handling. The drive axle is the proven and quiet-running Mercedes-Benz HO6 hypoid axle which is also used in a number of other models, including the Mercedes-Benz Travego and Tourismo touring coaches. The front wheels use the dual-wishbone independent suspension from the new Mercedes-Benz touring coaches and rural-service buses. As well as being 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 ex-ceptionally manoeuvrable. As a result, the Intouro has a turning circle of just 20.98 m. At 23.12 m, the corresponding figure for the longer variant is similarly favourable.

The new Mercedes-Benz Intouro has a spacious luggage compartment between the axles (with stowage space of 4.7 m³ in the Intouro and 5.7 m³ in the Intouro M). The luggage compartment is equipped with large, hinged flaps for particularly easy access. Full through-loading is possible thanks to the absence of an additional partition in the luggage compartment. The luggage-compartment handles are equipped with integral, long-life LED lights.

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