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English   15 years ago: Buses under a new umbrella: the EvoBus era begins
12.10.2010 von admin

Indisputably, the Mercedes-Benz Citaro is a milestone in bus development. In 1997 it surprised people with a unique concept for passengers and operators. Since the premiere of the Citaro, passengers can take pleasure in the thorough implementation of a passenger-friendly low-floor technology, in a bright and friendly interior with much headroom, best visibility, effective climate control, side impact protection, optionally available electrically powered pivot-and-slide doors, and an equally sensitive and effective Electronic Braking System (EBS) with disk brakes all around.

The operators, on the other hand, profited from the start from engines which were as economical as they were powerful; from the flexibly programmable control system (FPS), an electronic system based on a CAN databus; which substitutes for kilometers of cable and thousands of trouble-prone electronic parts; from a design which lends itself to easy maintenance and cleaning; from the cantilever-type wall-side seat supports without inconvenient legs; from the full utilization for interior space of the length limit of twelve meters for solo buses which existed then and the maximum permissible width of 2.55 meters; as well as from the modular element design as prerequisite for numerous variants.

The developers and designers packaged this and much more in a beautifully shaped and practically designed body, carefully and consistently styled, from the shape of the headlamps, characteristic of the brand, with white turn signal glass, to the curved, color-contrasted A-pillar with the harmonious transition to the roof and the large windshield with integral destination indicator, through to the rear window, which incorporates the bus number indicator and raised tail lights and turn signal lamps. In short: an urban bus all of a piece, a trailblazer, technically and visually.

After the market launch in 1998 the new Mercedes-Benz Citaro quickly gained acceptance in Germany and throughout Europe. In the startup year it already reached a production figure of 341 units for ten European countries from Norway to Spain. At the beginning of the year 2000 Mercedes-Benz delivered the 1000th Citaro. The rapidly rising output figures were attributable among other things to the effective modular system: The twelve meter long solo bus soon was joined by the articulated bus, the rural-service variant Citaro Ü and a first chassis. Additional variants joined the fold in rapid succession. By then well over 2000 Citaro were leaving production in Mannheim each year, with prospects for more.

The technical evolution of the Citaro progressed no less quickly. In the spirit of continuous product improvement, during the past years numerous improvements have entered into the series. The first were details that further enhanced the ease of servicing and repair. Examples of this are the separate maintenance flap, which permits convenient daily visual checking of the fluid levels, and the radiator flap with enlarged air intake surface, redesigned for easier maintenance. Further new features included improved access to the engine compartment through a fold-open rear panel, the intercooler that could be swung out for easy cleaning, and much more.

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