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

New start for the touring coach: the Travego

But now back to the 1990s, when the stage was being set for a new touring coach too. Some important decisions were decided by external factors. The new emission standard Euro 3, new linear measures appreciably beyond the classic twelve meters, 2.55 meters width instead of 2.50 – in the late 1990s there was a flurry of amendments to laws which forced the bus manufacturers to take action. Wolfgang Presinger, just appointed brand spokesman for the Mercedes-Benz Bus and Coach unit then: “We then finally made up our minds to go for broke, telling ourselves: Euro 3, the new overall lengths and the greater width have given rise to a trend which we want to actively shape. That’s why we’re going for a new vehicle.”

This vehicle was called the Mercedes-Benz Travego and superseded the O 404, which could have been adapted to the aforementioned requirements only at great effort and cost. And that is why, after only eight years and around 4500 units, the O 404 faced its end.

The successor was internally coded the O 580 for development purposes, but in the meantime buses with the star were carrying names: Travego, that contains the idea of travel; the word go stands for dynamism; the letter o at the end of this made-up word fit the model families Integro and Citaro.

Mercedes-Benz Travego.

On the surface, visual reminders of the predecessor were desirable: The driver’s window on the left and the passenger door on the right lead into a functional strip extending on to the rear along the bottom of the bus, much as in the O 404. But in the Travego the strip incorporated the handles of the luggage compartment doors and the side marker lamps. The friendly looking face with the ribbed radiator grille in the middle also recalled the predecessor, producing intentional identification effects. Chief designer Wolfgang Papke: “The Travego embodies innovation and tradition. And the Mercedes-Benz brand stands for these attributes.” Curved headlamps, the three-dimensionally arched windshield extending well into the roof area, plus the steeply sloped wheel arch over the rear axle: the Mercedes-Benz Travego exuded dynamism.

The lines of the Travego are worth a closer look: The exterior mirrors grow organically out of the tops of the front side windows instead of being attached to the A-pillar at the front. The B-pillar, also referred to as “character line,” sweeps upward to the roof and breaks up the large surfaces. At the same time, the line of the pillar takes up the contour of the air conditioner, which because of this does not seem out of place even though it is mounted in the middle of the roof of the Travego. The edge of the roof is designed as a weather strip; the side windows are flush bonded and fitted so that together with the smooth side wall they conduce to easy cleaning and easy covering with decorative designs. The rear window and engine compartment flap are trapezoidal in shape, like a muscular back.

Initially the Travego lineup consisted of three models: The Travego 15 RH raised-floor bus was twelve meters long, rolled on two axles and was 3.44 meters tall. The Travego 15 RHD high-decker towered to 3.71 meters and also had two axles. The flagship was the three-axle Travego 17 RHD high-decker. It attained a length of 13.85 meters. The flexibility of the concept proved itself in 2003 when another high-decker, the 12.8 meter long Travego 16 RHD, was added to the range.

Mercedes-Benz Travego 17 RHD.

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