INTERNATIONAL NEWS: SA misses out on green travel
MERCEDES-Benz Buses has unveiled its premium high-decker Travego Edition 1, the first touring coach to meet the Euro 6 emissions standard. The bus comes with a new BlueEfficiency Power engine, a new transmission and cockpit, and unique safety features such as Active Brake Assist 2.
The engine is a vertically installed in-line six-cylinder from the new OM 471 series. It has a displacement of 12.8l and delivers 350kW at 1800r/min with torque of 2300Nm at 1100r/min.
Additional advantages stem from the effective, three-stage engine brake and the asymmetrical turbocharger. Despite exhaust gas recirculation, this ensures a fast response to the accelerator for agile driving characteristics. The torque curve of the new engine allows low, fuel-saving engine speeds.
The particularly stringent requirements of the coming Euro 6 standard with respect to nitrogen oxide emissions (Nox) generally conflict with demands for even lower particulate emissions and low fuel consumption. Mercedes-Benz says that it resolves this conflict of aims with the new, unique X-Pulse injection technology, as well as sophisticated exhaust gas aftertreatment.
The exhaust system of the Euro 6 engines is also equipped with a diesel particulate filter, which requires an initial service at 360000km in the Travego, and then every 240000km thereafter.
Together with the Euro VI engines, the company is introducing the new eight-speed GO 250-8 PowerShift bus transmission in the Travego Edition 1. This fully automated transmission is based on the GO 240-8 PowerShift transmission still in use in other models. Drivers benefit from progressive ratio graduation, together with fast and comfortable gearshifts.
The vehicle also features a new crawler mode which works in the same way as on automatic transmissions. It allows for precise manoeuvring by only using the brake pedal. The new, integrated retarder achieves a braking torque of up to 3500Nm. It is designed as a secondary retarder and uses the engine coolant for braking and cooling.
The gearshift is also completely new: the previous joystick in the instrument panel has now been replaced by a stalk on the steering column.
The new Attention Assist system analyses parameters such as the steering angle, speed, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, journey duration, operational signals and driver changes. From the correlation of this data, Attention Assist is able to deduce the driver's condition and suggest a break if needed.
A further new development for the Travego is the second generation of Active Brake Assist. The system is now able to detect stationary obstacles.
Unfortunately while Mercedes-Benz and others are making great strides to bring the latest emission standards products to South Africa, our fuel quality remains far too inferior for Euro 6 and so the company is unable, at this stage, to bring the new Travego to our shores.
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