The new Mercedes-Benz Citaro in detail: Cheerful and distinctive design
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
Stuttgart/Mannheim, Germany, May 20, 2011
The new Citaro face that retains the characteristic A-zero pillars in the front end is especially eye-catching. The new Citaro greets passengers with a friendly smile. The large almond-shaped headlamps and, above all, the rounded forms of the front end help to rid the Citaro of the austere appearance that is so typical of regular-service buses with their space-maximising, box-shaped bodies.
Design elements produce an unmistakable silhouette
As the driver’s workstation in the new Citaro has been raised by 60 mm, the windscreen and destination display have been moved upwards too. The vehicle body height has remained unchanged though, so the A-zero pillars on the new Citaro now merge elegantly into a three-dimensional lateral design element on the roof. This conceals both the raised ridge of the destination display and any further superstructures fitted on the roof, while also giving the new Citaro an unmistakable silhouette. The front end’s higher front fascia now includes a notch for the windscreen wiper linkage. At the bottom, the front section ends in a new, more rounded bumper.
Slight increase in wheelbase and front overhang
As a result of the extended front overhang (+ 100 mm) and longer wheelbase (+ 55 mm), the rigid version of the Citaro has increased in length from 11,950 to 12,105 mm compared to its predecessor. The Citaro’s modular design concept means that the extra length is transferred to the articulated Citaro G model too. The increase in wheelbase size is a result of the larger installation space required for the drive units of future Euro VI versions. The new wheelbase furthermore makes all seating variants possible, just as the current model does. The increase in the length of the front overhang was prompted by design requirements and by the inclusion of a new crash element to give the driver added protection in a collision.
Harmonious and practical styling of the front section
At the same time, the enlarged overhang presents an excellent opportunity to move away from the angular basic shape of conventional urban regular-service buses. Apart from adding to the bus’s overall length, the extension of the front section also provides the basis for the harmonious and rounded design of the new Citaro’s front. With a view to preserving the still unsurpassed manoeuvrability of the Citaro, however, the distance from the A-zero pillars and the corner bumpers to the front axle remains unchanged despite the front end’s extra length. This means that in practice, the front end does not swing out any further in bends and when manoeuvring.
The bumper is split into three sections for greater ease of repair. There are now new shoe-shaped scuffing protectors on the left and right in front of the hem sections to prevent the overhang of the Citaro from being damaged should it come into contact with the ground, e.g. when performing tight manoeuvres close to the kerb. The scuffing protectors can be simply replaced.
The Citaro Ü features an elegant windscreen similar to a touring coach
Mercedes-Benz continues to employ a design that differentiates the urban and rural regular-service versions of the new Citaro from the front. Whereas the destination display on the urban regular-service bus still juts forward between the two A-zero pillars from above the windscreen to make it easier to read, the Citaro Ü for rural regular-service routes is fitted with a high windscreen which covers the destination display too. The extended front end means that the glass has a more pronounced three-dimensional convex form, whose elegant curvature is highly reminiscent of the windscreens on luxury touring coaches.
New lighting technology with daytime running lamps and low beam, plus bi-xenon
The new H7 headlamps generate an impressively high light output from their large reflectors. The new optional LED daytime running lamps are integrated into the headlamp assemblies along with the LED indicators. Not only do these increase safety, they help to make the new Citaro unmistakable out on the road too. The list of options also includes bi-xenon headlamps, which are just as distinctive, as well as front fog lamps with an integrated cornering light function.
Side windows set 120 mm deeper than before
The expansive glazing along the flanks of the new Citaro is particularly striking. The side window line is set 120 mm deeper than before, which gives the regular-service bus a transparent appearance. The three-dimensional styling of the glass-fibre-reinforced-plastic wheel arches at the front and rear, combined with the way they extend upwards as far as the window line, gives the body of the new Citaro a dynamic and exciting look. The wheel arches are elastic in nature, which prevents damage being caused by minor knocks, while also reducing weight.
The waist line on the left-hand side rises up gracefully at the rear, before terminating in the corner pillar above the wraparound tail lights. For ease of repair, the sidewall continues to be divided into different segments. The lightweight aluminium side panelling now wraps around the hem section at the bottom, increasing corrosion protection and producing an enclosed design without any breaks.
A new rear end for the Citaro
The designers have also given the rear of the Citaro an overhaul, with new features including the engine compartment flap and the corner pillars with their rounded corner bumpers. While an indentation on the engine compartment flap echoes the front’s smiling expression, the rounded corner bumpers blend perfectly into the design concept of the new Citaro, and are highly reminiscent of a touring coach in appearance. Thanks to the highly elastic structure of the corner bumpers, they can absorb light knocks without becoming misshapen.
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