by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

The new Mercedes-Benz Antos: in a class of its own

I. The all new Antos short-radius heavy-duty distribution truck from Mercedes-Benz: in a class of its own

A new name, a new face, a new truck: the new Mercedes‑Benz Antos is the first specialised truck series for heavy-duty short-radius distribution. Whether it's food, domestic heating fuel, construction materials or municipal transportation, with a permitted gross vehicle weight of 18 t to 26 t and a 40 t total towing weight, the new Antos is at home when it comes to regional short-radius distribution and is not above doing any kind of work. The model range, including the highly specialised Loader and Volumer models, is just as varied as the field of application. The trump cards of the Antos also include a wide range of Euro VI BlueTec engines, fully automated transmissions and the user-friendly cab.

Antos: the first specialised heavy-duty short-radius distribution truck

The new Antos is in a class of its own: in the Antos, Mercedes‑Benz is the first manufacturer to provide a truck specifically for the usage profile in heavy-duty short-radius distribution: well-organised, easy-to-operate, economic, low-emissions vehicles for daily use are needed here. A topography that varies widely from one region to the next and varying loads require a broad range of engine powers; frequent stops en route require easy entry and exit. Heavy-duty short-radius distribution trucks are equally at home in towns and cities as they are in inter-city transport and on motorways.

With its unusually broad range, the new Mercedes‑Benz Antos is custom-designed for the diverse requirements of companies and drivers. It is also already suitable for the future: on average, the period of ownership for distribution vehicles is long and therefore demands long-term decisions. The new Antos with its extremely modern, economic and environmentally friendly BlueTec engines with particulate filter is compliant with the Euro VI emissions standard and thus meets these requirements.

Thanks to its compliance with Euro VI, the Antos is well-prepared against toll charges or possible entry restrictions into towns. At the same time, it provides a suitable solution to hauliers' demands for environmentally friendly transportation.

Design: unmistakeable origin, unique character

The truck is the business card of a company: this applies even more in short-radius distribution than in long-distance transportation. The design of the new Mercedes-Benz Antos is unmistakeably reminiscent of the new Actros for long-distance transport. However the Antos has its own identity. The family likeness is unmistakeable: the origin is the same, but the character is different. The Antos, too, has a distinctive, clear and dynamic design idiom and the contrasting flow of concave and convex surfaces is created by defined lines. They add excitement to the powerful design.

A pleasant appearance promotes acceptance

The cab of the Antos is a direct descendent of the Actros with a width of 2.3 m and a ClassicSpace cab. The Antos has a pleasant feel in line with its frequent urban field of application. This increases the acceptance of the truck, whose driver is visible to passers-by thanks to the low cab. Other details also contribute to this: the doors on the new Antos close quietly, with a solid sound – important for deliveries in urban areas at unusual times.

A dynamic and broad-shouldered appearance

The relatively flat design for short-radius distribution allows the Antos to look very robust and sturdy at the same time. The width of the cab, at 2.3 metres, also contributes to this. Together with the wide chassis and the add-on height of the cab which is considerably lower than that of the Actros, the Antos is dynamic and broad-shouldered in appearance. It stands well on the road.

The transition from the cab to the wheel housing is of a harmonious design; the Antos is one single piece. Drivers profit from the convenient stair-like entrance with three steps – which is particularly important in short-radius distribution due to the numerous delivery stations each day.

The central point of the front part is the radiator grille with the confidently large Mercedes star. Thanks to the flat cab, the Antos generally manages with three radiator fins. The fins are perforated in a sporty style and their V-shape is adapted to the appearance of the Antos.
This V-shape continues downwards into the bumper. The Antos has horizontal headlamps integrated into the bumper. The daytime running lights are located directly below within the same housing as the front fog lamps.

Exemplary aerodynamics saves fuel

The Antos has a single side wind deflector on the right and left-hand sides. Its aerodynamics is as exemplary as that of the Actros – both were tested in the wind tunnel. For in short-radius distribution, air resistance has a considerable influence on fuel consumption, too. For this reason Mercedes‑Benz also offers a three-dimensional roof spoiler, designed specifically for the Antos.

The optional lower door extension does not only increase safety, it also reduces air resistance. A variable radiator shutter is available for variants with a low engine tunnel. It opens only as required for the cooling airflow. Even the spray guard was optimised in the wind tunnel. Underbody panelling guides the airflow under and out behind the Antos with almost no turbulence.

In addition to low air resistance, practical issues related to the driver's daily routine such as low wind noise and a low tendency to collect dirt in unpleasant weather were tackled in the wind tunnel. In any case the new Antos is extremely practical: the three-piece bumper with robust steel corners has no problem with the harder operating conditions that are often experienced in short-radius distribution.

Three cab variants, all of which measure a slim 2.3 m

The cab of the new Mercedes-Benz Antos is available as ClassicSpace in short (S) and medium (M) design. The medium-length variant is also available as a super-flat CompactSpace cab, for example for trucks with a refrigeration unit attached to the bulkhead of the body or for car transporters. Depending on the model, the engine tunnel is just 320 mm or 170 mm high.

Whereas minimum weight and maximum body length are the focus for the short cab, the medium-length cab has more storage space behind the seats. It can also be fitted with a fold-down bed, measuring 2000 x 600 mm and an all-round curtain; ideal for longer breaks and the occasional overnight stop.

Spacious cab, convenient entrance

Even the 1.70-m-long S-cab is very spacious.The headroom in front of the seats is 1.60 m; the height above the engine tunnel is 1.31 m or 1.46 m depending on the variant. The M-cab is the same height and 2.0 m long. The headroom in the CompactSpace cab has been reduced to 1.49 m.

The different height of the engine tunnel also has an effect on the entrance. The height of the steps for the lower engine tunnel is 370/370/170 mm and is a particularly convenient 320/295/320 mm for the higher engine tunnel and the resulting low cab floor – ideal for journeys with many loading and unloading stations. The 2.30-m-wide cab is the basis for a comfortable, stair-like entrance which is an important contribution to comfort and safety when the driver must frequently climb in and out in short-radius distribution applications.

Premium cockpit with perfect operation

The driver of the new Antos sits in a premium cockpit which sets new standards in short-radius distribution. This is clear just from the multifunction steering wheel and from the generous length and height adjustment of the seat. The wide range of adjustment for the steering wheel of up to 16.5 degrees is also exemplary – drivers of any height feel comfortable in the Antos.

The dashboard of the new Antos has a dome-shaped and driver-orientated basic shape – connoisseurs will recognise it from the new Actros. The ergonomic operation and excellent arrangement of the instruments are also exemplary. All switches are within reach of the driver. The radio and the navigation system are integrated into the dashboard.

Remote control of functions

The ease of operation in the Antos is of the highest standard. The key is in the form of a credit card and the engine is switched on or off using a start/stop button. A multifunction key with remote control is also available if required: the driver of the Antos can control 16 vehicle functions from the working-area lamps to the auxiliary heating using the remote control.

Large, clearly arranged round instruments provide information about the most important functions and operating states. Other functions can be called up using the steering wheel buttons to control the graphic-capable 10.4-cm TFT central display. A colour display measuring 12.7 cm is also available on request.

The all-round clear arrangement of equipment in the new Antos is also exemplary, starting with the low cab. The optional manoeuvring function of the right-hand exterior mirror is particularly useful in short-radius distribution. The driver can adjust the right-hand exterior mirror outwards by about ten degrees at the press of a button, thus extending his field of vision considerably. After about two minutes or at a speed of 10 km/h or higher, the mirror is automatically adjusted back to the driving position.

Comfortable seats with a large adjustment range

The seats in the Antos have been completely redeveloped. The cushion is broad and seat adjustment is extensive. It is located logically on the left-hand side and easily recognisable from above.

The standard equipment includes an adjustable suspension seat on the driver's side and a regular seat for the co-driver. The backrest and the seat area of the regular seat can be folded away to create more space in the cab. Comfort suspension seats and the particularly comfortable ventilated comfort air-sprung suspension seat are available as options. The latter is even available for the driver and co-driver with a unique massage function.

The selection of seat covers is also individual. As an alternative to comfortable, robust flat-weave fabric, there is also a choice of velour, artificial leather, leather or the "Dinamica Star" upholstery with a material very similar to Alcantara.

The air-controlled heating and air-conditioning system with effective and draught-free ventilation supports the feeling of well-being on-board. Automatic climate control and auxiliary air conditioning as well as hot-water auxiliary heating are also available on request.

Numerous stowage compartments for large and small items

There are numerous stowage compartments for large and small objects within easy reach of the driver – for everything from sunglasses to papers or even drinks bottles with a volume of 1.5 l. This applies to storage space on the dashboard support and in the central module as well as drinks holders in the centre console, the flexible ashtray for smokers, containers for small items, open storage compartments above the windscreen (closable if desired) and large door pockets with a bottle holder. There is even a coat hook for a jacket.

The longer M‑cab offers additional storage space on the side walls behind the doors and also a clothes rail on the rear wall of the cab. Luggage can be stored in two stowage compartments behind the seats on the left and right of the M‑cab. Their volume is 62 to 73 l, depending on the position and selected engine tunnel variant. These stowage compartments can be accessed from the left-hand side of the vehicle by means of a flap on the exterior of the vehicle.

The storage compartments can be extended individually as required, for example with a storage compartment, a closed stowage compartment or a 25 l coolbox on the engine tunnel. Storage pockets on the rear wall or an integrated table on the co-driver's side are other examples.

Top-quality, functional materials

Functional materials are used in accordance with the Antos's area of use. The driver's side of the cockpit is in black, the passenger side is in a flannel grey and the ceiling of the Antos is in a friendly, down-to-earth "greige", a shade between grey and beige, which makes the cab appear bigger, thus emphasising the pleasant feeling of spaciousness. The materials are robust and easy-to-maintain and the cockpit's grained surfaces contribute to the impression of high-quality in the Antos.

In the optional cab variant with an additional middle seat, the central section of the instrument panel has been moved towards the front of the vehicle to provide extra knee room. The parking brake lever and the air vents have been repositioned accordingly.All ClassicSpace cabs are available with a third seat.

The optional Comfort Pack facilitates the selection of the equipment. It comprises eight optional extras including the extended central locking system, a compressed-air supply for easy cleaning of the cab and roller sunblinds on both sides of the vehicle.

Efficient Euro VI engines from 175 kW (238 hp) to 375 kW (510 hp)

The new Mercedes‑Benz Antos is available with an extraordinarily wide range of BlueEfficiency Power diesel engines. The range includes three very modern and responsive Euro VI inline six-cylinder engines with 7.7-litre, 10.7-litre and 12.8-litre displacement respectively. The power ranges from 175 kW (238 hp) for lighter applications as a rigid vehicle up to 375 kW (510 hp) for heavy-duty truck/trailer combinations and tractor/semitrailer combinations under very challenging topographical conditions.

The engines in the Antos run smoothly and quietly. Special soundproofing certified with the Blue Angel environmental label is available for particularly high expectations.

OM 936: compact, light, but still powerful

The new Mercedes‑Benz OM 936 inline six-cylinder engine is particularly light and compact. The new design has a number of technical refinements, such as a maximum injection pressure of 2400 bar, common-rail injection or the world's first adjustable exhaust camshaft in a diesel engine. The crossflow cylinder head with four valves guarantees the least possible flow losses. The cylinder head and the engine housing are made of grey cast iron with lamellar graphite in a special alloy. They are connected with one another by six screws per cylinder; an unusually high number in this class and the basis for an extremely rigid connection.

The two overhead camshafts are arranged such that a low overall height was possible – the prerequisite for the low engine tunnel in the new Antos. The camshafts are "constructed" so that they are both light and strong. Reduced weight was also a criterion for the choice of material for the pistons: they are made of light aluminium. Their combustion chamber with stepped recess in the piston crown is designed for the perfect combustion of fuel in conjunction with exhaust gas recirculation.

The choice of the bore to stroke ratio (110/135 mm) provides for optimal fuel consumption and guarantees high pulling power at low engine speeds. The compact, rigid and quiet gear drive of the camshafts is located at the rear of the engine.

The turbocharging function is carried out up to an output of 220 kW (299 hp) by an asymmetrical exhaust gas turbocharger with a double-flow turbine. There is a two-stage supercharging process with two turbochargers for the two uppermost output levels. The power/weight ratio of the engine is favourable; when dry the six-cylinder engine weighs 650 kg (standard 70020-A). Not only the high degree of structural design input necessary for the Euro VI must be taken into account, but also the high performance.

Impressive performance and drivability

Despite its great robustness, the OM 936 achieves an impressive performance. Specific output of up to 34 kW (46 hp) per litre of displacement propels the power units to a performance class previously only achieved by larger-capacity engines. It is this downsizing that provides one of the prerequisites for the favourable exhaust emissions and consumption values.

Besides the nominal data of the new engines, it is their ease of driving that impresses. At an engine speed of only 1600 rpm, roughly 90 percent of the maximum torque is already available. At the same time, the engines also display their dynamism at low revs. Within the main operating range, the maximum torque remains constant between 1200 rpm and 1600 rpm. However the engines display a high power output even at engine speeds below 1000 rpm. Furthermore, the engines' spontaneous response to accelerator pedal movements is surprising in practice.

Extremely effective engine brake

The engine brake acts just as effectively. Its performance, unique for an engine of this class, increases safety and the average transport speed thanks to less use of the foot brake. This in turn reduces wear on the brake lining. The double synchronised decompression brake is based on the heavy-duty engines of the OM 470/471 series.

Whereas the standard version of the six-cylinder engines achieves up to 235 kW (320 hp), the premium version achieves 300 kW (408 hp). Until now, only considerably larger engines from the heavy-duty class have achieved values of this magnitude.

The Mercedes-Benz OM 936 is available in five power and torque levels:

Power / Torque

175 kW (238 hp) at 2200 rpm / 1000 at 1200-1600 rpm
200 kW (272 hp) at 2200 rpm / 1100 at 1200-1600 rpm
220 kW (299 hp) at 2200 rpm / 1200 at 1200-1600 rpm
235 kW (320 hp) at 2200 rpm / 1300 at 1200-1600 rpm
260 kW (354 hp) at 2200 rpm / 1400 at 1200-1600 rpm

OM 470: heavy duty through and through – but not on the weighing scales

The equally new OM 470 inline six-cylinder engine with a 10.7-litre displacement already belongs in the heavy-duty class. It is based on the OM 471 series and also shares its technical features, such as the unique X-Pulse fuel-injection system. The compact engine is very powerful and at the same time weight-optimised.

With a view to its specific areas of application, such as in short-radius distribution, the OM 470 sets its own tone. Weighing only 990 kg according to DIN 70020-A, it is predestined for weight-sensitive work. The OM 470 achieves the same output as the current OM 457 with a displacement of 10.7 litres instead of 12.0 litres. At the same time it is more robust than its predecessor, well-known for its reliability. Also, despite the additional components for the Euro VI emissions standard, the new engine weighs 50 kg less than its predecessor and, despite Euro VI, even undercuts its predecessor's fuel consumption values.

High torque at extremely low engine speeds

With an eye to typical deployment scenarios and gearboxes with a broad ratio spread, the new OM 470 has been tuned even more consistently to drivability: the engine achieves a full 95 percent of its maximum torque at only 800 rpm. The maximum torque remains constantly available from 1100 rpm to 1400 rpm. The engine almost achieves it maximum performance at this engine speed. Thanks to this characteristic, a high degree of power is available in the main operating range and the engine has a real "bite". The long-stroke design with a bore of 125 mm and a stroke of 145 mm provides for excellent pulling power.

The OM 470 is certainly not inferior to its bigger brother, the OM 471 in terms of robustness. The engine housing is also made of a special grey cast iron alloy and the cylinder head is made of grey cast iron with vermicular graphite (CGI). The pistons are made of steel, to increase their service life and combat the load caused by ignition pressures of more than 200 bar.
The quiet and efficient gear drive which drives the two overhead camshafts was completely redeveloped for the OM 470. It is located at the rear of the engine and is an important element of the weigh-saving construction.

The unique X-PULSE injection system

An important characteristic of the new OM 470 is the unique flexible common-rail X-PULSE injection system with fully electronic control and a pressure booster. Whilst the pressure is increased to a maximum of 900 bar in the common rail, it is increased to an injection pressure of up to 2100 bar in the individual injectors.

The rate of injection can be freely modulated depending on the operating conditions. As a result, X-PULSE minimises fuel consumption and at the same time maximises the smooth running performance of the engine. The injectors and shape of the combustion chamber have been adapted to the specific characteristics of the OM 470.

Turbocharging takes place via a turbocharger with asymmetric turbine housing and fixed geometry. This process improves the engine response.

The engine brake of the OM 470 is just as powerful and efficient as the drive system. Mercedes‑Benz uses a turbocharged decompression brake. It is operated via a three-stage steering column switch. The maximum braking performance is a remarkable 340 kW (462 hp).

The OM 470 is available in four versions for the Antos:

Power / Torque

240 kW (326 hp) at 1800 rpm / 1700 Nm at 1100 rpm
265 kW (360 hp) at 1800 rpm / 1800 Nm at 1100 rpm
290 kW (394 hp) at 1800 rpm / 1900 Nm at 1100 rpm
315 kW (428 hp) at 1800 rpm / 2100 Nm at 1100 rpm

OM 471: resilient, powerful and economic

The top engine in the new Antos is the Mercedes-Benz OM 471 inline six-cylinder engine introduced in 2011. It has already proved to be a success in the new Actros. The OM 471 was the first of a completely new generation of engines. The usable engine speed range extends down into the region of 800 to 900 rpm. At 1400 rpm, the engines have almost achieved 100 percent of their maximum power.

With a bore of 132 mm and a stroke of 156 mm, the in-line six-cylinder is of a long-stroke design. The rigid grey cast iron engine housing, the single-piece steel pistons and the rigid cylinder head made of grey cast iron with vermicular graphite (CGI) are robust and designed to withstand ignition pressures of more than 200 bar. The gear drive on the drive end of the engine is both robust and smooth-running. It drives both of the camshafts.

X-PULSE is the name of the unique common-rail system with a pressure booster in the injectors. The maximum injection pressure is 2100 bar. Injection can be freely modulated and is adjusted precisely to the individual situation. As a result the engine runs more quietly and smoother; the fuel consumption is lower whilst exhaust emissions are minimised.

Highly efficient turbocharging and engine brake

Turbocharging occurs via an asymmetric turbocharger with fixed geometry. It ensures that the engine responds quickly to accelerator pedal movements. The turbocharged decompression engine brake also achieves the highest efficiency. The maximum braking power is 400 kW (544 hp).
In view of the engine's robustness and the additional expenditure incurred in anticipation of Euro VI, its power-to-weight ratio is favourable. Its weight amounts to 1126 kg in accordance with DIN 70020-A.

In the Antos the engine is available at the following power and torque levels:

Power / Torque

310 kW (421 hp) at 1800 rpm / 2100 Nm at 1100 rpm
330 kW (449 hp) at 1800 rpm / 2200 Nm at 1100 rpm
350 kW (476 hp) at 1800 rpm / 2300 Nm at 1100 rpm
375 kW (510 hp) at 1800 rpm / 2500 Nm at 1100 rpm

A great deal in common: the new generation of engines

Whether OM 936, OM 470 or OM 471, all engines are already compliant with the Euro VI emissions standard. They have common-rail injection and exhaust gas recirculation. Treatment of the exhaust gases is by means of SCR technology with AdBlue injection and a downstream oxidation catalytic converter and a particulate filter.

Maximum efficiency comes as standard in the new BlueEfficiency Power engine generation: all engines combine a spirited response and a very smooth ride with low consumption figures for fuel, AdBlue and engine oil. Equally present are exemplary environmental protection and long maintenance intervals of up to 120,000 km for engine oil services.

Automated transmission for all variants

Power transmission in the new Antos is consistently by means of a fully automated and fast-acting Mercedes Powershift 3 transmission with eight and twelve gears. They facilitate the work of the driver considerably, particularly with regard to tough manoeuvring or urban traffic.

The sensitive transmission sensor system ensures that the correct gear for each driving and load situation is selected. A total of six transmissions are available for the new Antos to ensure perfect suitability to the engine and area of use.

Extensive range: from the new G140-9 to the G281-12

The range of transmissions is appropriate to the wide range of engines: from the Mercedes G140-8 eight-speed transmission to the Mercedes G281-12 twelve-speed transmission. The new fully automated G140-8 in conjunction with the OM 936 engine is particularly recommended for rigid vehicles. It weighs around 45 kg less than the next largest transmission, the G211-12.

With the exception of the G140-8 all transmissions are available with three different drive programs (Economy, Power and Fleet). All transmissions are characterised by precise gear selection and fast gear shifting with a minimum tractive losses.

A special feature of the new Antos is the possibility of combining extremely compact engines like the OM 936 with multi-step transmissions. This results in a favourable performance, even in truck/trailer combinations and tractor/semitrailer combinations which are only occasionally loaded to full capacity, with correspondingly payload-optimised engines.

Creep mode for manoeuvring, steering-column lever for operation

The creep mode of the transmission is particularly important in short-radius distribution, with its high proportion of urban routes and manoeuvring operations at tight unloading areas: with a pulling-away gear or reverse gear selected, the driver can control the speed of the new Antos using the brake pedal alone. It is also possible to shift directly from first gear into the reverse gear which offers further support when manoeuvring.

If manual intervention is necessary, the automated transmission can also actuated by means of an intuitively-operated steering-column lever.

Power is transmitted to the tried-and-tested Mercedes HL6 hypoid axle. Lower friction losses reduce the fuel consumption of the current version in the new Antos. To ensure precise matching to the vehicle, its field of operation, engine and transmission, a total of nine different ratios is available, ranging from i=3.9 to i=5.2.

Efficient auxiliary equipment reduces consumption

The developers pulled out all the stops in order to reduce the fuel consumption of the Antos to as low a level as possible and thus looked intensively at the auxiliary equipment. As a result the function of engine's water pump is controlled in the same way as that of the power steering pump. The compressed-air control is optimised and air compressors providing for optimal fuel consumption are used (OM 470/471 series). The drive axle functions with less friction, with the optional tyre pressure monitoring system drawing attention to incorrect and therefore uneconomic tyre pressures.

The super-wide tyres on the rear axle, available as an option, also increase the efficiency of the new Antos. They reduce the rolling resistance and thus fuel consumption. A tyre pressure monitoring system is always offered in combination with the super-wide tyres. It is also available for other models if desired.

Not only the premium technology but also the software increases efficiency: each Antos is equipped with FleetBoard EcoSupport as standard. This assistance system permanently provides the driver with tips concerning fuel-saving styles of driving. The FleetBoard telematics system for optimising transport management is also available as an option.

Predictive Powertrain Control: far-sighted cruise control

In conjunction with the OM 471 engine, the new Antos is also available with the forward-thinking cruise control system Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC). PPC recognises the course of roads with uphill and downhill gradients using a satellite-supported positioning system in combination with a 3D road map and adapts both speed and gear changes accordingly. PPC can reduce fuel consumption by a further three percent.

Optimal economic efficiency

The result of all these measures is optimal economic efficiency and the best possible protection of the environment. Although the engines incorporate comprehensive Euro VI exhaust gas emission control, the fuel consumption of the new Mercedes‑Benz Antos is still as good as that of its predecessors. In some areas, it even scores considerably better.

Mercedes‑Benz has compiled important optional equipment into three packages "Economy Pack Basis", "Economy Pack Classic" and "Economy Pack Top", in order to help buyers with their selection and to reduce the fuel consumption of the new Antos to a minimum.

The even higher life cycle of the engine and the lower costs for repairs and maintenance make the new Antos extremely economic. An element that is complemented by design details such as the great range of variants and good body-mounting ability.

The new Antos has achieved the highest standards thanks to its materials and solid workmanship. This is demonstrated by the fully galvanised cab bodyshell and the frame coated with cathodic dip priming – driving the Antos is a long-term pleasure and extremely economic. This applies down to the very last detail as illustrated by the LED position marker lamps with their extremely long life cycle.

Broad frame, safe handling

Handling is extremely important, particularly in short-radius distribution with a great deal of inter-city and urban driving which includes many turning manoeuvres and narrow roads. The Antos has an 834-mm-wide rigid frame as the basis for stable handling.

Its new steering operates both precisely and directly. As usual, the rear axle guide and the symmetrical four-bellows air suspension of the rear axle ensure handling that is both comfortable and safe in equal measure. The innovative rear axle guide of the two-axle vehicle, for which the paths of contact intersect behind the rear axle, increases driving stability perceptibly.

The understeer/oversteer characteristics, the high degree of transverse stability and the reduced rolling motion of the new Antos must also be emphasised as well as its great manoeuvrability.

Effective brakes, high-performance engine brake

The new Antos brakes faster than it accelerates – Mercedes‑Benz gives priority to safety without exception. This applies more than ever in challenging short-radius distribution with its diverse range of ever-changing traffic situations.

The electronically controlled EBS braking system with disc brakes, a highly effective engine brake, the ABS anti-lock braking system, Brake Assist and ASR acceleration skid control are all standard. Whatever the engine, the performance of the engine brake is always way above average.

The high-performance engine brake "High Performance Brake" with a braking performance of up to 400 kW is also available as an option. Furthermore, operators can equip the new Antos with the new equally light and powerful water retarder. It is fully integrated into the braking system and provides for an impressive braking performance of up to 750 kW.

In the case of emergency braking, the Antos warns traffic behind automatically by switching on the hazard warning lamps.

All safety systems in short-radius distribution for the first time

Also typically Mercedes-Benz and typically Antos is the full availability of all safety assistance systems familiar from the Actros in short-radius distribution. This starts with Stability Control Assist. Proximity control assist with stop-start traffic function can also be supplied as an optional extra. Also available are, among other things, Lane Keeping Assist and the unique next-generation Active Brake Assist 3, which can also initiate a full brake application when approaching stationary obstacles.

A semitrailer coupling fitted with sensors, tyre pressure monitoring system and the rain and light sensor complement the safety equipment if desired. Using various parameters, the optional Attention Assist, which works on the basis of Lane Keeping Assist, continuously checks the attention of the driver – even with Lane Keeping Assist deactivated. If concentration decreases, the driver is visually and acoustically prompted to take a break. Lane Keeping Assist is also reactivated if deactivated.

The lighting system on the new Antos can also be adapted precisely to the individual requirements of operators and drivers. The highly luminous clear-glass headlamps are available in a bi-xenon version as an optional extra. Cornering light function, LED daytime running lights and an LED version of the rear lamps are further safety options.

With all these assistance systems, Mercedes‑Benz has put together a safety package for the new Antos which is uncompromising and unparalleled in short-radius distribution. Mercedes‑Benz has compiled the "Safety Pack Basic" and "Safety Pack Classic" packages for the Antos in order to support the dissemination of safety systems in short-radius distribution.

Wide range of variants, chassis with good body-mounting ability

The new Antos range is as diverse as its fields of application. The tractor units are available in four wheelbase versions from 3550 mm to 4000 mm (two axles) and 2650 mm to 3550 mm (three axles, wheelbase axle 1/2). Chassis are available in eleven wheelbases from 3700 mm to 6700 mm in a 300-mm pattern. In addition to the two-axle chassis, the Antos is also available in a three-axle variant with a leading or trailing axle as well as with a trailing axle with twin tyres.
Since a large proportion of the trucks in short-radius distribution have a special-purpose body, the new Antos is exceptionally well prepared for this. For example, with a consistent hole pattern in the frame at distances of 50 mm in length and height also in the area of the rear axles.

Thanks to its variable frame extensions and individual positions for the end crossmember at distances of 50 mm ex factory, all variants of the Antos are likewise just as optimally adapted to attachment bodies as they are to consoles at defined positions, straps and fastening components, and uniform electronic interfaces.

Necessary clearances are defined ex factory, for the supports for cranes, stowage compartments or assemblies, for example. A large range of auxiliary equipment is also available and the new Antos is able to be ordered with leading and trailing axles. This diversity saves adjustments to wheelbases and overhangs ex factory – the Antos is prepared for any eventuality.

The electronic structure with a programmable special module (PSM) enables the simple exchange of information between the vehicle and body. Switches for the electric systems of the body and the operation of its functions are also are provided for in the cab.

The tank variants for the new Antos can also be individually adapted to the vehicle and area of use. Two widths and two heights provide for different tank sizes which can also be combined with one another.

Loader/Volumer: the first usage-specific models

Together with the new Antos, Mercedes‑Benz is introducing usage-specific models for specialist transport in heavy-duty short-radius distribution. Mercedes-Benz uses the term Loader to describe payload-optimised variants. They achieve record values for unladen weight and payload.

Antos Loader: a payload record for tractor units

The Antos Loader is the first tractor unit for 40-tonne vehicle combinations to be below the 6-tonne limit for unladen weight – and this is even with an engine that is compliant with the Euro VI emissions standard. As the Antos 1835 LS with the ClassicSpace cab, aluminium wheels and super single tyres on the rear axle, it weighs in at approximately 6000 kg.

Even with the larger OM 470 inline six-cylinder Euro VI engine with its 315 kW (428 hp) of power, the tractor unit weighs around 6400 kg. At this weight, the Antos is able to position itself very well in the competitive environment and, even in comparison to Euro V trucks, the new Antos Loader is right at the forefront, too.

The prerequisite for this is consistent design aimed at a low weight. With the Antos Loader, this includes an aluminium entrance support, a weight-optimised windscreen and floor coverings, batteries with a reduced capacity, a combined tank for fuel and AdBlue and various other measures.

Antos Volumer: for uses with a low load compartment sill

The advantages of the Antos Volumer include an 80-mm-lower load compartment sill than was previously available. With 295/55 R22.5 tyres, the coupling point height is below 1000 mm. Customers can choose from a wide selection of cab models. In addition, buyers have the choice between different sizes of fuel tank – depending on whether the focus is to be on payload or range.

Thanks to a wide range of rear axle ratios, the Antos Volumer can always be equipped with a direct-drive transmission. This saves up to 1 percent fuel and in turn cash in comparison to the high-speed drive transmission.

All cab variants are available for the Antos Volumer as well as all engines at all of the 13 output levels.

Mercedes-Benz Antos: in a class of its own

As the first and only specialist for heavy-duty short-radius distribution, the new Mercedes-Benz Antos is a landmark vehicle in a class of its own: the short-radius distribution pro covers the whole diverse spectrum of fields of application in its segment. Companies benefit from its economy and efficiency, bodybuilders from its good body-mounting ability and individuality, and drivers benefit from its user-friendliness, safety and handling.

II. Mercedes-Benz Antos: first driving impression ~ Short-haul distribution made easier with the new Mercedes-Benz Antos

Which one to choose? Before test-driving the new Mercedes-Benz Antos, it's a tough choice to make. For the first test drive in Düsseldorf, there are two driver's cabs to choose from. We opt for the CompactSpace "S" version over the super-flat cab, a special design for car transporters and similar low-positioned applications. The new specialist family includes three engines for just about all types of distribution application. Three engines, that sounds clear enough, but 13 power ratings? Read on for more details.

Alongside the familiar 12.8-litre six-cylinder OM 417 from the new Mercedes-Benz Actros, the new, mid-sized 10.7-litre OM 470 power plant which develops 326 to 428 hp (240 kW – 315 kW) is also available in this vehicle family. The Antos was systematically designed from the outset to meet the stringent Euro VI standard. And then there is the also brand-new "small" in-line six-cylinder OM 936 with a working volume of 7.7 litres, which development engineers have endowed with a full five power ratings, ranging from 238 to 354 hp (175 kW – 260 kW).

First test with the rigid distribution vehicle

We choose the Mercedes-Benz Antos 1830 L 4×2, a two-axle rigid vehicle with a box body, frequently used for short-radius distribution of foodstuffs, for example. With a rated output of 299 hp (220 kW), the engine is the middle-of-the-range option for the 7.7-litre Euro VI unit. This clean‑runner achieves its best tractive power between 1200 and 1600 rpm. Within this broad engine speed range, 1200 newton metres are available at full load.

As mentioned earlier, for the driver's workplace, we opted for the short "S" cab. A likely choice for regional transport applications. And after an easy entry via an elegant, stair-like entrance, it already becomes clear: Mercedes-Benz has built the ideal truck for short-radius distribution. Welcome home.

Ergonomic workplace

From behind the steering wheel in the new Mercedes-Benz Antos, it is also apparent that vast improvements have been made to the driver's workplace. The driver sits in a premium cockpit, a real standard-setter in short-radius distribution. For starters, just look at the multifunction steering wheel and the generous height and longitudinal adjustment of the seat. The ample steering wheel adjustment of up to 16.5 degrees is also exemplary – drivers of all sizes will feel right at home in the Mercedes-Benz Antos.

Connoisseurs will recognise the cockpit from the new Mercedes-Benz Actros. This means ergonomics, controls and a logical layout beyond reproach, with all instruments arranged within the driver's reach, as well as radio and navigation being integrated into the dashboard.

Ready for take-off at the touch of a button

So let's get the show on the road. The 300 hp engine starts with the touch of a button, the classic old-style key being a thing of the past for the Antos. In its place is a drive authorisation system in credit card format. The generous seat adjustment range accommodates every body size, and the perfect work position behind the four-spoke steering wheel is quickly found.

The controls in this new vehicle for short and medium-haul routes are definitely in line with progress, or rather: with a philosophy committed to making work easier. This means that manual transmissions are now a thing of the past in short-radius distributions, with no ifs or buts. Mercedes-Benz is the first truck manufacturer to make life easier for every Antos driver on short-haul routes by equipping its vehicles with fully automatic transmissions as standard.

Distribution vehicle improvement: PowerShift 3 as standard

Following the Mercedes-Benz Actros, the new Mercedes-Benz Antos now leaves the production line equipped only with a PowerShift 3 transmission. Alongside the 12-speed version well-known from the Actros long-haul model, an eight-speed version is available for the first time in the Antos.
The new transmission is custom-made for use in two and three-axle rigid vehicles with a maximum permissible gross vehicle weight of up to 26 tonnes, but can also be used in light semitrailer/tractor combinations or drawbar combinations. The eight-speed PowerShift is designed as a four-speed main transmission with a splitter group – a distinctive feature worthy of special mention.
Naturally, this unique characteristic is unnoticeable on the road. What is noticeable as soon as the vehicle starts up is the perfect interplay between the 7.7-litre power plant and the automatic transmission. The subdued sound impression making its way into the driver's cab is more reminiscent of an eleven-litre engine than a seven-litre engine.

Same gear-shift strategy as in full-sized units

And the PowerShift transmission plays its part in presenting the small engine in the compact Antos 1830 as one of the "full-size" units. The automatic transmission gears up quickly, in big gear-ratio steps, always maintaining that Actros-like engine speed decrease.

It's obvious that this comparatively light drivetrain can easily measure up to the big long-haul model. At no time during the almost hour-long tour through Düsseldorf's city centre, with one extended jaunt into the hilly surroundings, does the fully loaded Antos 1830 show any drive-related weaknesses.

Pure intuition – vehicle operation the way it ought to be

Vehicle operation using the gearbox switch to the right of the steering column, where the engine brake is also activated, is an intuitive task. But there's not much to do, really, since this is usually done by the high-quality drive and brake management system.

Directly adjacent to the new gearbox and brake control unit, important assistance systems such as cruise control – both with and without Proximity Control Assist – and the freely adjustable speed limiter are operated by the driver via an extremely easy-to-reach control panel on the right-hand steering wheel spoke. Previously in the Actros, such functions were integrated in a steering column lever.

Quick info, quickly programmed

The freely programmable hotkey is particularly helpful: to this button, drivers can assign the submenu of most relevance to them (driving time or journey consumption, for example) – a press of the button is all it takes to display the desired information.

A true enhancement to a trucker's daily routine is the manoeuvring position of the right-hand mirror. The mirror glass turns outwards at a ten-degree angle to reach the manoeuvring position.
On motorway exits with difficult-to-judge curves, the new Antos gives drivers substantially more handling leeway should they happen to underestimate the curve's trajectory. On interurban roads, higher suspension reserves generally ensure that drivers have more options for making rapid corrections when faced with sudden obstacles.

All safety systems in short-radius distribution, for the first time

Finally, electronic assistance systems ranging from the standard stability assistants to the optional Lane Keeping Assist and the unique, new-generation Active Brake Assist 3 are there to lend a hand in potentially critical situations. With such assistance systems, Mercedes-Benz has put together a safety package without compromise for the new Antos, one that is unparalleled in short-radius distribution. To promote the use of safety systems in short-radius distribution, Mercedes-Benz has bundled these systems for the Antos and made them available in the "Safety Pack Basic" and "Safety Pack Classic" packages.

Credits: Daimler AG

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