The FINANCIAL — The Mercedes-Benz OC 500 RF chassis for buses and coaches produced in Sámano (Spain) is now available for two-axle touring coaches with ESP (Electronic Stability Program).
This measure greatly enhances safety for buses and coaches based on chassis units and bodies. ESP helps to greatly reduce the risk of skidding, within the laws of physics, when cornering or performing evasive manoeuvres. If the bus or coach gets into a critical driving situation, ESP applies the brakes specifically and precisely at individual wheels to reduce the vehicle's speed until driving stability is restored. In the EU, ESP will be obligatory for touring coaches from 2014, for rural-service buses from 2015 and for new vehicles from as early as 2012/2013, according to the Daimler.
Custom-designed local bodies based on bus and coach chassis units are required for special applications so as to comply with national regulations and equipment requirements in many European countries and, above all, on the world market. With the OC 500 series (OC = Omnibus Chassis), the Mercedes-Benz Bus and Coach unit, part of EvoBus GmbH, offers a wide range of chassis units and engine variants for a broad spectrum of urban buses, rural-service buses and touring coaches. The OC 500 series produced at the Sámano plant includes chassis units for rural-service buses and touring coaches (OC 500 RF), for two- and three-axle touring coaches with independent suspension on the front axle and, where applicable, the trailing axle, as well as a low-entry chassis (OC 500 LE). All of the chassis units are available for left- or right-hand drive and can offer compliance with Euro III, IV and V as well as EEV.
The OC 500 RF chassis units (RF = Raised Floor) are produced on a modular basis. They comprise five modules: driver's area, front axle, frame area between the axles, rear axle and drive unit comprising engine, transmission, radiator and exhaust system. Both vertically and horizontally installed six-cylinder in-line engines are available featuring economical, eco-friendly BlueTec technology. Outputs range from 260 kW to 315 kW (354 to 428 hp), while there is a choice between a six-speed manual transmission and an automatic transmission which likewise has six speeds. As a third variant, there is an automated manual transmission available.
The maximum body length is 13.5 m for the two-axle variant or 15 m for the three-axle variant. All models have size 295/80 R 22.5 tyres and tried-and-tested components, some of which are also used on the Mercedes-Benz Travego premium high-deck touring coach. The chassis has a CAN databus with standardised interfaces to the body electronics.
Further features include on-board diagnostics, a joystick gearshift with a pneumatic shifting aid, disc brakes all round, an electronically controlled braking system (EBS), an anti-lock braking system and Brake Assist. Optional equipment includes a retarder, acceleration skid control (ASR) and auxiliary brake integration as well as an auxiliary heater and provision for an air conditioning system.