Mercedes-Benz has unveiled a new version of its popular touring bus, the Tourismo. The high-decker touring coach, manufactured in both left- and right-hand-drive form, is said to set new standards for fuel efficiency, comfort and safety in the inter-city bus market.

The preceding model, which sold about 26 000 units in its 20-year history, held a market share of around 20% in Europe. Prospects for the new model are described by spokesmen for Mercedes-Benz as “more than promising.”

Four variants of the bus, which was developed at a cost of 400-million euros, will be available. “The Mercedes-Benz Tourismo is the most successful European touring coach of all time, and a key driver for the success of Daimler Buses,” says Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses.

He describes the bus as a genuine all-rounder designed for a variety of purposes. “Whether used as a shuttle-bus, charter or long-distance bus, it offers our customers an even wider range of applications than before.”

Like its predecessor, the new Tourismo will be manufactured at Mercedes-Benz’s plant at Hoşdere, near Istanbul in Turkey. Powered by a choice of engines from the OM470 range, fuel efficiency is said to have been improved by up to 4,5% compared with that of the predecessor, increasing to about 7,0% when optional equipment such as Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) or Eco Driver Feedback (EDF) are included.

Optimised aerodynamics and a body that’s lighter than that of the predecessor’s also contribute to fuel saving, while optimised service schedules help to ensure maximum cost-effectiveness for operators.

Mercedes-Benz claims the Tourismo is the safest vehicle in its class, featuring emergency brake assist, stop assist for stop-and-go traffic and attention assist among its high-tech features.

“Customers are able to configure the extensive safety features to suit the intended application,” says Schick.

For the first time, all models are available in both left- and right-hand drive forms. Operators are also able to choose between two cockpit variants – standard and luxury versions. Each is equipped with a multifunction steering wheel and new instrument cluster with a TFT colour screen.

The passenger compartment features a bright and airy interior with a range of different patterns for flooring, fabric options for seat covers, walls, curtains, the underside of the luggage carrier shelves and the central ceiling panel.

A galley and a revised air-conditioning system additionally enhance travelling comfort, while a media router for on-board WiFi is optional.