Euro VI emission standards do not have to mean increased fuel consumption. To that end Mercedes-Benz and Setra employ a multitude of countermeasures. As a result of these measures, the new Euro VI-certified Mercedes-Benz Citaro urban regular-service bus and the new Setra ComfortClass 500 touring coach series actually use measurably less fuel than their predecessor models. Now they must prove that fact in the Record Run Buses 2012: between 22 and 26 October 2012 three Citaro buses and two Setra ComfortClass touring coaches will cover a combined distance of some 20,000 kilometres during comparative drives under impartial supervision.
Start and finish line for the three Mercedes-Benz Citaros and the two Setras of the ComfortClass is Wiesbaden, the capital of the German state of Hesse, at around noon on 22 October 2012. With the exception of two refuelling stops each day, the five buses will operate around the clock for five days straight.
For the urban bus comparison the new Euro VI-certified Mercedes-Benz Citaro will compete as a standard bus with OM 936 h engine and 220 kW (299 hp) against its predecessor. The Euro V Citaro starts in two versions: powered by the OM 906 hLA engine and 210 kW (286 hp) of power and the OM 457 hLA engine (220 kW/299 hp). All Citaros will operate in regular service on the demanding route 17 in Wiesbaden – however, loaded with ballast in place of passengers. The buses will complete about 20 round trips of the 18.6-km route daily; the buses will stop at each bus stop.
In the touring coach comparison the Euro VI-certified Setra ComfortClass S 515 HD will compete against its Setra ComfortClass S 415 GT-HD predecessor. The two-axle high-deck touring coaches each measure a little over 12 metres in length. The ComfortClass S 515 HD is powered by the OM 470 engine with 315 kW (428 hp). Its OM 457 LA predecessor in the ComfortClass S 415 GT-HD has the identical power output.
The touring coaches will use Wiesbaden as the starting point for a trip to Leipzig. From there they will make a loop via Erfurt, Schweinfurt, Bayreuth, Dresden to Bautzen and back during daytime. At night they will drive a route that leads from Leipzig via Potsdam to Hamburg and back. The touring coaches will each cover a distance of some 1800 km in 24 hours.
Loads, transmissions, final drive ratios as well as tyre brand and tread depth are identical within the respective model series. All buses will have been broken in at the start of the Record Run Buses 2012 with around 10,000 km on the odometer. The buses will be driven by skilled test drivers as well by trainers from Omniplus Ecotraining.
The test vehicles and their operations will be monitored by Dekra, an independent specialist automotive organisation. All components relevant to fuel consumption as well as the fuel tanks will be sealed; all refuelling stops will be monitored. The buses are equipped with instruments for measuring fuel consumption. Any movements can be monitored with the help of the FleetBoard telematics system.
All five buses will cross the finish line of the Record Run Buses 2012 in Wiesbaden around midday on 26 October 2012. By that time the touring coaches will each have covered a distance of some 9000 km, the urban regular-service buses each just shy of 1500 km. All recorded data will be analysed over the weekend that follows and the eagerly awaited results will be announced at a press conference on 29 October 2012.