The new Mercedes-Benz Actros
• The concept: fully focussed on long-distance transport
• Exterior: unmistakable, with “flow”, aerodynamically optimised
• Interior: a living and working space like never before in a truck
• Powertrain: powerful Euro VI engines with low consumption
• Chassis: feels more poised, more assured and lighter to drive than other trucks
• Testing: 20 million kilometres on the road alone
Brimming with innovation and emotion. Easier on the environment than other trucks. Aiming for the very top in terms of comfort, driving dynamics and economy. Boasting outstanding material and build quality as well as the lowest overall costs. Not to mention irresistibly good looks. Yet for all these superlatives, the most important aspect for those responsible at Mercedes-Benz and for customers is the fact that it has been tested like no other truck generation before it. It is the first all-new truck to have been developed uncompromisingly under the “Trucks you can trust” premise. Among other things, this means that the new Actros has undergone 2600 hours of fine-tuning in the wind tunnel, 50 million kilometres of engine testing on test rigs and in real-life operation, and 20 million kilometres on the road.
The concept: fully focussed on long-distance transport
The main rival to the new Actros is its predecessor, which has set a very high benchmark over the course of 15 years and several stages of development, with more than 700,000 units sold during this time. The new Actros is following in illustrious footsteps, but its new concept signals a different approach: all versions of the new premium truck are uncompromisingly designed for long-distance transport. It now covers all long-distance applications, whereas previously this domain was served by two truck series, namely the Actros and the Axor.
At the heart of the new Actros is a modular system conceived specifically for long-distance transport: seven spacious cabs, five of which have a flat floor; innovative interior ideas such as the separation of the working and living areas; a new cockpit that is both functional and attractive; a new, high-torque, clean and exceptionally economical six-cylinder in-line engine with additional torque reserves; a new frame and a dynamic chassis; further enhanced safety. The new Actros is a veritable showcase of innovations.
It is the first and, to date, only truck which has been developed rigorously to comply with the Euro VI emissions standard. The figures certainly stack up: fuel consumption in the optional Euro V variant is around six percent lower than for the predecessor model. In the case of the Euro VI version, the figure is around three percent lower, combined with a reduction in AdBlue consumption of around 40 percent. Maintenance and repair costs are even lower than before, as evidenced by low-cost service contracts. And on the bottom line, the Actros model in each of the emissions categories has lower overall costs than all its competitors.
Exterior: unmistakable, with “flow”, aerodynamically optimised
The unmistakable design of the new Mercedes-Benz Actros is as exceptional as the truck as a whole. Its look, developed specifically for a long-distance truck, is powerful, masculine and dynamic. At the front end, the face of the new Actros dispenses almost entirely with straight lines and flat surfaces. Curves along with contrasting concave and convex lines lend the new Actros an overriding aura of excitement and its own unique character.
The coherent form of the new Actros is particularly evident when viewed at an angle, as the full extent of the harmonious flow between the front section and the flanks can then be seen. The bumper, corner panelling and entrance form a single unit. Fluid lines are a hallmark feature of the new Actros – which is why designers often talk about “flow”.
Much of the development work focussed on aerodynamics. The new Actros spent some 2600 hours in the wind tunnel – never before has a truck been developed and tested so intensively in a wind tunnel. Its aerodynamic design is one of major factors behind the reduction in fuel consumption compared to its already highly economical predecessor.
Interior: a living and working space like never before in a truck
A width of 2.3 or 2.5 metres, four roof variants and, without exception, the maximum length of 2.3 metres: behind these figures lies a modular system with a choice of seven different long-distance cabs. Whereas a flat cab floor was previously a hallmark of the exclusive flagship model in a truck range, no less than five of the seven cab variants for the new Actros now feature a flat floor.
The spectacular GigaSpace cab brings a whole new meaning to the word ‘space’, with a volume of 11.6 cubic metres, a flat floor, 2.13 metres of headroom and more than 900 litres of stowage space. At the heart of the interior is a concept which visually separates the easy-to-use cockpit from the comfortable living area using colour and geometric form. The functional area of the cockpit is finished in practical anthracite whilst the rear, ceiling and area around the co‑driver’s seat are appointed in a light almond beige colour. High-quality surfaces, the luxurious driver’s seat with optional massage function (from 2012), beds offering the comfort of home, a multifunction steering wheel, informative and attractive instruments, and asymmetrical roof stowage boxes are just some of the many aspects developed specifically for the new Actros.
Powertrain: powerful Euro VI engines with low consumption
The all-new heavy-duty engines for the new Actros likewise set standards. From the outset, the new BlueEfficiency Power engine generation offers compliance with Euro VI. The first member of the new engine family is the Mercedes-Benz OM 471 six-cylinder in-line unit developing 310 kW (421 hp) to 375 kW (510 hp) with a torque of 2100 to 2500 Nm. A high torque, even at engine speeds below 1000 rpm, and almost peak output at 1400 rpm make for excellent driveability.
Four valves per cylinder are controlled the two overhead camshafts. These are “composite” or “assembled” camshafts – a first for engines of this size. Another premiere arrives in the shape of the common-rail injection system with X-PULSE pressure booster. The maximum pressure in the rail, around 900 bar, is boosted to up to 2100 bar in the injectors. Charging is performed courtesy of a turbocharger with an asymmetric turbine housing, which improves response. The engine brake, a charged decompression brake, is designed to deliver maximum efficiency. This three-stage brake achieves a maximum braking power of 400 kW.
To meet the stringent requirements imposed by the Euro VI emissions standard, Mercedes-Benz has developed a complex emission-control system consisting of SCR technology with AdBlue injection without compressed air, cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and a particulate filter. Factors behind the engine’s outstanding economy include its exceptional robustness and longevity as well as maintenance intervals of up to 150,000 kilometres.
In all models, the power is sent to the wheels through a third-generation Mercedes PowerShift fully-automated transmission featuring highly sensitive shift sensors for even faster and more precise response. Rear axles with longer ratios reduce the engine speed and, therefore, fuel consumption.
Chassis: feels more poised, more assured and lighter to drive than other trucks
The new Actros heralds a new area in driving dynamics for heavy-duty trucks. No other premium-category truck feels as poised, as assured and as light to drive, largely thanks to a new, wide and torsionally stiff frame designed specifically for on-road vehicles.
The fundamental design of the tried-and-tested axles remains the same as on the predecessor model; however, the developers have revised the axle control and suspension to enhance driving safety and ride comfort.
One of the decisive factors behind the exceptional handling of the new Actros is its new steering system, which delivers impressive precision and conveys excellent road feel, while the new retarder is more powerful as well as being lighter in weight.
Mercedes-Benz is once again ushering in a new era in assistance systems: the unique Proximity Control Assist system with stop-and-go function now even automatically controls starting and stopping in traffic jams – making the driver’s job easier when driving through cities or in stop-and-go traffic.
Testing: 20 million kilometres on the road alone
Never before has a truck been as thoroughly developed and tested before its production launch as the new Mercedes-Benz Actros. The foundations for development were laid as far back as ten years ago, and Mercedes-Benz has spent five years testing the components and the complete vehicle. During this time, the new Actros clocked up around 20 million kilometres on the road, including intensive customer driving tests. On top of this, there were extremely rigorous tests on test rigs, torture-track tests and a series of other extreme examinations.
The real-life road tests covered all climatic conditions as well as extreme road conditions and gradients, ranging from an Arctic winter to an extremely hot desert climate. Real-life testing also included customer driving tests in the new Mercedes-Benz Actros.
Exterior and cab:
Premium truck in peak condition – the exciting curves of the new Mercedes-Benz Actros
• Powerful and dynamic appearance
• Distinctive headlamps are the “eyes” of the new Actros
• Excellent aerodynamic design of the new Actros saves fuel
• Cab shape has undergone intensive testing on computers and in the wind tunnel
• Perforated louvres, temperature-controlled radiator shutter
Sophisticated yet not overly fancy, powerful yet not overly aggressive – the unmistakable design of the new Mercedes-Benz Actros is as exceptional as the truck as a whole. The designers of the new Actros have done everything possible whilst sticking to the strict requirements for a commercial vehicle. Form follows function: this especially important design maxim applies to the new Actros, but in this case form and function merge to create an exceptionally balanced design. Function in peak condition: the new Actros arouses passion and emotions.
Design incorporating the Mercedes-Benz brand values
Being a typical Mercedes-Benz, the new Actros is distinctive, durable and dynamic – not only when it comes to technology but also in terms of its looks. The main elements are grouped around the radiator grille, as on Mercedes-Benz passenger cars. Dominated as ever by the Mercedes star.
The design idiom is clear and has a real edge to it, while the design itself incorporates the Mercedes-Benz brand values: safety, reliability, robustness and dynamism. Even if the star were not visible, an observer would be able to identify the new Actros as a Mercedes-Benz. Hallmark features of a Mercedes-Benz truck with its long product lifecycle include the absence of overly fashionable elements in the design idiom. Rather than succumbing to passing trends, the new Actros sets its own trends. It is a long-term investment – but one that is brimming with emotion.
Whilst the new Actros does pick up on the trends of the current Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, it adapts them to the world of commercial vehicles, which has different rules, needs and product lifecycles.
Powerful and dynamic appearance with a smile
The unique design specifically for a long-distance vehicle produces a powerful, masculine and dynamic appearance. Oozing confidence, the Mercedes star is the central feature of the front section. Further prominent features include the V-shaped radiator grille with sportily perforated louvres, while the flank-encompassing swage line sharpens the vehicle’s side contours.
Despite its powerful appearance, the new Actros still wears a smile. This part of the look is optimistically gentle, and the distinctive V‑shape of the louvres in the radiator grille tapers off upwards almost imperceptibly. At the front end, the face of the new Actros dispenses almost entirely with straight lines and flat surfaces. Curves along with contrasting concave and convex lines lend the new Actros an overriding aura of excitement and its own unique character. Hence the previous visual distinction between the upper and lower sections of the cab is gone, meaning that the cab now appears to be cast from a single mould.
At the same time, the positively styled, large grille contrasts with the opposed form of the smaller grille at the bottom. Together with the powerfully contoured corner bumpers, it lends the new Actros a confident, road-hugging appearance.
Meticulously designed right down to the last detail
The precise and detailed design of the new Actros also embodies the new truck’s high quality. By way of example, the radiator grille overlaps the side components and the bumper centre section, so there is therefore no disruptive joint visible at this point. Other joints have deliberately been made part of the design, such as the slender joints beside and above the headlamps, which are integrated into the basic form of the new Actros.
This design quality is both consistent and practical: the corner panelling, for instance, does not look like it has been added on, rather it is perfectly integrated into the shape of the vehicle. The centre section of the bumper forms a step, while the raised roof protrudes a few centimetres forwards to enhance both stowage capacity and aerodynamics.
Distinctive headlamps are the “eyes” of the new Actros
Further hallmark features of the new Actros include the headlamps –its “eyes”. Their shape resembles that of a boomerang, encapsulating the radiator grille. Main and dipped beam as well as the indicators and the daytime driving lights are integrated in the casing. As an option, the Actros can be equipped with bi-xenon headlamps. The optionally available fog lamps, the cornering light function and the daytime driving lights (optionally available in LED format with a chain of five LEDs) are integrated in the front apron.
The follow-me-home lighting illuminates the way ahead for the driver, even after he or she leaves the cab. What’s more, when the driver is returning “home” to the Actros, the lights can be switched on remotely. An illuminated Mercedes star in the radiator grille makes the driver and truck stand out from other drivers and trucks. New features include optional LED tail lights. LED technology is also used for the position marker lamps in the roof and in the interior. LED lights not only look attractive, they also consume very little energy when illuminated and have an exceptionally long service life.
Harmonious lines give the new Actros “flow”
The coherent form of the new Actros is particularly evident when viewed at an angle, as the full extent of the harmonious flow between the front section and the flanks can then be seen. The bumper, door wind deflector and entrance merge seamlessly into one another to form a single unit. Fluid lines are a hallmark feature of the new Actros, which is why designers often talk about “flow”.
One particularly prominent feature at the side is the door, which is drawn deeply downwards to enhance aerodynamics and safety. The optional side panelling for the semitrailer tractor blends in harmoniously with the cab and the wheel arch, its almost sporty form continuing the powerful lines of the new Actros rearwards.
Modular design suitable for all the cab variants
Given the large number of cab variants, the new Actros has a modular design. Whether 2.5 or 2.3 metres wide, whether the cab has an engine tunnel or not, and whether a flat roof, extra-high roof or one of the roof variants in between is fitted, the appearance remains coherent and harmonious, while the proportions are always just right. Quality, however, is not just reflected in the shape or in the narrow and sometimes even invisible joints: the new Actros also boasts outstanding build quality and high-quality materials. The fully galvanised cab, for instance, consists of high-strength panels.
Excellent aerodynamic design of the new Actros saves fuel
One of the top priorities during development of the new Actros was aerodynamics, in this case a special blend of the designers’ flair and the engineers’ know-how. This extensive development has paid off: good aerodynamic design reduces fuel consumption on the road, helps to preserve the environment and saves the operator lots of money straight away. The new Actros spent 2600 hours in the wind tunnel, equivalent to more than 100 days in a row. Never before has a truck been developed and tested so intensively in a wind tunnel. As a result, the aerodynamic design of the new Actros is one of the major factors behind the lower fuel consumption compared to its already highly economical predecessor.
However, in the case of aerodynamics in particular, conflicting requirements have to be met. The pronounced slant of the windscreen, for instance, improves both aerodynamics and fuel consumption. At the same time, however, it reduces the room available inside the cab, so stowage space and movement are restricted. Following extensive testing in the wind tunnel, the developers were able to find a solution that met both sets of requirements: the windscreen is tilted by an angle of 15 degrees to improve aerodynamics; and the larger Actros BigSpace and Actros GigaSpace cabs have an aerodynamic brow, thus creating the room required inside for a record level of spaciousness and a correspondingly large stowage area.
Cab shape has undergone intensive testing on computers and in the wind tunnel
The cab shape underwent intensive testing both on computers and in the wind tunnel. The corner panelling at the front left and right diverts the airflow at the cab edges around the cab so as to reduce dirt build-up and also lower the wind resistance. A similar function is performed by the wind deflectors on the roof of the new Actros, which are even available for bodies up to 4.6 metres in height. The cab side deflectors have likewise been optimised in the wind tunnel.
Perforated louvres, temperature-controlled radiator shutter
As well as looking good, the perforated louvres in the radiator grille of the new Actros increase the airflow. The on-demand cooling system features temperature-sensitive control of the radiator shutters: if a large amount of cooling air is required, they are opened for maximum airflow; when demand for air is lower, they are closed to optimise aerodynamics.
The door extensions cover all but the lowest step. On the one hand, this design enhances safety. On the other, it improves aerodynamics, as turbulence is prevented.
Attractive panelling optimises aerodynamics
Side panelling between the semitrailer tractor’s axles not only looks impressive, it also improves aerodynamics. Alternatively, this space can be taken up by tanks available in cross-sections up to the vehicle width of 2.55 metres.
The underbody panelling for the semitrailer tractors even directs the airflow under the vehicle. What’s more, the aerodynamics specialists at Mercedes-Benz Trucks have even optimised the spray guards in the wheel arches to reduce wind resistance.
Cockpit and interior:
A new dimension in comfort, space and wellbeing in the new Mercedes-Benz Actros
• Modular system: seven long-distance cabs
• Dream space: flat floor in five of seven cabs
• Working and living areas visually separated using colour and geometric form
• In-house-developed driver’s seat, with massage function for the first time
• A new cockpit perfectly designed around the driver
• Steering column stalk for the transmission, start/stop button for the engine
• Practical stowage facilities, large stowage compartments under the bed
• New lines: Home line for cosiness, Style line for dynamism
Modular system: seven long-distance cabs
A width of 2.3 or 2.5 metres, four roof variants and, without exception, the maximum possible length of 2.3 metres: behind these matter-of-fact figures lies the perfect modular system for the new Actros, with a choice of seven long-distance cabs. No other truck offers as many cab versions for long-distance transport.
Here, a cab has to meet different and in some cases contradictory requirements. The driver needs a functional workplace behind the wheel, a further space for writing when on the road, room for relaxing during breaks and when waiting around, and a comfortable bed for trips lasting several days and sometimes several weeks.
The new Actros offers a custom-designed cab for practically any eventuality – whether it be regional long-distance transport with occasional overnight stops, national long-distance transport involving several days of absence from home or international long-distance transport with trips sometimes lasting several weeks. The new Actros is the very first truck with a compact, 2.3-metre wide cab and a flat floor. It offers the full practicality and comfort of the 2.5‑metre wide cab – yet it is 50 kg lighter.
Dream space: flat floor in five of seven cabs
Whereas a flat cab floor was previously the reserve of flagship truck models, five of the seven cab variants for the new Actros feature a flat floor for the first time. In other words, every Actros for international long-distance transport can offer this impressive comfort feature, which gives the driver maximum room to move. A dream space becomes a reality in the new Actros.
Almost exactly the same is true of the two cab versions with an engine tunnel, although the term ‘engine tunnel’ is a slight exaggeration, as it is only 170 mm high and therefore hardly obstructs movement inside the cab.
Actros with GigaSpace cab – a new dimension
In terms of height, the only thing that limits the new Actros is legislation: the previous MegaSpace cab is replaced by the spectacular GigaSpace cab, which opens up a new dimension in space. It is all but four metres high and, when it comes to spaciousness, trumps its predecessor by some 920 litres – almost a whole cubic metre. This extra space is reflected in a headroom of 2.13 metres throughout and a noticeably larger stowage capacity. The total volume of 11.6 cubic metres is a record for a European truck cab.
The new range of seven cabs
The seven cabs for the new Actros in detail:
- The long ClassicSpace cab with a standard roof. 2.3 m wide, engine tunnel 170 mm. Headroom on the engine tunnel 1.46 m, in front of the co-driver’s seat 1.59 m.
- The long ClassicSpace cab with a standard roof. 2.3 m wide with a flat floor. Headroom on the engine tunnel 1.64 m.
- The long StreamSpace cab. 2.3 m wide, engine tunnel 170 mm. Headroom on the engine tunnel 1.79 m, in front of the co-driver’s seat 1.84 m.
- The long StreamSpace cab. 2.3 m wide with a flat floor. Headroom 1.97 m.
- The long StreamSpace cab. 2.5 m wide with a flat floor. Headroom throughout 1.97 m.
- The long BigSpace cab. 2.5 m wide with a flat floor. Headroom throughout 1.99 m.
- The long GigaSpace cab. 2.5 m wide with a flat floor. Headroom 2.13 m.
Extensive equipment and appointments for all cabs
Even the 2.3-metre wide ClassicSpace version includes the new colour concept for the interior, a multifunction steering wheel and a manually operated roof hatch as standard. All cab versions from the StreamSpace onwards also have an electrically operated tilting sunroof or, as an option, a tilting/sliding glass sunroof.
All versions of the new Actros with a flat floor also include comfort suspension for the cab, which can also be tilted electro-hydraulically. The steps are illuminated, while the door sections are extended downwards. Roller sun blinds, air conditioning and a compressed-air connection for cleaning the cab are likewise part of the extensive standard-equipment package.
In addition to all of this, the large BigSpace and GigaSpace cabs for the new Actros feature a comfort suspension seat, carpet between the seats and a sun screen. Plus the GigaSpace variant incorporates a tool stowage box under the cab, fog lamps, an additional drawer in the centre console and stowage flaps above the windscreen.
Working and living areas visually separated using colour and geometric form
The new approach results in highly practical concepts. For instance, the new Actros not only has plenty of stowage space, this stowage space is also precisely where the driver needs it. The same is true when it comes to room to move around: the designers have left plenty of space in the areas where the driver has to move or stand.
One new aspect is the visual separation of the workspace and living area by using different colours and geometric forms, developed specifically for the new long-distance Actros: the functional area around the cockpit is finished in practical anthracite whilst the rear, ceiling and area around the co-driver’s seat are appointed in a light almond beige colour. As well as looking welcoming and cosy, it makes the space appear larger and creates a pleasantly airy and roomy feeling. Another advantage is the fact that the light colour shade heats up less in sunlight. The Actros shares this contemporary colour with top-of-the-range passenger cars such as the Mercedes‑Benz S-Class, CLS and SL.
Further enhanced material quality
The cab designers have further enhanced the already renowned and exemplary material quality. All the components have been designed with the utmost care, with one eye on practicality and the other on looks. The soft feel and the in-house-developed grain of the plastic surfaces in the upper area of the instrument panel as well as on the door linings, A-pillars and roof stowage boxes are reminiscent of leather. Many of the materials used in new Actros would not look out of place in a luxury passenger car, such is their quality. Longevity is also assured thanks to a robust, scratch-resistant and easy-care design.
In-house-developed driver’s seat, with massage function for the first time
The driver’s seat was likewise developed specifically for the new Actros. The width of the seat cushion has been increased by 40 mm compared to the previous version and, with an exterior width of 550 mm, is by far the largest in this class. The range of the now two-stage fore/aft adjustment system has also been increased: 190 mm or 250 mm after the lower bunk is folded up, meaning that drivers of any size can find their optimum sitting position. The seat height adjustment range has likewise been extended – by 20 mm. Further aspects developed specifically for the new Actros include the controls for the many adjustment options, which are now intuitive as well as being visible from above.
There are four different versions of the driver’s seat available (rigid seat, suspension seat, comfort suspension seat and climatised suspension seat) as well as three versions of the co-driver’s seat (regular seat, comfort suspension seat and climatised suspension seat). The top-of-the-range seat with a massage function (available from 2012 onwards) is unique: at the push of a button, seven air cushions arranged one on top of the other in the backrest pulse for ten minutes. This function helps to relieve tension on very long trips.
Buyers can choose from a wide range of seat covers: flat-weave fabric, velour, artificial leather, leather and the particularly soft and smooth Dinamica Star covers in black or almond beige. The latter, which will be familiar to Mercedes-Benz passenger car drivers, has a surface structure reminiscent of Alcantara, while the leather seats in the new Actros have a diamond pattern and double-lapped felling in a contrasting colour.
A new cockpit perfectly designed around the driver
The all-new cockpit promotes focussed yet relaxed driving. It is designed based on the latest ergonomics research and focuses on the driver, with all the controls lying within easy reach. Its asymmetric form curves towards the driver, conveying a feeling of self-assurance and safety. The instruments and all the controls are new developments and, in terms of looks and feel, are on a par with those seen in Mercedes-Benz passenger cars. Thanks to their intuitive design, they allow direct access to all the relevant information.
The standard-fit multifunction steering wheel with an easy-grip rim is reminiscent of the one used in the current generation of Mercedes‑Benz passenger cars in terms of both its look and its control buttons. A foot-operated switch is now used to adjust the steering wheel, while the steering wheel itself has a far greater adjustment angle than in the already tried-and-trusted previous Actros model.
Easy-to-read circular instruments, informative colour display
The newly developed instrument cluster incorporates the speedometer and rev counter in the form of large, circular instruments, while smaller circular instruments are integrated for the fuel and coolant-temperature gauges.
Between the instruments, a large colour screen with graphics capability and clear, intuitive menus provides a wealth of information. There are two versions available – one with a width of 10.4 cm and an optional Highline variant which is 12.7 cm wide. If a reversing camera is specified, the images it captures appear on the large central display. Further integrated features include a trip computer for recording all the key data on the current trip. This is also where, as standard, the driver receives short-time analyses and tips about current driving style through the FleetBoard EcoSupport function.
Steering column stalk for the transmission, start/stop button for the engine
Should the driver ever wish to manually override the standard-fit Mercedes PowerShift fully-automated transmission, this is done via a steering column stalk rather than a gear lever – so through-cab access remains unimpeded.
Another new function for the new Actros is the start/stop system: customers can order a special multifunction key which performs certain functions to ease the driver’s workload, such as the level control on the front or rear axle, display of the tyre inflation pressure, axle loads and fill levels as well as convenience functions such as activation of the auxiliary heater, the auxiliary air conditioning or the radio.
When the ignition is switched on in the new Actros, the needles on the speedometer and the rev counter rotate to their limit positions briefly. A separate start/stop button on the instrument panel is used for starting and stopping the engine in the new Actros, while the handy parking brake lever is positioned within easy reach in the centre console.
Using a tried-and-tested solution, the tachograph is positioned over the windscreen above the driver’s head. This is also the designated location for any CB radio that may be fitted. Another aspect of the cockpit concept for the new Actros is the wealth of practical stowage options: intelligently conceived spaces for drinks bottles up to 1.5 litres, papers, a coat, a towel and oddments such as sunglasses. Large-surfaced stowage areas are ideal for a coffee maker or a television, while a folding table can be integrated in the instrument panel support on the co-driver’s side.
The new Actros as a concert hall: radio with sound system
The radio in the new Actros is positioned within the driver’s reach and field of vision. A USB connection is provided with the standard version. Other versions include a CD player or a CD player with Bluetooth connection, while there is also an even higher-spec luxury version available. A numeric keypad makes it easier to operate the telephone functions and the radio. What’s more, two-way loudspeakers with even better sound quality are available as an alternative to the standard speakers.
The optional sound system transforms the new Actros into a “concert hall”. An active subwoofer in a bass reflex loudspeaker, two broadband speakers, two woofers/mid-range speakers and two separate tweeters provide musical entertainment of the highest calibre.
Two sockets in the co-driver’s footwell and one behind the driver’s seat supply other electrical consumers with power. Among the other available sockets, the power socket – for a television or a microwave oven, for example – stands out with its magnetic plug connection for heavy-duty consumers with 24 volts and a maximum of 25 amperes.
Heating with residual engine heat utilisation
Cab ventilation is draught-free, the air arriving through new-look air outlets. The heating system for the new Actros is air-controlled, operates effectively and responds quickly. New features include the optional residual engine heat utilisation: here the coolant’s waste heat is used to heat the cab for up to two hours – more than enough to keep the cab at a pleasant temperature during breaks or whilst waiting around – without having to activate the auxiliary heater and use fuel unnecessarily.
The auxiliary heater for the new Actros is located in the engine compartment, where it is decoupled from the cab. Two variants are available: an auxiliary heater exclusively for the cab with an output of 3.8 kW or a heater for the cab with an output of 9 kW combined with an engine pre-heater. The latter has separate controls for the cab and engine with fully automatic temperature control, an exhaust air quality sensor, and a smog and air recirculation mode.
Prime climes thanks to air conditioning, automatic climate control and auxiliary air conditioning
All new Actros models include Tempmatic air conditioning with automatic temperature control as standard, while automatic climate control with a digital display is available as an option.
Further options for the new Actros include the popular auxiliary air conditioning, which stores the cold produced whilst driving and can use this to control the temperature in the cab for up to eight hours after driving. It features temperature control as well as a charge indicator in the control panel.
Interior lighting: practical or cosy – as the situation demands
The interior lighting for the new Actros is all about practicality and cosiness. The step lighting and the entrance lights in the door panelling safely light the way into the cab, while two ceiling lights illuminate the interior when stronger lighting is required, for instance when changing clothes. Lighting in the driver’s area makes it easier to study documents here, for example.
The non-reflective green night lighting in the new Actros creates a pleasant atmosphere when driving in darkness. During breaks, the indirect blue ambient lighting with its effective and discreet LED fibre optics between the stowage compartments and the roof creates a pleasant environment. The new Actros has even more LEDs here than its predecessor.
Large beds offering the comforts of home
The beds in the new Actros are also new. Even in the models with a 2.3-metre wide cab, the comfort bed behind the driver’s seat measures 2000 x 750 mm and offers plenty of space for even tall drivers. In the 2.5-metre wide cabs, the dimensions increase to a whopping 2200 x 750 mm – so even exceptionally tall drivers will have more than enough room.
The comfort bed’s full-length seven-zone cold-foam mattresses, which are around eleven centimetres thick, offer the same level of comfort as a high-quality bed at home. Integrated spacer fabric in the lower area ensures underside ventilation. Back height adjustment allows any driver to find a comfortable position for reading or watching television. The even more lavish PremiumComfort mattress impresses by virtue of its multi-zone structure with integrated tubular elements.
Two different variants are available for the upper bed. The version measuring 2200 x 600 mm with a restraint system can also be used by the co-driver whilst the vehicle is being driven. The wide version (2200 x 750 mm) is like the mattress for the lower bed. If the new Actros is not parked on the flat, the bed can be levelled using a spirit level.
Even the more compact cabs offer plenty of stowage space. For instance, the three stowage compartments above the windscreen in the new Actros StreamSpace cab measuring 2.3 metres wide can hold an impressive 137 litres of luggage. Then there are the two closed stowage compartments under the bed and an additional stowage space in the middle under the bed, making a total of 580 litres.
Practical stowage facilities, large stowage compartments under the bed
All versions of the new Actros offer impressive stowage space. A drawer in the centre console can hold A4 papers. Above this, large and flat surfaces are ideal for a laptop or a coffee maker.
The two closed compartments under the bed are accessible from outside and inside, plus they are illuminated. These stowage compartments under the bed hold 595 litres in the 2.5-metre wide cab with a flat floor, meaning that the new Actros trumps its predecessor by around 40 percent and offers a cargo volume on a par with the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate. The outside flaps, meanwhile, are large enough for stowing drinks crates.
A wealth of individual appointments
The stowage space in the new Actros is not just impressive on account of its sheer volume, it also boasts an attractive design and a range of individualisation options. Options include a lockable stowage compartment above the windscreen and, for the BigSpace and GigaSpace cabs, optional flexible shelving for the central stowage compartment. A safe can also be installed. There are drawers in the centre under the bed as well as the option of oddments trays for the stowage compartments.
A coolbox holding 25 litres can be installed on the engine tunnel as an option. Alternatively, the coolbox can be housed in the pull-out tray under the bed (capacity 26 litres). Models with a flat floor can even be equipped with a 36-litre refrigerator – large enough to store drinks bottles upright.
Towel rail and shaving mirror on board again
Details makes the new Actros cab a bona fide living area. Like its predecessor, the new Actros features a towel rail – but now it is wide enough to not have to fold towels, so they dry quicker – housed in the compartment above the co-driver’s side. A shaving mirror is also included once again, although this can now be attached at the driver’s preferred location thanks to its flexible and versatile bracket. To the side of the driver’s door, there is a spectacles compartment, while retractable coat hooks are located to the left and right of the stowage compartments.
New lines: Home line for cosiness, Style line for dynamism
Like the Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, the new Actros interior can be visually enhanced and individualised by specifying one of two different lines.
The Home line emphasises the cosiness of the new Actros. It includes inside door handles with a wood look and trim strips in the cockpit. Plus there is a leather steering wheel, with the option of a wood/leather steering wheel. Velour carpet inserts between the seats and door panels dotted in almond beige round off the Home line.
The Style line, on the other hand, emphasises the dynamic aura of the new Actros with chrome-look inside door handles as well as trim strips on the cockpit, steering wheel, ventilation outlets and steering column stalk. Rather than being fashioned from painted plastic, for example, the chrome-style parts are made of real metal with a “Silver Shadow” look, and they help to further enhance the high-class appeal of the new Actros. Velour carpet inserts between the seats and velour interior door panels in black/silver complete the interior. On the outside, the new Actros with Style line has an extrovert character thanks to a chrome highlight on the sun screen, chrome covers on the mirror housings, the illuminated Mercedes star, the ambient lighting, the fog lamps and the LED daytime driving lights.
Both design and equipment lines feature a white instrument panel and a leather sleeve for the handbrake valve.
A wealth of comfort available at an attractive package price
Three attractively priced packages make a high level of comfort on board the new Actros easily affordable. They also make it easier for customers to choose their options by combining typical items of special equipment. The Basic Comfort Pack includes an enhanced central locking system, a two-piece electric roller blind, ambient interior lighting and two-way loudspeakers.
Over and above this, the Classic Comfort Pack includes a lockable stowage compartment above the windscreen, an additional drawer in the centre console, air horns, side roller sun blinds at the top of the door windows, a leather steering wheel and an electrically operated tilting/sliding sunroof.
The Top Comfort Pack additionally includes a sound system, a Highline instrument cluster, a shelf for the roof compartments, automatic climate control, a refrigerator in the drawer under the bed and the illuminated Mercedes star in the radiator grille.
Engine and powertrain:
More dynamic, cleaner and more economical – BlueEfficiency Power in the new Mercedes-Benz Actros
• New engine already meets the requirements of the forthcoming Euro VI emissions standard
• Excellent driveability: high output across a wide rpm range
• Exemplary robustness and longevity
• X-PULSE: unique common-rail system with pressure booster
• Powerful and dynamic three-stage engine brake
• Efficient emission control: SCR technology, exhaust gas recirculation, particulate filter
• Low fuel consumption despite Euro VI: a milestone in engine development
• Third generation of Mercedes PowerShift fully-automated transmissions is faster and more effective
The launch of the new Mercedes-Benz Actros heralds the arrival of a completely redesigned range of heavy-duty engines which set new standards in many respects. The new Mercedes-Benz BlueEfficiency Power engine generation has been developed specifically for use in Europe and, from the outset, will meet Euro VI requirements. The first member of the new engine family to be in the spotlight is the Mercedes-Benz OM 471 six-cylinder in-line unit, with an output range that covers the bulk of European long-distance-transport requirements. The OM 471 counters the unavoidable extra expense for Euro VI by incorporating state-of-the-art technology. As a result, the new Actros is not only cleaner, it also consumes far less diesel than its predecessor.
New engine already meets the requirements of the forthcoming Euro VI emissions standard
With this new engine generation, Mercedes-Benz continues its tradition as a trailblazer in terms of environmental compatibility. The OM 471 is the first engine in its class to be homologated in accordance with the future Euro VI emissions standard, so marking the start of a new era a full two years before Euro VI actually becomes law. Euro VI brings further significant reductions in, above all, nitrogen oxides and particulates in the exhaust gas.
The new Mercedes-Benz OM 471 covers an output range of 310 kW (421 hp) to 375 kW (510 hp), with peak torques between 2100 and 2500 Nm. During development of the OM 471, the Mercedes-Benz engineers were able to call upon a wealth of experience: the core design of the engine is based on the new platform used for Daimler Trucks’ heavy-duty engines. These have been used very successfully since 2007 in trucks produced by Daimler’s North American Freightliner brand (built by company-owned engine manufacturer Detroit Diesel) and since last year by Fuso in Japan.
BlueEfficiency Power: top class from Mercedes-Benz
Operators as well as drivers of the new Actros want powerful engines with good traction and low fuel consumption, along with high overall economic efficiency. They expect the best possible performance as well as refined, quiet running and exhaust gases that are low in pollutants. The new engine generation meets these requirements thanks to its robust construction and high-grade engineering, including four valves per cylinder, two overhead camshafts and a fully electronically controlled injection system with pressure booster that is unique in the world.
Like the Actros itself, the new Mercedes-Benz engines are top class in every respect. Top class in terms of the outstanding and innovative engine technology with exceptional economy and refinement thanks to the new, unique X-PULSE injection system. Top class in terms of excellent engine dynamics thanks to turbocharger technology. Top class in terms of low emissions thanks to the combination of SCR technology, exhaust gas recirculation and a particulate filter. And top class in terms of the powerful, new engine brake. Not to mention the new engines’ serviceability and durability.
A wealth of output and torque variants
The Mercedes-Benz OM 471 is available with a choice of four outputs and torques for the new Actros. These configurations are suitable for typical European application conditions and meet operators’ and drivers’ requirements. The following versions of the Mercedes-Benz OM 471 are available for the new Actros:
One of the particular highlights of the new OM 471 is the fact that, if the standard rear-axle ratio of 2.611 is specified, 200 Nm of extra torque are provided when the automated transmission is in top gear so as to prevent downshifts when driving uphill.
BlueEfficiency Power: high torque even below 1000 rpm
The rated engine speed of the new engines is set at 1800 rpm for all output variants, with the maximum torque available at just 1100 rpm. But these figures can only be a guide: as a result of the very steep output curve immediately before the main operating range, most of this maximum torque is already available at an engine speed of just 1000 rpm. Even below 1000 rpm, the torque is surprisingly high. This results in an extension of the usable engine speed range at the bottom end – down to around 800 to 900 rpm, depending on the route profile – with a correspondingly positive effect on fuel consumption.
Excellent driveability: high output across a wide rpm range
The same is true of the output curve: even at 1400 rpm, the engines deliver almost 100 percent of their full output. In reality, on the road, the output and torque curves combine to ensure excellent driveability with a high output in all key engine speed ranges. The Mercedes-Benz OM 471 reinforces this sense of dynamism with its quiet, smooth running, which is nevertheless characterised by the brand’s hallmark sonorous and distinctive sound.
Compact six-cylinder in-line engine
The design of the new Mercedes-Benz OM 471 is based on six cylinders mounted vertically in-line – a platform that bodes well for the smooth running of the engine. The long-stroke design of the Mercedes-Benz OM 471, which has a bore of 132 mm and stroke of 156 mm, gives it excellent pulling power. The engine is categorised in the heavy-duty class for heavy-duty commercial vehicles. The dry weight of the Euro VI version is 1146 kg, while the weight to DIN 70020-A is 1126 kg.
Exemplary robustness and longevity
In order to meet the demands made of the new Actros class of high-powered heavy-duty trucks, exceptional robustness and durability are among the outstanding characteristics of the engine. The crankcase, for example, is made of a grey-cast-iron material developed and patented specifically for this engine generation and includes vertical structures and ribbing to make it very rigid. This design also reduces noise emissions.
The single-piece pistons, made from steel to maximise their service life, each feature two compression rings, an oil control ring and splash-oil cooling. A protective coating ensures that the engine will perform under load, even while it is being run-in. The almost negligible distortion of the pistons and the rigid crankcase keep oil consumption and blow-by losses to a minimum – so reducing costs and improving environmental acceptability. The fine plateau honing of the cylinder liners likewise reduces oil consumption as well as friction losses.
Optimum engine cooling is ensured by wet cylinder liners. The main cooling flow circulates around the upper third of the liner, while a secondary flow cools the lower section, which is not subject to such high temperatures. In general, the distances travelled by the coolant are kept short, making the cooling process here very efficient. The cooling thermostat is located at the intake end to ensure precise control. Larger radiators with a higher output reduce the thermal load whilst the fan does not have to operate as frequently, thus reducing fuel consumption.
Smooth running and an extremely rigid design
The “cracked” connecting rods are split at the connecting rod eye. In this process, the connecting rods are broken at a defined point, producing an extremely robust, close-fitting join with a large surface area when they are screwed back together. A precisely balanced seven-bearing crankshaft ensures exceptionally smooth running of the engine.
The highly rigid crankcase, steel pistons, and reinforced connecting rods and bearings were selected with the high engine ignition pressures in mind. To maximise efficiency, these have been increased from their previous level of 180 bar to over 200 bar.
The turbocharger, starter motor and crankcase ventilation system are all located on the hot side of the engine, while the engine control unit, the oil coolant module with filter and coolant pump, the fuel pumps for the high- and low-pressure system, and the consumption-optimised two-cylinder air compressor with on-demand control are grouped together on the cold side of the engine for ease of maintenance.
Exceptionally robust cast-iron cylinder head
The one-piece cylinder head for the new engine is made of grey cast iron with vermicular graphite (also known as CGI). It is exceptionally robust and designed for the high ignition pressures in the new engines.
Efficient gear drive, double overhead camshafts
At the front end of the engine, poly-V-belts drive the alternator, the coolant pump, the refrigerant compressor and the fan. The now closed-loop coolant pump is only activated as and when needed so as to reduce fuel consumption.
The extremely compact and rigid gear drive is located at the engine’s output end, where it operates exceptionally efficiently, quietly and smoothly. Each of the camshafts controls two intake and exhaust valves arranged vertically in the cylinder head via low-friction rocker arms mounted in friction bearings. Rather than being milled from a solid piece of material, the camshafts are of “composite” or “assembled” design – a premiere for engines of this size – and are based on a hollow construction to save weight. They are mounted in a die-cast aluminium camshaft frame with seven bearings.
X-PULSE: unique common-rail system with pressure booster
One of the key aspects of the new engine generation for the new Actros is clean and efficient fuel combustion based on a flexible, fully electronically controlled common-rail system. Flexible in this case means that not only can the injection pressure, timing and quantity of fuel injected be varied, but also the injection rate, thanks to the new X-PULSE injection system with pressure booster that has been developed exclusively with Daimler Trucks.
Maximum injection pressure of 2100 bar
In the X-PULSE common-rail system with pressure booster, the twin-piston high-pressure pump produces a maximum pressure of around 900 bar in the common rail. This pressure is then boosted to up to 2100 bar in the individual injectors. The X-PULSE pressure booster can be varied on the engine map and adjusts continuously to the current engine operating conditions – for example to the demand for torque from the accelerator pedal. The engine control unit manages the injection point, injection quantity, injection rate, number of injections and injection pressure separately for each injector, enabling it to even out any differences between the various cylinders.
Pilot, main and post injections
X-PULSE allows an exceptionally high maximum injection pressure to be achieved as well as enabling free adjustment of the pressure and pressure distribution during main injection by means of two solenoid valves. As all the parameters are variable, each individual injection can be precisely adjusted to the specific situation.
Smooth running, economical, clean: main injection rate can be freely shaped
Many different forms of injection are possible with the new X-PULSE injection system. Their use depends on various parameters, such as the engine load: injection without pressure boosting but with just the pressure in the rail, injection with very early pressure boosting (“square” injection rate) or injection with late pressure boosting (“boot” rate). A variant in between (“ramp” rate) is also possible.
All in all, this means that for the first time it is possible to control fully the injection sequence at each engine operating point. As the highest pressure is only produced actually inside the injectors, the injections are exceptionally stable. In the case of the new Mercedes‑Benz engine generation, this results in quiet and smooth running with a high level of refinement, extremely low fuel consumption and minimal exhaust emissions.
Swirl-free turbulence, efficient combustion
The injection process takes place in a geometrically optimised combustion chamber with a shallow piston recess. The X-PULSE injector is positioned vertically and centrally between the vertically arranged intake and exhaust valves. It features an injection nozzle with seven injection orifices designed as miniature blind-orifice nozzles. The high maximum injection pressure and extremely fine fuel atomisation in the combustion chamber are the keys to efficient combustion. The combustion chamber is shaped to prevent swirl and tumble and to make the combustion of the fuel/air mixture as efficient as possible. The engines’ relatively high compression ratio of 17:1 is also aimed at maximising economy.
Asymmetric exhaust gas turbocharger
The new Mercedes-Benz OM 471 has a turbocharger with an asymmetric turbine housing and fixed geometry as well as an intercooler. The asymmetric flow is an advantage, as the exhaust gases from the first three cylinders go directly through the exhaust gas recirculation system to the turbine without any losses. This process improves engine response.
Powerful and dynamic three-stage engine brake
Superb efficiency is one of the key characteristics of the new Mercedes-Benz OM 471, and this is also true of the engine brake. Mercedes-Benz uses a turbocharged decompression brake, which operates extremely effectively and quietly. The fast response time of less than 150 milliseconds is also remarkable.
The engine brake is controlled in three stages through the steering column stalk. In the first stage, the engine brake is activated on three of the cylinders. The remaining three cylinders are then activated in a second stage. In the third and highest stage, the EGR valve and wastegate are activated to increase the engine’s charging level and so achieve the maximum brake power of 2300 rpm at 400 kW (544 hp). In addition to this manual actuation, the engine brake is also used in cruise control mode.
Motor control module MCM: everything under control
As the engine’s “brain”, the MCM (motor control module) is not only responsible for translating the demand for power governed by the driver’s foot on the accelerator, but also for controlling and monitoring all the engine functions, from the start and rate of injection through to actuation of the engine brake.
By way of example: in order to achieve perfect synchronisation during gear changes, the engine needs to reach the requisite nominal speed as quickly as possible. To do so, it is even possible to fire individual cylinders whilst other cylinders are being decelerated by the engine brake. Very fast and smooth gear changes are therefore possible.
The control module uses sensors to constantly check factors such as oil level, the position of crankshaft and camshafts, the pressure in the common-rail system and the injectors, the turbocharger turbine speed, the temperature of the engine oil, coolant, fuel and charge air, the charge pressure, and the exhaust gas recirculation rate. As a result of this extensive monitoring, the engine always operates in its optimum range – the prerequisite for good performance, low fuel consumption, a long service life and low exhaust gas emissions.
Efficient emission control: SCR technology, exhaust gas recirculation, particulate filter
Conscious of the stringent requirements imposed by the Euro VI emissions standard, Mercedes-Benz has developed a combination of SCR technology with AdBlue injection, cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and a particulate filter for the new BlueEfficiency Power engine generation in the new Actros. This solution has already proved successful on the road in commercial vehicles from Daimler Trucks on other continents. However, the configuration here is adapted specifically to comply with European emissions legislation, while the particulate filter, including its regeneration strategy, is also a special European development. All of the systems combine to ensure extremely efficient emission control.
The differences between the optionally available Euro V versions and the standard Euro VI variant include the omission of the particulate filter, a reduced recirculation rate in the EGR system and a smaller EGR cooler. To meet customer demand, there are also EEV variants in the line-up. These are based on the Euro V version. EEV and Euro V versions are available with a choice of three power outputs: 310 kW (421 hp), 330 kW (449 hp) or 375 kW (510 hp).
Low fuel consumption despite Euro VI: a milestone in engine development
Along with a high level of environmental compatibility, one of the key aims during the development of the new engine generation was to minimise lifecycle costs. First of all, this involves low fuel consumption. Despite the added complexity that was necessary to meet the requirements of the Euro VI emissions standard, these versions of the Mercedes-Benz OM 471 boast exceptionally low fuel consumption and achieve record figures in all versions of the new Actros. AdBlue consumption is also reduced drastically in the Euro VI versions.
The Euro V version of the OM 471 has even lower fuel consumption. It has a lower exhaust gas recirculation rate and dispenses with the particulate filter.
Exceptionally long service intervals ensure low lifecycle costs
At the same time, the developers have been concentrating on keeping maintenance costs down. The service intervals have now been extended to up to 150,000 kilometres, the precise figure depending on the vehicle type and its usage profile. This interval is an exceptionally good figure for an engine with exhaust gas recirculation. In reality, this means the new Actros models in many long-distance transport fleets will require just one annual maintenance call with an engine oil change. The generally maintenance-free particulate filter in the new Euro VI Actros only needs to be changed after 450,000 km and subsequently cleaned after every 300,000 km. The service interval for the air filter in the new Actros is likewise 300,000 km.
The excellent serviceability of the new engine generation also helps to reduce operating costs. A filter module fitted to the cold side of the engine includes the oil filter as well as the filter module for the fuel supply, itself comprising prefilter, main filter and the water separator for the fuel system, grouped closely together in an easily accessible position. The oil refill point is also accessibly located on the cylinder head cover – although the low oil consumption of these engines means that, in reality, the oil will only rarely need refilling.
Mercedes PowerShift fully-automated transmission
In all versions of the new Actros, the power is sent to the wheels through a Mercedes-Benz PowerShift G211 or G281 fully-automated transmission. These transmissions have already proven successful in the predecessor models. And they now offer even faster and more precise response thanks to their highly sensitive shift sensors. The ratios of the twelve-speed transmissions have been optimised for the new engines, the direct ratio in top gear serving as a basis for highly economical long-distance driving. As was the case with the predecessor, application-oriented extra functions such as EcoRoll mode, rocking mode and power mode make the driver’s job easier.
New functions for transmission individualisation
New features include a crawler function in place of the previous manoeuvring mode. As in a passenger car with an automatic transmission, the clutch closes when the brake pedal is released. So the new Actros can now be driven at walking pace with a gear engaged but without the need to press the accelerator – making the driver’s job even easier when stuck in traffic or when manoeuvring.
Likewise new is the range of freely selectable application-oriented drive programs. The Economy Drive package, installed as standard, offers the driver the already economical Standard drive program as well as an Economy program for significantly reducing fuel consumption on the road. The Economy program does not use kickdown, while the EcoRoll function cannot be deactivated, and the top speed is limited to 85 km/h. The optional Power Drive package includes the fuel-saving Standard program as well as a Power shift program which offers the driver optimum performance. Furthermore, this program allows a GCW of up to 120 t in heavy-duty applications. These individualised shift programs mean that the Actros can be ideally adapted to the particular application conditions.
Faster gear change, controlled by the steering column stalk
Another factor behind the top performance achieved by the new Actros is even faster gear changes with less loss of road speed, which has a positive effect on both average road speed and fuel consumption.
The transmission controls are also new: as every new Actros is supplied with a fully-automated transmission, a steering column stalk is now provided – for the rare occasions on which the driver has to intervene manually.
Tried-and-tested axles, longer ratios
The new Actros is available exclusively with fuel-saving hypoid axles. Although the tried-and-tested HL6 axle from the predecessor has been retained, it now has a new hypoid gear to reduce friction losses. This improvement in efficiency is reflected in lower fuel consumption.
The new high-torque engines with a far wider usable speed range and the “Top-Torque” torque increase in top gear combined with the optimised Mercedes PowerShift with shorter shift times allow a longer rear axle ratio to be used. The standard ratio for semitrailer tractors is now i=2.611 rather than i= 2.846 with a correspondingly lower engine speed level. At a speed of 85 km/h in twelfth gear, the engine in the new Actros runs at just 1260 rpm rather than 1370 rpm – another factor behind the lower fuel consumption achieved by the new Actros.
Furthermore, Mercedes-Benz has extended the range of available rear axle ratios once more. There are now five versions of the HL6 rear axle available for semitrailer tractors with a standard frame height and 315/70 R 22.5 tyres, ranging from i=2.533 to i=3.077. There are also five versions available for lowliner versions with 295/55 R 22.5 tyres, ranging from i=2.2278 to i=2.733.
Economy Packs: economical miracles in package form
If a fleet’s main priority is maximum economy, Mercedes-Benz makes it easier to select the right components by offering ready-made Economy Packs at attractive prices. The Classic Economy Pack includes a tyre pressure monitoring system, wind deflectors and side panelling, while the Top Economy Pack also includes a retarder.
FleetBoard and service contracts further boost cost-effectiveness
It’s not just the vehicle technology in the new Actros that boosts cost-effectiveness, telematic systems do their bit, too: FleetBoard is included as standard for the first time. The FleetBoard vehicle computer is fitted as standard on board every new Actros. The extensive FleetBoard services can be used free of charge for the first four months. Only after this period does a fee become payable, should the customer decide to continue using FleetBoard. FleetBoard services include journey recording, driving analysis, telediagnosis and maintenance management. What’s more, the driver – and only the driver – receives short-time analyses of his or her driving style from the trip computer on the instrument panel display as part of FleetBoard EcoSupport. FleetBoard makes it possible to cut costs by five to 15 percent.
Customised service contracts likewise help to boost the cost-effectiveness of the new Actros. Given the longer service intervals, these are notably less expensive.
Chassis and safety:
Driving dynamics, comfort and safety systems at the highest level in the new Actros
• Complete chassis and ride-comfort concept
• Torsionally stiff frame with wide track
• Tried-and-tested axles and a dynamic, new chassis
• Sensitive and firm steering even saves fuel
• Assistance systems to enhance comfort and relieve stress when stuck in traffic
• Range extended to include new and additional wheelbase lengths
• Good body-mounting ability prioritised
Criteria such as handling and safety are becoming increasingly important in long-distance transport. The new Mercedes-Benz Actros takes account of this, ushering in a new era of driving dynamics for heavy-duty trucks. No other premium-category truck feels as poised, assured or safe on the road, largely thanks to a new frame and an extensively modified chassis. The new truck’s exemplary ride comfort is at the same high level. A Mercedes-Benz is always extremely well prepared should the worst come to the worst: the already outstanding safety level has been further enhanced by extended functions. Last but not least, a perfected modular system means that the new Actros is available with a wide choice of wheelbase and frame variants. Plus it offers exceptional body-mounting ability.
Complete chassis and ride-comfort concept
Major plus points of the new Actros include its driving dynamics, handling and comfort, largely thanks to a complete chassis and ride-comfort concept, from the frame and the chassis through to the cab suspension and the driver’s seat. A wealth of innovations in this field means that the new Actros conveys a safer driving feel than any other truck in its class.
Torsionally stiff frame with wide track
A new frame, uncompromisingly designed for on-road vehicles, forms the backbone of the new Actros. It is exceptionally torsionally stiff and has a wide track of 834 mm (previously 744 mm). Both factors together form the basis for excellent handling stability – the Actros hugs the road with an assured feel.
Tried-and-tested axles and a dynamic, new chassis
The core design of the tried-and-tested axles is the same as for the predecessor model; however, the developers have completely redesigned the control and the suspension to enhance driving safety and ride comfort.
New features include the location system for the Mercedes-Benz HL6 hypoid rear axle, based on optimised rear-axle location with new geometry and lines of action that now intersect behind the axle. Four-bellows air suspension, which responds precisely to road unevenness, is now responsible for the ride comfort. This is a symmetrical air suspension system (i.e. the bellows are of the same size). The spring track is wider than previously. Another advantage is the fact that four bellows operate faster and can lift higher loads than two bellows.
The tried-and-tested offset front axles are available with either steel or air suspension and with a choice of tonnages. The number of spring layers varies depending on the permissible axle load. The weight of the steel springs has been reduced thanks to an aluminium front spring bracket. New features include weight-optimised suspension with single-leaf parabolic springs on the front axle.
The chassis for the new Actros impresses with its high levels of directional stability, outstanding understeer/oversteer characteristics and high precision. Ride comfort has also been further enhanced.
Three cab mounting variants
The cab mounting is a major component in the driving-dynamics concept. There is a choice of three variants for the new Actros: Standard cab mounting, Comfort cab mounting (standard for cabs with a flat floor) and the exceptionally comfortable air suspension.
Sensitive and firm steering even saves fuel
One of the key factors behind the new Actros’ excellent handling is the steering system, which impresses on account of its precision, thanks to a re-tuned steering gear, and conveys excellent road feel. The ratio is more direct whilst the kinematics have been improved and the controlled power steering pump saves fuel.
Powerful new engine brake and highly effective retarder
In 1996, the forerunner to the new Actros revolutionised the truck world on account of its four-disc brake system with a high-pressure system and electronic control. The new Actros takes this exceptional brake system a stage further. A new, optionally available high-performance engine brake sets new standards once again. The three-stage engine brake achieves an immense braking power of up to 400 kW (544 hp) on Euro VI models. Another new feature is the optionally available water secondary retarder with a braking torque of up to 3500 Nm or up to 750 kW. As well as being more powerful, the new retarder is lighter, weighing in at just 65 kg instead of 100 kg as previously.
Assistance systems to enhance comfort and relieve stress when stuck in traffic
The previous model series also set milestones with its safety and assistance systems. Whether it be adaptive cruise control, Lane Keeping Assist, Stability Control Assist or the revolutionary Active Brake Assist with autonomous emergency braking when stationary obstacles or moving obstacles ahead are detected, the Actros has always led the way for others to follow.
The new Actros builds on this lead. Stability Control Assist is now fitted as standard on both the semitrailer tractor and the chassis version, while the unique Proximity Control Assist system with stop-and-go function now even controls moving off and stopping in traffic automatically – making the driver’s job much easier when driving through cities or in stop-and-go traffic. What’s more, the Proximity Control Assist is no longer automatically linked to the retarder. The sensed fifth wheel coupling informs the driver of its lock status via a display in the cab. The exterior mirror with manoeuvring function on the co-driver’s side extends the range of vision when manoeuvring by automatically adjusting outwards by ten degrees when reverse gear is engaged.
Standard equipment for all Actros models includes automatic activation of the hazard warning lights following an emergency stop so as to warn following traffic and help prevent rear-end collisions. The optional rain and light sensor activates the windscreen wipers and dipped beam when required, while the likewise optionally available tyre pressure monitoring system for the tractor and trailer is primarily aimed at enhancing safety: burst tyres as a result of insufficient inflation pressure are just as much of a safety risk as flat tyres. Furthermore, insufficient tyre inflation pressure increases the tyre’s flex and, therefore, fuel consumption as well as reducing service life – a key factor when it comes to economy.
Attractively priced safety packages
Ready-made safety packages available at attractive prices encourage the inclusion of safety technology. The “Basic Safety Pack” comprises Proximity Control Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and a driver’s airbag, while the Classic Safety Pack includes all of these as well as Active Brake Assist and roll control for dropsiders. Meanwhile, the Top Safety Pack features all of the above plus a retarder.
Range extended to include new and additional wheelbase lengths
The new Actros is a bespoke premium truck with an even larger range of models available than its predecessor. It can be ordered as a two- or three-axle version with trailing or leading axle and with a choice of three frame heights: standard, low and lowliner. Mercedes‑Benz has also further extended the range of wheelbase lengths by narrowing the gap between each version. Hence the two-axle semitrailer tractor is now available with a choice of four wheelbase lengths – 3550, 3700, 3850 or 4000 mm – while the two-axle chassis with cab gives customers a whopping eleven wheelbase lengths to choose from, ranging from 3600 to 6600 mm in steps of 300 mm.
Low-frame and lowliner models now have a slightly lower coupling point height, while the dropsider frame is also noticeably lower, making it easier to mount bodies.
Good body-mounting ability prioritised
The new Actros chassis already offers exceptionally good body-mounting ability as it is. The 50 mm hole pattern throughout in the frame side members, including the area of the axles, gives bodybuilders a great deal of freedom, as does the absence of rivets aft of the rear axle. Frame overhangs can be selected in steps of 300 mm, while the end crossmember can be relocated in 50 mm steps.
Although the exhaust system takes up more space on the frame due to the Euro VI requirements, optimised exhaust outlets make the bodybuilder’s job easier. If required, space can be left within the frame – for demountable-platform vehicles, for example. In this case, there is no need to relocate the tank subsequently. Standardised fastenings, brackets and fixing bolts facilitate body mounting. All of which saves costs and shortens delivery times.
New chassis with new tanks
The wider frame, the in-line engines and the more complex exhaust gas aftertreatment system for Euro VI require a modified chassis design. The developers have taken this opportunity to introduce a new fuel tank concept among other things. Four tank cross-sections give a fuel supply volume of 290 to 1300 litres. The tanks are flexibly inter-combinable for individual solutions, and there are no conversion costs. Even the AdBlue tanks are available in a choice of sizes: 60 or 75 litres.
The main fuel tank and the AdBlue tank are mounted on the left-hand side of the vehicle. There is space for an additional tank on the right-hand side. The full vehicle width of 2.55 metres can be used to optimise the tank volume. There is also a combination tank with two chambers for diesel fuel and AdBlue available for semitrailer tractors.
Development and testing:
Never before has a new truck undergone such intensive testing as the new Mercedes-Benz Actros
• The new Actros is the very definition of a heavy-duty long-distance truck
• It all began on a blank sheet of paper
• New range structure with the focus on long-distance transport
• Engine has undergone over 60 million kilometres of intensive testing
• Tested under the toughest of conditions from the Arctic Circle to South Africa
• Outstanding reliability: 1.2 million kilometres without overhaul
No other truck has been as thoroughly developed and tested before its production launch as the new Mercedes-Benz Actros. The foundations for development were laid as many as ten years ago, while the components and the complete vehicle have undergone five years of testing. During this time, the new Actros has clocked up around 20 million miles on the road, including in intensive customer driving tests. Then there were the extremely rigorous tests on test rigs, torture-track testing and other extreme examinations.
It all began on a blank sheet of paper
The story of the new Actros really did begin on a blank sheet of paper. To come up with a successor to the successful outgoing model, designers, developers, marketing specialists, product managers and everyone else involved started from scratch. Rather than make the new Actros a further development of its popular, tried-and-trusted predecessor, the aim was to start afresh so as to come up with a perfect and future-proof solution for operators and drivers. No stone was therefore left unturned during development. The cab comfort features were redefined and redesigned, and the cabs themselves were dimensioned accordingly.
This approach gave rise to an all-new range structure: instead of two model series with their own characteristics for long-distance transport, short-distance transport and construction work, there are now three model series, each one specialising in one of the above disciplines. The first member of the new, three-strong family of Mercedes-Benz heavy-duty trucks is the new Actros, which exclusively covers the long-distance-transport segment in all its guises. The other members of this family will follow.
New range structure with the focus on long-distance transport
Focussing on the new Actros as a premium truck for long-distance transport opened up many new possibilities. For the first time, both the inside and outside of the cab were designed specifically for a single field of application. Development was based on several 1:4 scale models, which allowed the designers great freedom in determining the direction the new Actros would take.
From these, six 1:1 scale models were derived – three for the exterior and three for the interior. Even the very first interior sketch defined the clear visual distinction between the working and living areas – a first in truck development.
Some 1600 Daimler Trucks staff worked on the new Actros, including vehicle developers, testers and the major-component developers concerned. Their work was frequently monitored by the testing department as well as in special Truck Clinics. In four of these Clinics, a total of 638 operators and drivers were interviewed at great length.
Long before production started, the new Actros experienced the Arctic Circle in winter and the searing heat of Spain’s Sierra Nevada in summer. It negotiated all kinds of roads in Turkey and got a taste of desert sand in South Africa.
Engine has undergone over 60 million kilometres of intensive testing
The launch of the new Actros also marks the introduction of a new generation of six-cylinder in-line engines. The outstanding quality of the new engine generation was evident even during its development. Extreme reliability and durability were among the most important development objectives. In order to achieve this, the engines were tested under the toughest of conditions, all over the world. To date, the engines have clocked up in excess of 60 million kilometres in endurance testing on test rigs and in real-life operation, for all emissions classes. No engine ever before has been as intensively tested.
Tested under the toughest of conditions, from the Arctic Circle to South Africa
The real-life road tests also covered all climatic conditions as well as extreme road conditions and gradients, ranging from an Arctic winter to an extremely hot desert climate. Real-life testing also included customer driving tests in the previous Mercedes-Benz Actros.
Outstanding reliability: 1.2 million kilometres without overhaul
On top of all this came customer driving tests of a very special nature, from Mercedes-Benz’s point of view: in North America and Japan, more than 70,000 engines are now working successfully in Freightliner and Fuso heavy-duty trucks. New-generation engines – albeit in a special configuration for the respective region – have already been in daily customer use there since 2007 (North America) and 2010 (Japan).
The findings from the tests conducted under extreme conditions have proved very positive. For instance, the new engine series achieves a “B-10″ figure of 1.2 million kilometres, i.e. 20 percent higher than previously, in European long-distance transport. This means that the engines can cover at least this distance without the need for a major overhaul.