Daimler delights IAA visitors!
In keeping with its stature as the world’s number one commercial vehicle manufacturer, the Daimler stand was as spectacular as ever – with a host of world premieres on display. CHARLEEN CLARKE writes that one could easily spend days on the Daimler stand alone …
Days on the Daimler stand. Does that sound ridiculous or improbable? It happened once, you know. I visited the IAA for three days with a virgin IAA-er … and he spent all three days on the Daimler stand. Not out of any particular loyalty to the company – but because he thought that the Daimler stand was the IAA in its entirety. He honestly didn’t realise that there was more to see …
At the time, we all giggled at his naivety but, truth be told, the Daimler stand – which spans over two halls – is always enormous. And it does offer products from all corners of the globe … so maybe the poor chap wasn’t so silly after all.
This year was no different – with Daimler offering IAA visitors 66 trucks, vans, buses and coaches over some 16 000 m2 … from the stunning Future Truck to the new Vito, which was accompanied by a brilliant stage show.
First of all, there was the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025. I won’t go into too much detail about this truck, as it’s already featured extensively within the pages of FOCUS (readers will recall that I interviewed the truck for our August 2014 issue). The big news relating to the Future Truck 2025, however, was the incorporation of Blind Spot Assist, which Daimler will bring into series in the coming years.
We’ve seen this technology in cars for some years. Essentially it involves radar sensors that monitor the sides of the truck and alert the driver to the presence of other road users on either side of the vehicle, who may not be immediately visible. It’s an utterly brilliant feature for a truck.
Equally big news was the public premiere of the new Vito (which FOCUS drove after the show; see our report on page 42 of this issue). The new Vito is as green as Shrek – it consumes 20 percent less fuel, on average, than its predecessor. When it is fitted with the BlueEFFICIENCY package, its standard fuel consumption can be as low as 5,7 l/100 km, which is class leading.
Speaking of green, the fully electric Canter E-Cell impressed visitors, as did the entire Mercedes-Benz “A family” (Atego, Antos, Arocs and Actros) and the special-purpose Zetros, Unimog and Econic vehicles.
Of course, the display also included coaches and buses, such as the Travego coach with Active Brake Assist 3 and the Citaro G articulated bus with a compact and horizontally installed six-cylinder engine (the OM 936 h).
For us, however, the stars of the Daimler stand were undoubtedly an American Western Star that starred in Transformers: Age of Extinction and the mighty BharatBenz from India (watch this space; we’ll be seeing it in South Africa soon). The former featured many of the stylistic elements of the new aerodynamic Western Star serial model type 5700, which will be available to customers in the United States in 2015. The BharatBenz 3143, on the other hand, boasted a gross vehicle weight of 48 t and the proven Mercedes-Benz OM 457 six-cylinder in-line engine with a displacement of 12 l.
These fabulous machines were joined by more than 1 000 Daimler employees, who attended to visitors’ needs! Think that’s overkill? A quarter of a million visitors trawled through the Daimler stand during the show. Hopefully, one or two actually left the stand at some stage …