30,000th Mercedes-Benz Tourismo

The Mercedes-Benz Tourismo is a common sight across the country. The manufacturer claims it is the most successful touring coach of all time in Europe, with 30,000 delivered

Mercedes-Benz is celebrating a double milestone for its evergreen Tourismo range: 25 years in production and 30,000 examples sold. That makes it Europe’s most popular touring coach of all time, says the manufacturer.

The Tourismo broke cover in 1994. As a range it has grown hugely since then. It was the first Mercedes-Benz coach to be given a name and not the more usual model number, although in its earliest iteration it took on a hybrid of the two as the O 350 Tourismo.

Now, the Tourismo is in its third generation. It is also in its most versatile state yet for right-hand drive markets, and that has been reflected in record sales.

Buyers in the UK and Ireland have taken advantage of the introduction of models new to those markets from the second generation onwards. That versatility was amplified with the Tourismo’s latest iteration, launched in Brussels in 2017.

They include the two-axle Tourismo M/2 and the tri-axle Tourismo M. The latter debuted here when the second generation Tourismo moved to Euro 6 and the Setra range was discontinued in right-hand drive. Pulhams Coaches was the first UK operator to place a Tourismo M into service.

The 14m Tourismo L followed in right-hand drive when the current model debuted. It was joined by the 13m, two-axle M/2, which quickly became successful. A mid-sized Tourismo K has been promised – which will potentially be a pseudo-replacement for the long-departed Tourino.

The lucky buyer

Buyer of the 30,000th Tourismo is Polish operator RAF Trans, which is based in Warsaw. The three-pointed star forms the backbone of RAF Trans’ 220-strong fleet.

Mercedes-Benz Tourismo

The milestone coach is a 12m two-axle model with safety systems that include Active Brake Assist 4 (ABA4). It has Attention Assist for the driver, along with Travel Star Eco seats finished in Luxline upholstery.

Mercedes-Benz has long majored on the Tourismo’s safety credentials. ABA4 is unique in the coach market, it says.

The system brakes automatically when a collision with another vehicle, an obstacle or a pedestrian is imminent. Additionally, Sideguard Assist warns the driver of cyclists, pedestrians and stationary objects.

A long lineage

Today’s Tourismo is built in Hoşdere, outside Istanbul. The O 350 Tourismo sold 10,000 units in its first 10 years, for which a special Edition 10,000 was released. Two years later it passed the 12,000 mark. By 2013, the total stood at 20,000 and at the time that the latest model was launched, it was 26,000.

RAF Trans uses its Tourismos on a variety of work, including private hire, VIP shuttles and long-distance scheduled services.

“The Tourismo is a true all-rounder,” says Managing Director Rafał Jańczuk. He describes it further as “an economic miracle,” saying that the model’s running costs are attractive. Low fuel consumption of the latest model is attributable to a drag coefficient of Cd=0.33 and an efficient drivetrain, explains the builder.

Although the 30,000th coach has the 10.7-litre OM 470 engine, Mercedes-Benz also offers the 7.7-litre OM 936 in two-axle models.

Additionally, equipment such as predictive powertrain control – where the coach uses connectivity to know the coming terrain and proceeds accordingly to deliver maximum economy – and the Eco Driver Feedback system further help to reduce fuel consumption.

Ever-growing range

The breadth of the Tourismo range has grown over its quarter of a century. To suit the legal maximum of the time, the O 350 variant was constructed at a single length of 12m.

It came with disc brakes and was solidly built; the original model can still be seen in service in various countries, where many will undoubtedly have been around the clock more than once.

Across all three generations of the Tourismo, Mercedes-Benz says it has “continued to further develop and refine the concept.” With the promised Tourismo K, that looks set to continue.

“And that is why it remains the undisputed stat among touring coaches,” the manufacturer concludes.