MAN presents new TipMatic® Coach for touring coaches
Since 2002, MAN Nutzfahrzeuge has been offering the MAN TipMatic® automatic gearbox for the buses of the MAN and NEOPLAN brands. By comparison with conventional 6-speed gearboxes, the MAN TipMatic® provides outstanding comfort and economy, which has led to a considerable increase in customer demand. In the premium range vehicles, NEOPLAN Starliner and Skyliner, the automatic gearbox has been fitted as standard equipment since the introduction of Euro 4. For their two-axle Cityliners, customers are also choosing the TipMatic® more often on average. Although most customers for the MAN Lion's Coach series order manual gearboxes for the two-axle version, a clear trend towards the MAN TipMatic® has begun to emerge, in particular for the three-axle C and L versions. With the change to the EEV emissions standard at the beginning of 2009, MAN has improved this highly-efficient gearbox and is now offering the new version under the brand name MAN TipMatic® Coach.
Further improvements for economy and comfort
Above all, the new version of the tried and trusted MAN TipMatic® Coach, specially adapted to meet the requirements of coaches increases the efficiency and economy of the drive train in conjunction with economical MAN PURE DIESEL® engines. One of the particularly outstanding features of the gearbox is its new gear-change strategy, which is perfectly adapted to the new, high-efficiency EEV engines and their requirements, per se taking into account a wide range of characteristic topographical data.
Thanks to the further improvement of the driving strategy and the switchover of target and gear-change speeds in dependence on the driving resistance, the already short shift times have once again been considerably reduced, by around 20 percent. This takes place dynamically, and depends on the gear and the load. Moreover, the gears are more precisely adjusted in overrun operation (e.g. traffic circles), so that when the vehicle accelerates again, the optimum gear is selected immediately, thus ensuring top economy. The improved adaptation of the characteristic curves of the clutch and the precise operation of the accelerator lead to even smoother gear changes. In addition, pendulum gearshifts on hills are largely obviated. For the first time, all modern driver assistance systems such as ACC are completely integrated into the calculation of the gear-change strategy.
Finally, the well-known EasyStart system has also been further optimised, ensuring better release behaviour on the part of the service brake when the vehicle pulls off again. By contrast with other systems, after the vehicle has been decelerated to a standstill EasyStart automatically maintains full braking pressure until the driver presses the accelerator again after a defined time elapsed. This improves safety considerably as it prevents the vehicle rolling backwards on hills.
New hardware for reliability and comfort
But not just the gearbox computer and its algorithms have undergone development - the hardware has also seen some changes: clear sign of the new generation of gearboxes is the rotary switch with its five positions, which does away with the previous manual selection of the starting gear D1, D2 and D3. This is taken over by the gearbox itself, in dependence on load and topography. This takes some of the load off the driver and ensures economical driving.
The second new feature is the suspended accelerator pedal, which now has a clearly defined and perceptible kickdown point so that a high-speed gear change can be triggered if required. The pedal has also been improved in terms of its precision control over power in the manoeuvring mode. It is the perfect connection between the driver and the engine/gearbox unit, at all times.
A part that is not immediately visible but nonetheless important is the new, powerful gearbox actuator, located directly in the housing and able to reliably withstand even the heaviest loads placed on it by a gearbox designed to deliver up to 2,300 Newtonmetres. On top of all this, the new MAN TipMatic® Coach has improved diagnosis and information functions. Fault detection has been further optimised and the driving status data shown in the vehicle's display has been expanded. Now there is not a moment when the driver doesn't know the operating condition of the gearbox.
MAN Nutzfahrzeuge: Contribution to increased transport efficiency
The volume of transport and traffic on European roads in future will continue to increase. Experts predict an increase in goods transport in Europe of around 80 percent by 2025. At the same time, the long-term dwindling of energy resources and more stringent emissions requirements will make transport increasingly more expensive. For these reasons, flexible, fast and reliable transport of people and goods by road must become as efficient as possible. The increasing density of traffic, a scarcity of raw materials, more stringent requirements in terms of safety and environmental protection are the main challenges here.
As a leading manufacturer, MAN Nutzfahrzeuge makes an important contribution to the continued improvement of transport efficiency, also in the area of local public transport systems. To this end, MAN Nutzfahrzeuge invested more than 257 million euros in research and development in 2008. As part of its efforts to actively shape the development of sustainable mobility, MAN collaborates with universities and other research partners such as those involved in IDEAS, AKTIV and "European Bus of the Future (UITP)" on many projects aimed at optimising transport efficiency.