Atego is the designation for a truck series of the Mercedes-Benz Truck division of Daimler AG.
The Atego was introduced as the successor to the LK series in 1998. It began with the new medium-duty truck series. This was available with the straight four-cylinder diesel engine OM 907 LA with 4.25 liter displacement and the straight six-cylinder OM 906 LA with 6.37 liter displacement. These delivered 90-205 kW (122-279 hp) and 470-1100 Nm. From the outset, Daimler offered the Atego in various designs. For example the Atego came with one of four different cabs, different wheelbases between 3020 mm and 6260 mm as well as different body shapes. A range of transmissions was also available. For example, there was the G42/5-5 with 5 speeds, the G60/6-6 and the G85/6-6 each with 6 speeds as well as a 12-speed transmission. The Atego also had various types as regards tonnages. These ranged from the 6.5 metric ton Atego to the 15 metric ton Atego.
The heavy-duty Atego
In 1998, there was still no series between the Atego and Actros. For this reason, the Atego was also available as a heavy-duty truck. It was also equipped with large engines and a higher frame. The Atego 1533 and 1833 were introduced for this type in the year 2000. The Atego comes with the straight six-cylinder OM 906 LA. However, the displacement of this engine was increased to 7.2 l, which raised the engine’s output to 240 kW (326 hp) and 1300 Nm of torque. The designation of this engine is OM 926 LA.
In model year 2001, the heavy-duty Atego series was replaced by a new series. From now on, the Mercedes-Benz Axor was carried in the product range as a heavy-duty series between Atego and Actros. The engines of the Atego that were used between 1998 (premiere of the Atego) and the launch of the “heavy-duty Atego”, were the OM 904 LA as a straight four-cylinder and the OM 906 LA as a straight six-cylinder.
The first facelift of the Atego was presented at the IAA for commercial vehicles in 2004. This facelift included larger indicators and an adaptation of the front to that of the new Actros of March 2003. Nothing about the engines was changed, these remained the same. However, it was now possible to combine the engines with different transmissions. On the one hand the new hydraulically operated manual transmission with the name G131-9. This was a 9-speed transmission (4-speed basic transmission with splitter and crawler) and a reverse gear. On the other the equally new G85-6 Telligent automatic transmission (a technology adopted from the Actros). This was also responsible for controlling the brake and assist systems (ABS, ASR, BAS, etc.). The range of engines was the Atego was also extended in 2005. This extension included a new straight four-cylinder. The advantage of this straight four-cylinder was the much lower weight compared to the straight six-cylinder OM 906 LA, which has a particularly positive effect in the payload-sensitive 11.99 metric ton segment. Moreover, the Atego xx17 was boosted by 7 hp to 177 hp (and by 5 Nm to 675 Nm). This resulted in the Atego xx18.
The entire cockpit of the Atego was revised, making it extremely modern and very much resembling that of a passenger car. This cockpit was available in three different versions: distribution, long-distance and comfort. However, all vehicles were equipped with the distribution version as standard. The other two versions were available for an additional charge. The distribution version had a narrow front section to make it easier to climb through to the co-driver’s seat. Additionally, the distribution cockpit can be equipped with an extra center seat. By contrast, the long-distance and comfort versions of the Atego have a wide front section for additional storage compartments. The long-distance version also has lots of storage compartments on the engine block. The comfort version has high-quality surfaces intended to offer the driver greater comfort. The beds were widened and given a heavy-duty slatted mattress support to further increase the driver’s comfort. The new dimensions of the beds are now 64.5 cm (bottom) and 70 cm (top).
In model year 2006, the Atego was equipped with the Euro 4/5 engines, which are combined with the BlueTec technology. This technology is also familiar from the Actros.
Mercedes-Benz Trucks (Daimler Trucks) belongs to the truck division of Daimler AG. This division covers the Mercedes-Benz, Fuso, Freightliner, Western Star and Thomas Built Buses brands.
Daimler advanced to become one of the biggest truck manufacturers in the world. Since 1965, the most important production location of Mercedes-Benz Trucks has been the plant at Wörth am Rhein. The main truck models, including the Actros, Atego and Axor, are built in Wörth; specifically this involves cab production and vehicle assembly.
In 1896, designers and company-founders Carl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler presented the first Mercedes-Benz truck as a Daimler truck from Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG – Daimler Engine Company), as it was called at the time. Daimler-Benz produced various platform trucks and trucks up until the outbreak of the Second World War. Models such as the Mercedes-Benz Lo 2000 and the L 1500 with wood gasification plant, both of which date to the 1930s, can still be marveled at today in museums.
In 2004, Mercedes-Benz was the first manufacturer to present Mercedes-Benz engines that complied with the Euro 4 and Euro 5 emissions standards. Mercedes-Benz Trucks used SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) technology to achieve this. This technology was later also used by most other truck manufacturers. The SCR catalytic converter works by converting the toxic nitrogen oxide into nitrogen and water vapor in a chemical reaction through the addition of AdBlue. This means that the emissions are no longer reduced only within the engine, as was normal for engines up to that point.
A lot of value was placed on safety in the Actros. It therefore comes as no surprise to learn that the launch of the Actros saw the introduction of new safety systems. The Actros was given ABS, ASR and a driver airbag – these systems are available in most long-distance trucks nowadays. Other systems, such as distance control, stability control, lane assist and emergency brake assist, were also installed as options.
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