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Via Mobilis - Updated: on 2019-08-28 14:58:51 - By Marie ANDRE


by Mercedes-Benz

The Actros is one of the most famous trucks by Mercedes-Benz. Its launch in 1996 didn’t go unnoticed : it is, at the same time, the proof and the result of a technologic evolution in terms of electronics. It is the first truck, whose components are all controlled by smart systems.

Still popular in 2018, it is the 5th generation. .

Used  Actros trucks  Used Actros tractor units

Its main advantages

From the first generation, the Actros was developped with the Telligent strategy by Mercedes-Benz : smart systems are capable of watching and controlling each important part of the truck: engine, braking system, gearbox, etc. Each new generation has been at the edge of technology, benefiting from advanced innovations in terms of engines, gearbox (Powershift), driving assistance (Active Brake System, Stop-and-Go...), or in terms of visibility or anti-pollution systems.

In terms of profitability

Lots of innovations made to limit the fuel consumption have been launched forthe first time on the Actros trucks. That’s the case for the Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC), smart cruise control that takes into account the road relief (rise and slopes) and kinetic enregy. The aerodynamism of the  Actros was redesigned to optimise the transport profitability. But more importantly, the kinematic chain of the Actros benefited from lots of improvements to maintain this truck at the highest performance possible.

In terms of safety

The Actros was also a pioneer in terms of safety for each generation. It is, for instance, the first truck to benefit from  the lane departure warning system that warns the driver when he might exit the lane he is in. Through the years, it was equipped (often as an option) with all the driver assistance system and the safety offered by Mercedes-Benz : the Stop-and-Go system (that regulates the distance between vehicles and can stop and start the truck in traffic jams), an anti-drowsiness system, a perfected and adaptative light, or the automatic braking system called  Active Brake Assist.

In terms of comfort

The comfort is another strong point of the Actros, is the impressive height of the cab (2,13 m), lots of storage units, an evolved AC, and a workstation made for a maximum of ergonomy.  On board computers, remote, multi-function steering wheel… The Actros has been improved throught the generations to simplify the driver’s everyday life. Currently, 11 different cabs can be chosen depending on the use of the vehicle.



The first Actros (1996-2002)

The first generation of Actros, also called MP1, was launched in 1996 to succeed to the SK range by Mercedes-Benz. From its release, the Actros stands out with the manufacturer’s Telligent strategy, used for the first time, to equip the truck with a maximum of smart control systems. Especially:

- A smart maintenance system
- A smart braking system
- An engine control system
- An automated gearbox command (Powershift)
- The Actros MP1 also stands out by its aerodynamism.

During its launch, it is offered with three cab options : cab S (short), M (medium) ol L (long). Three axle configurations are also offered.

The engines of this first generation have been certified in conformity with the Euro 2 norm then the Euro 3. For the first time, they are equipped with PLD injection engines. Their output can reach up to 571 hp.


The Actros "MP2" (2002-2008)

The second generation of the Actros stands out from the MP1 thanks to a certain number of improvements in the design. The inside and outside of the cab have been improved: high quality materials, optimised space, larger radiator grill, new form for the lights, etc.

New systems oriented towards safety have been introduced such as an emergency braking assistance, a setback distances control system or a lane keeping assist system.

The engines have gain power output and new components started being used: new fuel tanks, a SRC catalyst … the objective is to reduce the polluting emissions for the next European norms. In 2004, the Actros are equipped with new engines, from the BlueTec technology (SRC with Adblue addition), meeting the requirements of the Euro 4 and Euro 5 norms. The MP2 model reaches 653 hp.



The Actros "MP3" (2008-2011)

Like the previous version, the MP3 changes its design : new radiator grill (with as an option a Mercedes star that can light up) new lights, new mirrors.

The emphasis was put on the driver’s comfort (and the passenger’s) with three levels of comfort available : Basic, Classic or Top. New adjustments are offered inside the cab : folding table, large oscillating mirror, towel racks, AC… The new cabs also allow a new stand-up position.

Regarding the transmission, the models are equipped with the automatic PowerShift 2 gearbox (12 gears). It is also possible to have a manual 16-gear gearbox.


The Actros "MP4" (2011-2018)

The fourth generation of the Actros marks a real change in the range’s history. Indeed, the truck is now designed for long distance road transport with an optimised chassis.

Thanks to the innovations, the loading capacity of the axle is increased but the direction has also been improved, as well as the braking system with a new retarder and a more performing engine brake.

In terms of comfort, lots of adjustments have been added. Eleven different cabs are offered, with different sizes and designed for the type of transport it will be used for: regional, national, international. They have more storage place than the previous cabs, a heater, several seat options (rigid, pivoting, air-conditioned or even massaging).

The Actros MP4, just like the Actros MP1, also has new smart control systems, among which :

- PowerShift 3
- The new automatic Active Brake Assist system (Active Brake Assist 3), with automatic start in case of sudden brake.
- A control system of the tyre pressure
- A rain and light sensor
- The « Stop and Go » system that starts and stops the vehicle when in traffic jams
- An electronic stability program (ESP)

A test light tool gives access gives access at a distance (100m) to control the lights, windows or the lock of the door and trunk. It transmits a certain amount of data to the owner, especially the tyre pressure and the load on each axle.

Regarding the engines, Mercedes-Benz meets the requirements of the Euro 5, then Euro 6 norms, specially with an advanced engine cooling system. The Actros MP4 are equipped with 6-cylinder engines (4 possible engines, each offering different variations), with outputs ranging between 238 hp and 625 hp.




Photo credits: ©Mercedes-Benz

A new Actros launched in 2018

A new Actros has been introduced in Berlin on September 5th, 2018. The truck is equipped with the new Active Brake 5 system, and allows semi-autonomous driving with the smart system called the Active Drive Assist.

One of the innovations that stood out the most during the presentation is the one about the rear-view mirrors, replaced by cameras. This system called MirrorCam, in addition to the comfort it brings to drivers, should limit thefts.