The Mercedes-Benz Citaro, also known as the Mercedes-Benz O530, is a model of integral single-decker bus produced by Mercedes-Benz and EvoBus since 1997. It is available both as a standard single-decker bus and as an articulated vehicle.
The Citaro is currently available in two main model ranges - the urban Citaro and the suburban/interurban Citaro, detailed below. The whole model range was facelifted in 2005 and again in 2014. A total of 1275 Citaros have been produced for the UK market, including 473 Citaro Gs. First Manchester took delivery of the first UK Citaro, registered W301JND, in April 2000.
The urban Citaro is available in six separate models:
- Citaro (O530) - the original model, 12m twin-axle low-floor city bus
- Citaro G (O530G) - 18m three-axle articulated bus
- Citaro GL (O530GL) - 20m four-axle articulated city bus
- Citaro K (O530K) - 10.5m twin-axle low-floor midibus
- Citaro L (O530L) - 15m three-axle low-floor city bus
- Citaro LE (O530LE) - 12m twin-axle "ultra-low-floor" city bus
The Citaro GL was also marketed as the Mercedes-Benz CapaCity.
The suburban/interurban Citaro is available in six separate models:
- Citaro GÜ (O530GÜ) - 18m three-axle articulated bus
- Citaro LÜ (O530LÜ) - 15m three-axle bus
- Citaro LEMÜ (O530LEMÜ) - 13m two-axle low entry bus
- Citaro LEÜ (O530LEÜ) - 12m two-axle low entry bus
- Citaro MÜ (O530MÜ) - 13m twin-axle bus
- Citaro Ü (O530Ü) - the original suburban/interurban model; 12m twin-axle bus
Citaro G fires in London and Malta
Citaros in London were given the derogatory nickname Chariots of Fire in London after three O530G articulated Citaros caught fire between 2003 and 2004. They have all since been withdrawn from the streets of London and sold on elsewhere.
Sixty-eight of London's withdrawn Citaros were shipped to Malta in 2011. Here too they were withdrawn shortly after entering service after three caught fire within a 48 hour period in August 2013. Arriva Malta withdrew the buses and suffered huge financial losses; they ceased trading in January 2014, with many blaming the huge running costs of the "Maltese Chariots of Fire" for their downfall.