The original Sprinter went on UK sale in 1995 and was immediately voted International Van of the Year. Now, 22 years later, Mercedes-Benz Vans has revealed its third generation of the versatile Sprinter LCV (light commercial vehicle) in Duisburg, Germany.
It is available to order now and first deliveries are expected from across the 116-site MB Vans dealer network in June. An all-electric eSprinter will follow in 2019 as part of MB Van's strategy for electrification of the commercial van fleet.
The new Sprinter has never been more connected for business and now places greater emphasis on the cab as a place of work. Comprehensive internet connectivity heads an impressive array of new technology and is one of the most important new features along with the new networked services of Mercedes PRO connect, coupled with the new MBUX multimedia systems, provide a basis for all latter-day logistical and transport requirements.
This begins with the complex management of a large fleet and ends with the small company fleet. Mercedes PRO connect links the fleet manager with all the vehicles and drivers in the fleet. This enables assignments to be managed online and vehicle information such as location, fuel level or maintenance intervals to be retrieved almost in real time. Eight packages, all available ex-factory with central fleet, vehicle, driver and location-based services will be introduced on market launch of Mercedes PRO connect. These include: vehicle supervision, vehicle operations, fleet communication, maintenance management and a digital driver's logbook.
Continuing the versatility of the Sprinter range, the availability of panel van, tourer, pickup, chassis, bus or traction head body types along with three drive configurations, variable cab designs, body lengths, tonnages, plus load compartment heights and ancillary equipment features allow further expansion of the number of possible Sprinter variants.
The maximised modularity is pretty much what the new Sprinter is all about: its core ability to meet sector-specific requirements and different customer segments. The product range includes solutions for courier services on the last mile delivery, for goods transport over longer distances or for service technicians using their vehicle as a mobile replacement parts store. The new Sprinter can also be put to work as a camper van or bus or deployed as an ambulance by rescue services.
Adding to the proven rear- and all-wheel drive is a new front-wheel drive system, the payload for which increases by 50 kilograms compared to rear-wheel drive. An 80 millimetre lower loading sill makes the loading/unloading of commercially used Sprinters considerably more convenient, as it does entry to and from the living and sleeping area of camper vans.
There are two newly developed transmissions for front-wheel drive Sprinter applications – a new 6-speed manual 'box and a nine-speed torque converter automatic (a first in the large van segment), the gear ranges of which are graduated to give an optimum balance between low consumption and agile handling. MB transmission engineers paid much attention to reducing noise levels and improving ride comfort.
Improvements to the cabin include new, ergonomically shaped seats, keyless start and an improved air conditioning system. Variable stowage options ensure that everything has its place and in the load area there's loadable wheel arches and fully usable load compartment heights in combination with front-wheel drive increase versatility. The maximum load capacity is 17 cubic metres with tonnages up to 5.5t.
New driver assistance systems on the Sprinter include a self-cleaning reversing camera showing its image in the rear-view mirror, a modern parking package with a 360-degree view and a rain sensor with an integrated wet wiper system for optimum visibility even during the wiping process – WG.
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