by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

The new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter: Now even safer, greener, more economical, and more attractive

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has lent its name to an entire vehicle segment and is a synonym for large vans with around 3.5 tons of GVW all around the globe. The Sprinter has always driven innovations in its segment — a tradition that is being continued by the new model. The new Sprinter continues to set standards, boasting five new safety systems, engines that meet the future Euro VI emissions standard, and a striking appearance. Most importantly, however, the van’s excellent low fuel consumption (down to 6.3 liters per 100 km) makes it by far the most efficient vehicle in its segment.

World premiere of new safety systems

The Sprinter has always been a pioneer with regard to driver assistance systems. Five new assistance systems — including several van firsts — will help reduce the number of accidents even further in the new Sprinter.

The following systems are celebrating their world debut in the Sprinter: Crosswind Assist, which is fitted as standard, and COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST and Blind Spot Assist, which are both optional. Other new features are Highbeam Assist and Lane Keeping Assist. The developers at Mercedes-Benz are convinced that these electronic assistants will play a key role in helping to reduce accidents in the van sector.

As one of the functions of the Electronic Stability Program, Crosswind Assist will be part of the vehicle’s range of standard equipment. Customers will be able to order the other assistance systems as individual options or as components of logically assembled packages. This allows every customer to tailor the Sprinter to its specific area of application.

In addition, Mercedes-Benz has improved the Sprinter’s handling even further. The lowering of the chassis has improved the van’s drag and fuel consumption and makes it easier to load and unload cargo.

World’s first van to meet the future Euro VI emissions standard

The new Sprinter is the world’s first van to meet the future Euro VI emissions standard in all of its engine variants. Euro VI drastically reduces the emission limits for nitrogen oxides (NOx), total hydrocarbons (THC), and particulate mass. The Sprinter achieves the strict limits with the help of its BlueTEC engine and SCR technology that injects AdBlue into the exhaust gas. The technology has already proven its worth in more than 100,000 commercial vehicles from Mercedes-Benz.

The performance of the diesel engines has remained unchanged, encompassing four- and six-cylinder units with outputs ranging from 70 kW (95 hp) to 140 kW (190 hp).

The developers have used the additional exhaust treatment stage to optimize the injection and combustion processes as well as the boost pressure. The results are lower fuel consumption and less combustion noise. The engineers also adjusted the drive system and the ancillary components to enhance fuel efficiency. This applies to the transmission and the rear axle as well as an intelligent generator management system.

As an alternative to the diesel engines, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is also available with a Euro VI compliant supercharged four-cylinder gasoline engine featuring direct injection. The engine generates 115 kW (156 hp) from a total displacement of 1.8 liters. The engine is also available in a natural gas variant with the same performance.

Power is transmitted either by the ECO-Gear six-speed manual transmission or the 7G-TRONIC PLUS seven-speed automatic transmission with lock-up clutch, which is the only system of its kind to be found in a van.

Most economical van in its class

The combination of the highly efficient diesel engines, the optimized powertrain, the longer axle ratio, the ancillary components, and the BlueEFFICIENCY PLUS efficiency package has reduced fuel consumption to a minimum of 6.3 l/100 km (NEDC combined), which is a record value for the Sprinter segment. However, the new Sprinter is extremely economical not only as a result of its high fuel efficiency, but also because it comes with the ASSYST maintenance calculation system as standard in Europe. Thanks to this system, the van’s maintenance intervals, which were already long, have been extended to up to 60,000 km.

Enhanced exterior and interior

The new Sprinter’s appearance has also been substantially enhanced and made more striking. In line with Mercedes-Benz’ current design, the van’s radiator grille is now more vertical and confident. The grille’s three slats are perforated and wedge-shaped. Not only does this change create a more dynamic impression, it also increases the airflow. In addition, a frame surrounds the brand’s distinctive radiator grille, making it more prominent.

Another change involves the headlights, which are now more angular. The covers on the reflector housings are particularly striking, dividing the headlights into separate segments. The new hood is higher and the more distinctly shaped bumpers have finely worked lower edges similar to those found on SUVs. The new Sprinter is immediately recognizable from the rear, due to its double-segmented taillights.

The widely acknowledged exemplary interior has also been further enhanced. Comfort has been boosted by the new upholstery and seat coverings, the thicker steering wheel makes gripping easier, and the fresh air nozzles boast chrome applications if the customer opts for a multifunctional steering wheel. The knob of the gearshift lever has been redesigned as well.

The Sprinter is also fitted with a new-generation radio system that equips the van not only with state-of-the-art electronic entertainment features and Bluetooth telephone equipment (including a telephone keypad and phonebook), but also the Becker MAP PILOT navigation system.

Millions of kilometers of testing; orders can be placed beginning in June

The developers of the new Sprinter made sure that the van was thoroughly tested. More than eight million kilometers of endurance testing and extensive customer trials in everyday use had fully demonstrated the new Sprinter’s high quality by the time series production was launched.

Customers can order the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter beginning in June 2013; deliveries will commence in September.

A powerful performer for customers

It just keeps on sprinting! Ever since the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter made its debut in 1995, the van has made a name for itself the world over and has become a top seller. Over the past 18 years, the vehicle has boasted total sales of 2.47 million units and helped customers perform a wide variety of tasks. The Sprinter is a truly global vehicle and a key pillar of the “Vans goes global” growth strategy of Mercedes-Benz Vans.

“It is no coincidence that the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has lent its name to an entire vehicle segment. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has always set the pace for the large van segment when it comes to quality, safety, and economy,” says Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. “The Sprinter’s success also demonstrates how you can start out in a small market niche and go on to conquer the world.”

Mornhinweg is referring to the van’s history of development. Located in the segment for vehicles with around 3.5 tons GVW, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter straddles the line between cars and trucks — as defined by German traffic law at the time the van was introduced. However, the innovative vehicle concept has not only met with a great response in Germany; the pioneering van is also rapidly conquering foreign markets. Today, the several thousand variants of the van are sold in around 130 countries.

The Sprinter’s character as an increasingly global vehicle is also reflected in its production locations. In addition to rolling off the line in Düsseldorf and Ludwigsfelde, Germany, the van is produced in Charleston, South Carolina, González Catan, Argentina, and Fuzhou, China. In order to penetrate Russia’s dynamic mass market, an additional production of the Sprinter Classic at a plant operated by the Russian manufacturer GAZ in Nizhny Novgorod is currently being prepared. That makes the Sprinter one of the key pillars of the “Vans goes global” growth strategy of Mercedes-Benz Vans. The strategy is consistently globalizing the division’s business and exploiting additional earnings potential in new growth markets.

However, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter also boosts the growth and efficiency of its customers. Cost-effective diesel engines, long maintenance intervals, and a series of intelligent assistance systems keep the total cost of ownership low and ensure that operating times are long, thus turning the Sprinter into a real miracle of efficiency.

The market has acknowledged this miracle. This is demonstrated by the fact that Mercedes-Benz Vans sold a total of 159,000 Sprinters in 2012. Whereas challenging market conditions caused sales to stay below last year’s high level in Western Europe, demand for the vehicle substantially increased in Eastern Europe, particularly in Russia and Turkey. In North America, where the Sprinter is sold under both the Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner nameplates, sales even rose by 19 percent.

Credits: Daimler AG

Copyright © 2013, Mercedes-Benz-Blog. All rights reserved.


Busy Kraków said...

Will the new sprinter, have new metallic colors?

Alex said...

I am working my way up to this shape of Sprinter. I currently run an early shape 1998 model and it has been such a great van that I wont hesitate to splash the cash on a newer shape one (that's when enough comes in to splash).

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