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Mercedes-Benz premieres V-Class

Premium MPV: The Mercedes-Benz V-Class will hit Australia in 2015 as a replacement for the Viano and R-Class.

Luxury V-Class people-mover to hit Mercedes Australia showrooms in 2015


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31 Jan 2014

MERCEDES-BENZ held the world premiere of its all-new V-Class luxury people-mover in Germany overnight, showing the car that will in one swoop replace the Viano, Valente and the recently discontinued R-Class.

The full-size MPV, to be built at Mercedes-Benz’s refurbished Vitoria van factory in Spain, will seat up to eight occupants in a plush and high-tech cabin that belies its boxy and van-like exterior – albeit an exterior that is more differentiated from the Vito van than its Viano predecessor.

Sales commence in Europe from late May this year, but Australia will have to wait until 2015, according to Mercedes-Benz Australia Pacific senior manager of public relations David McCarthy.

The local MPV market is relatively small, but according to Mr McCarthy it’s still worth maintaining a presence in. With the R-Class now discontinued, the V-Class will become the most ‘premium’ people-mover on-sale when it arrives here.

Unusually, the V-Class will be available in Europe at both Mercedes passenger and commercial dealerships, the latter targeting VIP shuttle and hotel fleet operators. It’s unclear if this will be the case here in Australia.

“We are addressing completely new customer groups,” said head of Mercedes-Benz Vans Volker Mornhinweg. “Including people who need a large amount of space but never wanted to drive an MPV because style, well-being, and riding comfort have so far been neglected in this segment.” Mercedes will offer three versions of its 2.1-litre turbo-diesel engine from launch in 100kW, 120kW and 140kW guises matched to a 7G automatic transmission. No petrol offering is mentioned.

Benz claims the torque range and power delivery of the most powerful diesel engine is comparable to the Viano’s 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel, even though the new vehicle consumes up to 28 percent less fuel and meets the tough Euro 6 emissions standard.

Standard features include Crosswind Assist and a drowsiness-detection system, while a 360-degree camera and robotic parking are available as options. The latest-generation multimedia system comes with a touchpad for operating all of the telematics functions.

There are an array of seat configurations for up to eight people. Mercedes will offer individual captain’s chairs or rear benches. The rear window also opens separately from the rear hatch, while there are either one or two sliding side doors depending on specification.

Dimensions are: 5170mm long in regular guise and 5370mm in extra-long guise, and 1880mm tall – larger all-round than a Kia Grand Carnival.

The suspension system comprises MacPherson struts at the front and trailing arms at the rear. The steering is an electro-mechanical system.

“With the new V-Class we are expanding the Mercedes-Benz premium automobile range with a sedan for up to eight people,” said chairman of the Board of Management Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Dieter Zetsche.

“Functionality is a must for an MPV comfort and style are the icing on the cake. The new V-Class combines both in a way that no other vehicle in this segment can offer.”

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