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Mercedes teases third-gen Sprinter

Well rounded: Mercedes’ new Sprinter van appears to draw styling inspiration from the company’s electric Vision Van concept shown last year.

Smooth new look for next Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van due next year

26 Sep 2017

MERCEDES-BENZ Vans has promised more variants and the latest driver assistance and telematics systems in its new third-generation Sprinter van to be launched in Europe in the first half of next year with other markets, including Australia, to follow.

The German company used the North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta to tease commercial vehicle buyers with a sketch of the replacement for the current flagship van that is sold in more than 130 countries.

The image shows a more rounded, streamlined frontal shape sleeker headlights reminiscent of Mercedes’ Vision Van electric concept shown last year, but with racy air openings in the bumper.

Sprinter retains the protruding bonnet – good for frontal crash protection – and massive high-roof cargo space that currently is good for loads of up to 2510kg.

Replacing the current model that has done duty for a decade, the new Sprinter is the first Mercedes commercial vehicle under its adVANce strategy that aims to embrace more modern technologies to smooth the way for transport operators and their drivers.

The new range will be built in three plants – two existing factories in Germany and a new plant in the United States, in North Charleston, South Carolina.

No powertrain or specifications have been announced, but Mercedes-Benz claims the vehicle will be a leap forward, especially in digital terms.

Considering the Vision Van concept last year was all-electric and that many European and Chinese cities are frowning on diesel, it would be a good bet that at least one full EV version will be in the pipeline, at least for some markets.

Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans Volker Mornhinweg said his company wanted to do more than just build the best vehicles.

“We want to offer the most suitable mobility solution for every sector and for every transport assignment” he said. “And that is precisely our focus with the upcoming Sprinter generation as an overall system solution.

“It also goes without saying that the new edition of our iconic van possesses the classical attributes of reliability, safety and cost-effectiveness.”

Mercedes-Benz says the Sprinter will feature “the comprehensive introduction of driving assistance systems and connectivity services in combination with new telematics, which will bring a leap forward in efficiency for vehicle and fleet management”.

It also claims the range will “considerably extended”.

In Australia, the current all-diesel model is already sold 19 variants encompassing five body styles, including minibus and dual-cab layouts, as well as three wheelbases, four body lengths, three loading space heights, three roof styles and a number of side glazing options.

Current prices start at $42,990 driveaway and range towards $70,000.

Mercedes says it will announce further details of the new range in coming months.

Since the first-generation Sprinter was launched in 1995, 3.3 million have been sold around the world.

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