Auto manufacturing giant Mercedes-Benz introduced the new high-roof Sprinter van at the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf, Germany, August 31 to September 8.
The number one base vehicle for luxury camper vans continues to build on its lead—and is now found as a camper van platform from Europe to North America to China.
Mercedes-Benz currently delivers around 4000 camper vans a year to numerous leading fitters and body manufacturers in North America, who transform them into attractive Class B camper vans or Class C motorhomes (partially integrated/alcove vehicles).
The fully functional cut-away model of the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is fully converted into a camper van. The right-hand side of the vehicle is completely open from the middle of the front passenger door to the rear axle, revealing a living area with front seats turned around and a spacious side-facing bench seat—which can be pulled out to form a double bed—a kitchen to the left of the opening and a bathroom with integrated wardrobe fitted in transverse position in the rear.
The cut-away model is fitted with furniture featuring a hard-wearing HPL coating in high-gloss white, grey laminate flooring, and seats featuring white genuine automobile leather from Mercedes-Benz. This combination lends the interior the elegant character of a yacht, according to a company news release.
Side walls and ceiling are covered in Alcantara, with LED lighting throughout. On the outside, the Sprinter sports the new tenorite grey metallic paint finish.
Alongside the cut-away model, the new Sprinter was on display as a chassis with cab and the unique low frame with independent wheel suspension for vans with driven rear axle.
Its Plexiglass cover symbolizes a camper van body while at the same time revealing the Sprinter’s technical details in the area of chassis and drive system.
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter continues to enjoy increasing popularity among fitters in the luxury camper van segment. The company is now supporting these fitters with a new standard camper van package.
Features include the front passenger airbag and a folding handbrake lever. The latter prevents collisions between swivel seats and the lever when the handbrake is engaged. Along with other details, the package also includes the parametrisable special module (PSM module), which serves as the interface between the body’s technical features and the Sprinter’s electronics.
The innovation leader is now raising the benchmark yet again, with five new safety systems, engines complying with the future Euro VI emission standards, exceptionally low fuel consumption down to 37 mpg (6.3 l/100 km), and a striking appearance.
The Sprinter has a long tradition of pioneering new driver assistance systems, such as the ESP (Electronic Stability Program).
The new Sprinter premieres Crosswind Assist which virtually eliminates the effects of gusts acting on the vehicle, within the bounds of the laws of physics. The required extent of countersteering when exposed to gusts of wind is reduced, thereby markedly reducing the strain on the driver. An indicator lamp informs the driver when the assistant intervenes.
The proximity warning system is another first in this class. The radar-based system provides a visual warning when the Sprinter is too close to the vehicle ahead, followed by an acoustic alarm in the event of an acute danger of collision. When the driver steps on the brakes, Adaptive Brake Assist ensures that sufficient deceleration is applied to avoid an accident—emergency braking tailored precisely to the given requirements.
Blind Spot Assist warns the driver of other vehicles in the so-called blind spot when changing lanes. This system operates on the basis of four short-range sensors in the area of the B-pillars and the rear pillars.
When these sensors detect a vehicle in the blind spot, a red warning signal appears in the exterior mirror on the relevant side. If the driver nevertheless activates the indicator on this side, an acoustic warning will sound and the red warning signal will begin to flash.
Lane Keeping Assist goes into action when the Sprinter threatens to pass over a marking line without an indicator having been activated or any change to the position of the accelerator or brake pedal. This assistant is based on a camera system and provides the driver with an acoustic warning in such situations.
A camera also provides the basis for Highbeam Assist—another first in the Sprinter class. Highbeam Assist switches between high and dipped beam according to the given traffic situation. The camera responds to oncoming traffic or vehicles ahead by dipping the headlamps. When the road is clear again, the assistant switches back to high beam automatically.
These additional new assistance systems are available now in conjunction with the closed versions of the new Sprinter. The chassis variants will follow next year.
The Sprinter Caravan was not the only vehicle Mercedes-Benz displayed at Europe’s leading trade show for recreational vehicles. The cut-away van was joined by the compact Mercedes-Benz Viano Marco Polo, Viano Fun, and other camper van platforms on Actros and Zetros trucks.
No one knows what he can do until he tries.