The new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
Eleven years and approximately 1.3 million units after making its debut, the European market leader in the 3.5 t GVW van sector, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, now has a successor. The Mercedes-Benz Vans business unit has invested some 1.8 billion euro in the development of this new model.
Since its 1998 Australian market launch, which saw the first dedicated light commercial sales force, the Sprinter has gone from strength to strength. Marking a new milestone in its class, the Sprinter became the first van to offer Mercedes-Benz technology ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) supported by functions ABS (Anti-Lock Braking Systems), ASR (Acceleration Skid Control) and BAS (Brake Assist Systems). Since 2000 the Sprinter has been the vehicle of choice for all Australian Ambulance services to serve as the platform for first response emergency units, due to the Sprinter’s outstanding performance, low running costs and high safety levels. Continuous development has been the Sprinters key strength and, in its newest form with a host of innovations, the Sprinter is sure to mark once again a new milestone in this vehicle class.
A new era in van design
The new Sprinter opens a new era, beginning with styling that combines emotional and rational aspects and is a perfect blend of form and function. The emotional and dynamic styling melds typical design themes of the Mercedes-Benz brand – for example the treatment of the headlamps and radiator grille – with the hard-headed rational qualities required in a van.
The dynamic side view, the rear lights which blend in with the contours of the vehicle and the taper in the lower part of the rear view are further typical Mercedes-Benz styling features, but they are interpreted in an original way. As far as the Mercedes star itself is concerned, the new Sprinter wears it proudly – at the front it appears on a sculpted base, while at the rear it occupies a central position between the doors.
Bigger range of versions than ever before
It may be somewhat misleading to talk about “the new Sprinter” when there will actually be something like forty-three Sprinter panel van, cab chassis and dual cab chassis variants. The different wheelbase versions, lengths, heights, weight ratings, body types, engines and transmission versions add to this figure. For example the Sprinter is available in three wheelbase versions (3250/3665/4325 mm), four lengths (in the case of closed-body versions) from 5243 to 7343 mm and with a choice of standard roof, high roof or the new super-high roof. And with GVM ratings from 3.55 to 5.0 tonnes, the new Sprinter caters for all the main weight segments in its class.
The product range covers virtually all applications – the panel vans alone offer load space from 7.5 to 17 m³. And as well as a record number of versions, the new Sprinter also has an excellent loading width, for the large sliding door, of 1300 mm, and a width between the wheel arches in single-tyred versions of up to 1350 mm.
Extensive standard specification; options to suit individual needs
New standards in this class are also set by the Sprinter’s standard specification – amongst many other features, every model now comes with electrically operated windows, electric mirrors, air conditioning, radio remote control central locking, driver’s airbag, six-speed transmission, wide-angle mirrors, 16 inch tyres and rims and ADAPTIVE ESP. Materials and build quality are likewise impressive. The new seats are anatomically contoured and provide good support. The driver’s seat also has variable height adjustment.
The steering wheel is now standard with tilt and telescopic adjustment, making the ideal driving position even easier to achieve. Extended longitudinal seat adjustment and more head space provide more room in all directions and a pleasant sense of spaciousness. The dual cab chassis version has four doors and seats up to seven (7) people.
Outstanding ergonomics and seating comfort
Taking centre stage in the cockpit is the centre console, which includes three DIN slots, a cup holder and a switch strip. The instrument cluster includes clearly legible speedometer and rev counter dials.Excellent driver convenience and outstanding comfort for drivers is the entirely new stowage concept. There are door compartments for large drinks bottles, a spacious stowage area on the instrument panel, which is divided into three segments, and stowage compartments above the windscreen for driver and co-driver. In addition the glove compartment can be air-conditioned. The large over-cab stowage compartment in the high-roof Sprinter is also new.
First-class lighting and visibility; Sprinter now available with bi-xenon headlamps
The standard-specification halogen H7 headlamps offer enhanced performance and excellent light output. Their integrated sidelights are a new and important safety feature. The optional bi-xenon headlamps meanwhile represent a new dimension in lighting technology for vans. They also incorporate an Add-Light system with cornering light function – both of which are new to the van market in this class.
Also optionally available is a rain/light sensor. The sensor continuously adjusts the wiper interval depending on how wet the windscreen is, i.e. depending on the intensity of the rain. The sensing system which automatically switches the headlamps on and off monitors both the overall ambient light level and the ambient light in front of the vehicle when deciding what lighting is required.
The new exterior mirrors, with integrated wide-angle auxiliary mirrors left and right, provide excellent rearward visibility and thus safety. Integrated in the mirror casings are high-visibility side indicator repeaters.
Keyless Entry and Slide: keyless door control
Driver convenience is further assisted by extras like, for the sliding door, a closing aid or electric operation and, above all, the innovative Keyless Entry and Slide system. This system is particularly useful for parcel delivery drivers, who often have difficulty freeing a hand to open or close doors. When the driver approaches the vehicle, the system unlocks the driver’s door or opens the sliding door, depending on which direction the driver is coming from. When the driver leaves the vehicle, Keyless Entry locks the driver’s door or closes the sliding door.
High-tech diesel engines: powerful and clean
The new Sprinter’s engines are a milestone in the van segment. The four-cylinder 2148 cc OM 646 CDI turbodiesel engine is now available in three output ratings, of 65 kW (88 hp), 80kW (109hp) and 110 kW (150 hp). Strong points of these engines include powerful low-end torque and excellent fuel economy. The two-stage turbocharging (110kW) is another first in the van segment. The two turbochargers are mounted in series and develop high power and torque in all rpm ranges.
The new top-of-the-line diesel engine is the OM 642, a 3.0-litre V6 unit developing a maximum output of 135 kW (184 hp) and a maximum torque of 400 Nm. While the four-cylinder units are already noted for their state-of-the-art engineering, the V6 goes a step further with an aluminium crankcase, a balancer shaft and two overhead camshafts per cylinder bank.
All the diesel engines have Euro 4 emissions rating and are equipped as standard with a particulate filter. They can go 30,000 km – equivalent to once round the world – on one oil change.
Innovative suspension, standard-fitted ADAPTIVE ESP; with extended functionality
The rear-wheel-drive chassis is designed to cope with high engine power and large payload variations. Even more than before, it has been designed for neutral steer or slight understeer, and thus good controllability. New transverse leaf springs made of fibreglass-reinforced plastic are used at the front and new parabolic springs are used at the rear.
All models including chassis versions are equipped as standard with a new-generation Electronic Stability Program (ESP;) known as ADAPTIVE ESP;. In addition to the usual parameters, this system is now also able to determine the mass and the centre of gravity. This and other new functions allow ADAPTIVE ESP; to intervene with even greater sensitivity and precision in critical situations. Available on manual Sprinters, the Start-off Assist system (AAS) is integrated in ADAPTIVE ESP;. This hill-start system prevents the vehicle from rolling downhill when the driver switches from the brake pedal to the accelerator during a hill start. To facilitate the manoeuvre, Start-off Assist maintains the brake pressure for up to two seconds after the service brake has been released.
All Sprinter models are equipped as standard with 16-inch wheels, which allows larger-diameter brake discs to be fitted. As before, the disc brakes are ventilated at the front and solid at the rear on models up to 3.88 t GVM, while the 4.49 t and 5.0 t models will feature ventilated disc brakes both front and rear. Dual-piston front brake callipers are used on all models.
New to the van segment: super-single tyres (available mid 2007)
The optional super-single rear tyres for the 4.49 t vans (available mid 2007) are a further innovation on the new Sprinter. These 285/65 R 16 C tyres take up less room than twin tyres and therefore provide a greater loading width between the wheel arches on the panel van. They also reduce rolling resistance.
Particular attention given to passive safety and load restraint
The new-generation Sprinter raises the already outstanding passive safety performance of this model series a further notch. Each seat is now equipped with three-point seat belts, height-adjustable head restraints and belt force limiters. The driver’s seat and the outer co-driver’s seat are also fitted with belt tensioners. A front airbag for the driver is standard. A co-driver’s front airbag, thorax bags and windowbags are optionally available.
High standards of passive safety are one of the basic values of the Mercedes-Benz brand and the Sprinter is no exception. In an accident, controlled energy absorption is provided by the side members and the powertrain. Intelligent repair systems like the bolted-on front-end module, “repair shoes” which allow sectional replacement of the side members and divided sidewall panelling all help to reduce the cost of repairing accident damage.
Large rub panels on the sides prevent minor bumps and grazes from causing expensive damage.
Load restraint too has received close attention. Sturdy load-securing rings are standard, in the panel van.
Rotation dipping provides meticulous corrosion protection
Mercedes-Benz currently builds the Sprinter at its factories in Düsseldorf (panel vans) and Ludwigsfelde near Berlin (cab chassis versions). At both plants, outstanding build quality and long service life are a top priority. Many parts of the frame and body are laser-welded, laser-brazed or bonded. A considerably greater proportion of sheet metal components is galvanised than on the previous model. Meticulous seam seals, application of stone chip primer in vulnerable areas and undersealing likewise help to ensure long life and value retention.
Corrosion protection cannot be discussed without mentioning the new RoDip or rotation dipping process at the Ludwigsfelde plant. In each pre-treatment bath, including the cataphoretic dip bath, the bodies are rotated a full 360° about their transverse axis to ensure a uniform all-over coating of all sheet metal parts and all cavities. This meticulous procedure allows Mercedes-Benz to give a three-year corrosion factory warranty on all Sprinter models, even for vehicles used commercially.
Pricing – effective October 1st 2006
SPRINTER Vans RRP
SPRINTER Cab Chassis
SPRINTER Dual Cab Chassis