An early prototype for the next-generation Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van has been spied testing in Europe.

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This mule features a heavily disguised version of the new van's front-end, but the rest of the vehicle is carried over from the van that's currently in showrooms.

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Despite the false body panels, we can see that the next-generation Sprinter will feature slimmer, smaller headlights than the current van.

Inside the cabin there's a plenty of sheeting to cover up the dashboard. It's likely that the new Sprinter will sport a more car-like dashboard, with some versions will be available with more up-to-date infotainment and navigation units. Expect to see a greater range of driver assistance features either as standard or in the options list.

mercedes-sprinter-spy-8-rearVolkswagen Crafter

The Crafter will go its on way in September when a new model is unveiled at the Hannover commercial vehicle show in Germany.

Australia

Rumour has it that the new Sprinter will debut towards the tail end of 2017, meaning that an Australian launch some time in 2018 would be most likely.