Mercedes-Benz has announced the first details of its new Sprinter van, which introduces a range of new, more car like features and technologies.
The German automaker will offer the new generation Sprinter in a range of body types ranging from a regular cargo van to cab chassis to mini-buses and even motorhomes.
According to Mercedes that diversity means the new van will be available in as many as 1700 variations.
A new front-wheel drive variant joins the range to compliment the carry-over rear- and all-wheel drive versions.
The front-wheel drive variant offers a unique set-up with it being the only model in the range that can be equipped with a nine-speed torque converter automatic transmission. It is also available with a six-speed manual.
Rear- and all-wheel drive models are available with either a six-speed manual or a new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
On top of the updated transmission, a front-wheel drive variant also has a 50kg payload advantage over rear-drive models while also having a 80mm lower loading height for easier loading access and passenger entry. The Sprinter's rear doors can now be opened beyond 90-degrees with one hand thanks to the removal of a mechanically released catch.
The versatility of the Sprinter layout means that depending on specification the new model can carry a payload of up to 5.5 tonnes - big enough to require a truck licence.
Power comes from a range of 2.1-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel engines available in 84kW/300Nm, 105kW/330Nm, 120kW/360Nm and 130kW/400Nm states of tune with the 130kW version reserved for campervan variants only.
A 140kW/440Nm 3.0-litre V6 turbocharged diesel engine is also available.
Inside Mercedes-Benz aligned the Sprinter closely with its latest passenger car range, including the installation a new 10.25-inch touch that features the new MBUX multimedia systems that recently debuted in the new A-Class hatch.
Keyless ignition, upgraded electrically adjusted seats, and a wide variety of storage compartments along with turbine-style vents further add a bit of the Mercedes passenger car-style to the van.
In order to keep business fleets moving new Mercedes PRO services allow vehicle tracking and telemetry to assist with fleet logistics management, with on-demand access to live trip logs, fuel use data, and maintenance requirements.
Safety specification has been updated to include advanced driver assist functions like radar cruise control, autonomous emergency braking with forward collision warning, lane keep assist and driver fatigue alert. These are complimented by a 360-degree camera and rain-sensing wipers.
Mercedes-Benz will follow the diesel-powered Sprinter range with a new eSprinter electric van set to launch by 2019.