The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter: Versatility, class-leading efficiency, safety and comfort

-   Best-in-class cargo capacity, payload and interior height
    -   Low emissions and segment-leading fuel consumption offered by the
        BlueTEC cleanest diesel engine
    -   Extensive standard and optional equipment to suit individual,
        commercial and recreational needs
    -   Innovative suspension, standard ADAPTIVE ESP and car-like comfort
    -   Maximum return on investment through longest maintenance intervals
        and best-in-class fuel efficiency

TORONTO, Jan. 14 /CNW/ - In advance of its Canadian Premiere at the Montreal International Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz Canada is proud to officially welcome the addition of Sprinter to the Mercedes-Benz group of brands which include Mercedes-Benz, AMG, smart and Maybach.

With over one million units sold worldwide, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a leader in the light-duty van segment, and this versatile vehicle continues to set the benchmark in technology, safety, fuel efficiency and performance around the globe.

As of January 1, 2010, this remarkable vehicle officially joined the Mercedes-Benz Canada group and is now on sale at Mercedes-Benz dealers from coast-to-coast.

Extensive range of configurations for maximum versatility

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter offers a full and varied model range for virtually all applications, far surpassing the more limited range offered by the competitors in its class.

Three basic vehicles are available for sale in Canada: the cargo van, the passenger van and the cab chassis. The three body lengths, two heights and three basic gross vehicle weight ratings add up to fifteen basic models of Sprinter vans to meet the unique requirements of a diverse range of customers who need a vehicle that will work as hard as they do.

The Sprinter cargo van offers two wheelbase versions in 144 and 170 inches (3.7 and 4.3 m), and it is available in three lengths: standard, long and extra long, which are 232.5, 273.2 and 289.2 inches respectively (5.9 6.9 and 7.3 m).

The cargo van is also available with two different roof heights. The load compartment height is 65 inches (1.65 m) for a Sprinter with the standard roof, and 76.4 inches (1.94 m) for the high-roof version. Load space for the closed-body models range from 318 to 547 cu. ft. (9.0 to 15.5 m(3)).

The new Sprinter cargo van can cater to the specific needs of any commercial or recreational owner by offering vehicles in the following three weight ratings: 8,550, 9,990 and 11,030 lbs (3.88, 4.53 and 5.0 t). The 3500 series cargo vans can be ordered in both 9,990 and 11,030 lbs (4.53 to 5.0t) weight ratings.

In addition, the Sprinter is available with side windows and rear seats (optional with the crew van package or individually optioned), creating a cargo van with all the advantages of a minibus that would make an ideal solution for any application where you need to carry a team of people plus large amounts of materials and equipment. This version offers seating for up to six people - without compromising the Sprinter's typical interior flexibility. The optional rear seat bench is designed for quick and easy installation and removal.

The Sprinter passenger wagon provides a robust solution to safely and comfortably transport up to 12 passengers. With two wheelbases, two body lengths and 2 cargo heights available, the passenger wagon offers numerous, custom-designed seating configurations for the spacious interior by offering the flexibility of a three-or four seat bench for the three rows of seats. In addition, an auxiliary heater and available rear air conditioning also guarantee a comfortable, climate controlled journey for every passenger.

Cab chassis versions are also offered in the same two wheelbase versions as the closed-body vehicle. This configuration provides unrivalled flexibility to accommodate special-purpose bodies. For example, the chassis version can be offered without a rear bulkhead, without doors or as a "cowl version" without cab.

The wide-range of versions are designed with the utmost precision in the coordination of features. On all models, differences in the wheelbase are accompanied by appropriately matched overhang dimensions. This not only results in satisfying proportions, but also offers significant benefits for handling and balanced weight distribution.

From the cargo van to the passenger wagon or the cab chassis, the Sprinter offers a custom-designed solution for almost any transport task thanks to its unmatched model diversity, outstanding spaciousness and extremely robust yet streamlined design that allows an impressive a drag coefficient value of just Cd= .32.

Sliding door with best-in-class loading width

Side sliding doors and rear doors have been developed for the many different versions of the closed-body Sprinter cargo van. The maximum loading width is best-in-class in all cases with an impressive sliding door load width of 51.2 inches (1.3 m). The Sprinter features a standard right-side sliding door, and to maximize flexibility, an optional left-side sliding door is also available. On high-roof versions, sliding doors with a loading height of 71.7 inches (1.82 m) are fitted.

Analogous to the sliding doors, the rear doors are available in two versions: one for vehicles with the standard roof featuring a loading height of 60.6 inches (1.54 m), and one for the high-roof versions with a loading height of 72.4 inches (1.84 m). In addition to the best-in-class door aperture dimensions, the Sprinter also offers best-in-class loading width between the wheel arches with a figure of 53.1 inches (1.35 m) on all 2500 series vans.

Advanced and powerful BlueTEC cleanest diesel engine

The advanced cleanest diesel BlueTEC technology has been highly successful in Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, and now this technology is also standard for the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. This trailblazing BlueTEC technology optimizes fuel consumption and combines measures designed to reduce emissions with a downstream after-treatment process known as SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) which filters exhaust gases and sends them through a catalytic converter where they are mixed with a water-based, odourless urea solution known as Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF). In this process, pollutant nitrogen oxides are converted into harmless nitrogen and water. The result is a substantial reduction in pollutants and soot particles, class-leading fuel consumption, and one of the world's cleanest diesel engines that already complies with the strict emission limits of the EPA 10 standard.

Exceptional power and performance

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter's three-litre, BlueTEC V6 turbodiesel engine provides exceptional power and performance under all operating conditions. With a maximum output of 188 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque at 1,400-2,400 rpm, this advanced powerplant sets new performance standards for diesel-powered vans. In addition, this engine also offers remarkably low noise levels and exceptionally good driveability in all situations. With its 30-degree crankpin offset and a balancer shaft between the cylinder banks, this six-cylinder direct-injection engine offers unsurpassed smoothness in its class. Technical highlights include: aluminium four-valve cylinder heads, twin overhead hollow-cast camshafts per cylinder bank with duplex timing chain drive, intercooled turbo charging, third-generation common-rail injection technology with a system pressure of 1600 bar, and ultra-precise eight-hole piezoelectric injectors. An aluminium crankcase completes this impressive package.

Advanced automatic transmission offers maximum smoothness

The Sprinter is equipped with a five-speed automatic transmission that offers maximum smoothness, well-spaced ratios, best-in-class long service life and excellent fuel economy. The improved fuel economy can be attributed to a torque converter lockup clutch which engages in all forward gears. The automatic transmission's electronic control unit continually processes signals relating to torque, engine speed, accelerator pedal position, wheel speed and traction, and it then communicates with the other control units to adapt all shift operations to both the driving situation and the comfort requirements. If desired, the driver can also control the shift range manually by moving the selector lever to the right or left (plus/minus). This is particularly helpful on downhill gradients, where drivers can take advantage of engine braking.

Generous standard features and options

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter sets the standard in its class with luxurious appointments, acclaimed build quality and driving comfort and interior sound levels comparable to a passenger car. The extensive list of standard equipment includes: power windows, radio remote control central locking, Radio CD sound 5 audio system, driver's airbag, automatic transmission, wide-angle mirrors and ADAPTIVE ESP(R). A wireless front and rear tire pressure monitoring system also comes standard on both the cargo van and passenger wagon models.

The steering wheel offers standard fit height and tilt-adjustments, and the driver and passenger seats have been anatomically contoured to provide excellent support. For added comfort, headed seats can be specified as an option, and with an infinitely variable height adjustment, the driver is sure to find a comfortable seating position. In addition, customers can also select an available twin passenger seat for extra seating capacity in the front, and there is also an available flip-up passenger seat that was specifically designed to suit the requirements of the courier and parcel delivery sector.

Overall, the extended longitudinal seat adjustment and generous head room combine to provide more room in all directions, creating a sense of spaciousness inside the cabin.

Outstanding ergonomics

Inside the cockpit, the centre console includes three DIN slots, a cup holder and a switch strip. The instrument cluster features clearly legible speedometer and rev counter dials, and if the multifunction steering wheel is specified as an option, a wide range of additional information can be shown in the large displays of the detailed instrument cluster.

The clever interior storage concept also enhances passenger convenience. There are door compartments for large beverages, extra storage compartments above the windscreen for both the driver and front passenger, and a spacious storage area on the instrument panel that is divided into three segments. In addition, every Sprinter is equipped with a standard air conditioning system.

The optional PARKTRONIC system also assists cargo van and passenger wagon drivers when parking. The system is active under speeds of 18 km/h, scanning the areas in front and behind to provide a graduated visual and audible warning when the vehicle approaches an obstacle. The double warning display for the area in front of the vehicle is located in the centre of the cockpit, and two separate displays for the area behind the vehicle are integrated in the exterior mirrors. The optional reversing camera with a 7" monitor provides assistance for safe reversing and maneuvering in tight spaces.

First-class lighting and visibility

The standard-specification halogen headlamps offer enhanced performance and excellent light output, and the integrated sidelights are a new and important safety feature. The optional bi-xenon headlamps with cornering light function represent a new, segment-leading dimension in lighting technology.

An optional rain and light sensor continuously adjusts the wiper intervals to adapt to the intensity of the precipitation on the heated windshield. The sensing system also automatically switches the headlamps on and off, and monitors both the overall ambient light level and the ambient light in front of the vehicle when deciding the required lighting.

The exterior mirrors, with integrated wide-angle auxiliary mirrors on both the left and right sides, provide excellent rearward visibility and improved safety. Highly-visibility side indicator repeaters are also integrated in the mirror casings. The closed-body versions of the Sprinter cargo van that feature a rear windscreen are available with rear windscreen heating (standard on the passenger van) and a rear wiper.

Innovative suspension and standard ADAPTIVE ESP

The rear-wheel-drive chassis is engineered to cope with high engine power and large payload variations while offering neutral steering and excellent handling. Transverse leaf springs made of fibreglass-reinforced plastic are used at the front, and in the rear parabolic springs are used.

All Sprinter models come equipped with a new-generation Electronic Stability Program (ESP) known as ADAPTIVE ESP. This advanced system has been fully integrated with the anti-lock braking system (ABS), acceleration skid control (ASR), electronic brake force distribution (EBD), hydraulic Brake Assist (BAS) and ESP Trailer Stability Assist. In addition, an integrated Start-off Assist system prevents the vehicle from rolling downhill when the driver switches from the brake pedal to the accelerator on a hill start.

The sophisticated ADAPTIVE ESP system includes a self-learning algorithm which calculates vehicle mass and centre of gravity based on parameters such as acceleration, speed, accelerator pedal position and brake pressure. This allows the system to react more precisely to critical driving situations, and provides more precisely controlled braking and acceleration on surfaces where the friction is different on different sides of the vehicle.

The extended functionality of the new ADAPTIVE ESP also includes Roll Over Mitigation (ROM), Roll Movement Intervention (RMI) and Understeering Control (USC). ROM detects critical lateral acceleration when cornering and reacts by reducing engine torque and by increasing braking pressure at the relevant wheels. The system is activated in risk situations such as cornering at excessive speeds on highway exit ramps. RMI enhances the effectiveness of ADAPTIVE ESP by means of engine and braking intervention in certain dynamic situations such as sudden evasive manoeuvres. USC provides enhanced stability under heavy understeer, ensuring that the front pushes less wide on corners or when driving quickly through tight bends.

Sprinters are equipped with 16-inch wheels as standard equipment, which allows larger-diameter brake discs to be fitted. The brakes are ventilated at the front and solid at the rear on models up to 8,550 lbs (3.88 t) permissible gross vehicle weight, while the 9,990 and 11,030 lbs (4.53 and 5.0 t) models will feature ventilated disc brakes both front and rear. Dual-piston front brake callipers are used on all models.

The Sprinter has a towing capacity of 5,000 lbs (2,268 t.), and the ESP Trailer Stability Assist system greatly enhances safety when towing a trailer. If the trailer starts to sway, the system automatically counteracts these movements by selectively braking the wheels and reducing engine torque to help the driver stabilize both the vehicle and the trailer. If the system intervenes several times in succession, the braking action becomes increasingly stronger, resulting in a significant reduction in the vehicle speed.

Particular attention given to passive safety and load restraint

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter offers the exceptional levels of passive safety expected of any Mercedes-Benz product. The sturdy, high-strength passenger safety cell and stiff body structure preserve the occupants survival space in the event of accident, while the coordinated deformation zones help absorb the forces in a front-end impact. To enhance the already outstanding levels of safety, each seat is equipped with a three-point seat belt, height-adjustable head restraints and belt force limiter. The driver and front passenger seats are also fitted with belt tensioners. Front airbags are standard for the driver and co-driver; thorax and window airbags are also available as options.

In the unlikely event of 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" that allow sectional replacement of the side members, and divided sidewall panelling all help to reduce the cost of repairing damage caused by an accident.

Large rub panels on the sides also prevent minor bumps and grazes from causing expensive damage. Load restraints received close attention with sturdy load-securing rings and a steel bulkhead offered as standard equipment on the cargo van. A wooden load compartment floor, lashing rails in the wooden floor and further waistline and roof-level lashing rails are also available. Near vertical inner walls, levelled-off wheel arches, and the high payload allow the available cargo space to be used fully.

Rotation dipping provides meticulous corrosion protection

Mercedes-Benz builds the Sprinter at its German factories in Düsseldorf (cargo and passenger vans) and Ludwigsfelde (Cab chassis). At both plants, build quality and long service life are a top priority. Many components of the frame and body are laser-welded, laser-brazed or bonded. In addition, a considerably greater proportion of sheet metal components are galvanized, and undersealing and the application of a stone chip primer in vulnerable areas all combine to ensure a long life.

The new RoDip or rotation dipping process at the Ludwigsfelde plant also helps to ensure maximum corrosion protection. In each pre-treatment bath, including the cataphoretic dip bath, the bodies are rotated a full 360 degrees about their transverse axis to ensure a uniform all-over coating for sheet metal parts and cavities. This meticulous procedure allows Mercedes-Benz to offer a 3 year, 60,000 km rust warranty and an impressive 5 year, 160,000 km perforation warranty.

Best-in-Class

The Sprinter models are recognized to be class-leading in several categories. Namely, best cargo capacity, fuel efficiency, interior compartment accessibility (side and rear door opening areas), and maintenance intervals.

They also have the best standard full-height rear cargo doors that open 270 degrees and front doors that open up almost 70 degrees, best payload (up to 5,375 lbs or 2,360 kg), best interior standing height of any full-size van and best turning diameter (54.6 ft and power-assisted rack and pinion steering).

The three Sprinter variants boast a plethora of features that make them truly unique in their respective segments. From its powerful and fuel-efficient V6 BlueTEC engine to a high level of transport functionality, from an optimum range of products for efficient load-securing to long maintenance intervals, the Sprinter aims to serve a broad cross-section of customers. In addition, overall product quality, exemplary active/passive safety, low maintenance costs, optimal loading capabilities and appealing vehicle design further differentiate the Sprinter from its competitors.

Competitive Pricing

Starting from $41,900 for the cab chassis, $42,900 for the cargo van, and $47,900 for the passenger van, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter models are aggressively positioned in their respective segment. This offers customers an incredible value proposition, especially considering the Sprinter's class-leading position and generous standard equipment levels. In addition, special discounts are available for fleet customers, and a broad range of leasing and financing options are available through Mercedes-Benz Financial.

"We are extremely pleased to welcome the Sprinter brand back to the Mercedes-Benz group. The technologically advanced Sprinter vehicles enhance our already strong product range in Canada," said Marcus Breitschwerdt, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Canada. "With a myriad of best-in-class features, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinters are the indisputable benchmark in their segment; particularly in the areas of safety, fuel efficiency and innovation. These versatile light-duty vehicles offer limitless opportunities for customers to specify vehicles that meet their exact requirements. As premium offerings in their class, they are designed and built to the same exacting standards as every other vehicle that displays the three pointed star."

He added: "Our overall Sprinter infrastructure is ready for business. We have already successfully integrated Sprinter into our strategically and conveniently located dealer network across Canada. It is exciting to see how our dealers and employees have so enthusiastically embraced the inclusion of Sprinter in their day-to-day activities. We all very much look forward to working with existing and new Sprinter customers. Since the conversion component of the van business is significant, we look forward to developing new relationships with body builders as well."

He concluded: "We remain committed to providing our valued customers with a wide range of highly competitive vehicles that offer exceptional quality and guarantee an ownership experience that is unmatched in the industry. We are delighted to now include the Sprinter vans to this mandate."

About Mercedes-Benz Canada

Mercedes-Benz Canada is responsible for the sales, marketing and service of the four brands within the Mercedes-Benz Group in Canada: Mercedes-Benz, smart, AMG, and Maybach. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc. employs approximately 1,250 people in 19 locations across Canada. Through a nationwide network of 14 Mercedes-Benz owned retail operations and 39 authorized dealerships, Mercedes-Benz Canada sold 26,942 vehicles in 2009, the best year ever reported for Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc.

For further information: JoAnne Caza, (416) 847-7550, joanne.caza@mercedes-benz.ca; Michael Minielly, (416) 847-7509, michael.minielly@mercedes-benz.ca; Further information from Mercedes-Benz is available on the internet at: www.media.mercedes-benz.ca