Sprinter de­feats its arch ri­vals

Mercedes-Benz has eased a huge cargo headache for van driv­ers, writes GRAHAMSMITH

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car Accessories -

THOSE who trans­port cargo in vans know the pain of try­ing to fit a pal­let be­tween rear wheel arches. So they will no doubt ap­pre­ci­ate the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter equipped with su­per sin­gle rear wheels and tyres, which clears the way for a pal­let to slide eas­ily be­tween the arches.

Be­fore the ar­rival of the new Sprinter, vans re­quired to carry cargo pal­lets had to have their wheel arches mod­i­fied, or a false floor fit­ted.

Each of those mod­i­fi­ca­tions re­quires com­pro­mise. Mod­i­fy­ing the wheel arches is ex­pen­sive, and a false floor in­creases the load­ing height con­sid­er­ably and re­duces cargo space.

So the su­per sin­gle op­tion on the 2008 Sprinter makes sense.

The width be­tween the wheel arches is in­creased from 980mm to 1228mm, enough to com­fort­ably ac­cept a stan­dard-sized pal­let, which can be loaded through the rear doors.

Re­frig­er­ated goods, freight and mo­bile work­shop busi­nesses can best take ad­van­tage of the Sprinter’s 4.5-tonne GVM.

When the su­per sin­gle rear wheels are called for, the Sprinter is fit­ted with large 285/65/16 rear tyres in place of the stan­dard dual 195/75s.

To over­come the prob­lem of one spare tyre for dif­fer­ent-sized front and rear tyres, MercedesBenz has lo­cally de­vel­oped an adap­tor that en­ables the spare to be used ei­ther front or rear.

Most Euro­pean op­er­a­tors who use the su­per sin­gle rear tyres dump the spare wheel and carry a can of tyre re­pairer in­stead. But it was thought Aus­tralian op­er­a­tors wouldn’t ac­cept that as a so­lu­tion, hence the unique adap­tor.

The su­per sin­gle tyres are avail­able on the Sprinter 415 mid and long wheel­base vans, and the 418 long wheel­base model.

Sprinter cus­tomers can also have power side doors. Clos­ing Door As­sist latches the slid­ing side door au­to­mat­i­cally.

Buy­ers can also have full au­to­matic clos­ing, which means the doors close at the press of a but­ton on the dash, B-pil­lar or key fob. Driv­ers who al­ways have their hands full can have key­less re­mote lock­ing and un­lock­ing. Prox­im­ity sen­sors do it all, sig­nalling the door to open or close when the driver ap­proaches or leaves the van.

All Sprint­ers now have Speedtronic cruise con­trol and speed lim­iter as stan­dard equip­ment.

The cruise speed can be set us­ing a stalk on the steer­ing col­umn, and the lim­iter can also be set so you won’t ex­ceed the speed limit.

Along with th­ese en­hance­ments, a new short wheel­base model has joined the Sprinter range.

The 311 CDI short wheel­base van is pow­ered by a 2.2-litre four­cylin­der turbo diesel en­gine pro­duc­ing 80kW at 3800 revs and 280Nm at 1600-2500 revs.

A six-speed man­ual gear­box is stan­dard, but an op­tional fivespeed au­to­matic is avail­able. The wheel­base is 3250mm, the load vol­ume 7.5cu m and the pay­load 1605kg.

Wide re­ceiver: the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter’s su­per sin­gle rear tyres let a pal­let slide be­tween the inside arches.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.