Leap in design, fleet efficiency
FUTURE MODELS/ Mercedes-Benz has revealed details about its forthcoming new Sprinter
Following our first encounter of the Future Van during the Mercedes-Benz Van Campus workshop in Stuttgart, Germany, around this time in 2016, we were convinced that it was the concept version of the future Sprinter.
This week information from the company seemed to confirm our suspicions further when the company released a design sketch of the forthcoming model. Billed to be one of the most technologically advanced vans yet before it finally arrives on the European market in the first half of 2018 (SA will get it in the first quarter of 2019), much expectation hangs over the new model.
The design sketch of the model further indicates that one of the most eagerly anticipated models in the van sector will also set new standards in terms of appearance. With its new look, the Sprinter is said to again shift the boundaries of its segment. The vehicle presents itself consistently in the design language of Mercedes-Benz and embodies the opposites of this philosophy: emotion and intelligence.
Some of its new features will include the comprehensive introduction of driving assistance systems and connectivity services in combination with new telematics, which the company says will bring a leap forward in efficiency for vehicle and fleet management. The new model can also be more precisely adapted to individual transport and sector requirements thanks to a considerably extended range of variants. With this combination, the new Sprinter is said to have a unique proposition as an overall system solution in the van market
“We want to do more than just build the best vehicles,” says Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. “We want to offer the most suitable mobility solution for every sector and for every transport assignment. And that is precisely our focus with the upcoming Sprinter generation as an overall system solution. The new edition of our iconic van possesses the classical attributes of reliability, safety and cost-effectiveness.”
Mornhinweg says the US is one of the world’s fastest-growing van markets. After Germany, it is the second-largest individual sales market for the large van. With the new Sprinter plant in North Charleston, under construction, the business unit will in future be able to meet the demand from North American customers even more economically with vehicles “made in the US”, and significantly reduce delivery times in that market.
The Sprinter vans for the US market have so far been produced in Germany. However, because of high import tariffs, they have been partially dismantled in a time-consuming process and reassembled at the North Charleston plant.
For the company, the introduction of the new Sprinter is more than the presentation of a new model.
The Sprinter fully reflects the future initiative Advance, which was presented in Stuttgart in 2016 and where Motor News was in attendance.
It aims at megatrends such as digitalisation and urbanisation. The accompanying realignment of the company is driving the transformation from purely a vehicle manufacturer to a provider of complex, comprehensive mobility solutions. The first new model to represent this further development is the new Sprinter, says the company.
While the sketches appear even closer to the Future Van concept, more information about the model will be provided in the near future. We expect the model to be slightly toned down from the concept.
However, the biggest news is how the model’s new technology will bring further efficiencies to the segment.
While Mercedes has only released a sketch of the new Sprinter, we know it will go on sale in SA in 2019.