Engines and transmissions: Optimised powertrain: more cost-effectiveness and improved refinement for all variants

Feb 6, 2018
  • New 9-speed automatic torque converter transmission and 6-speed manual transmission for front-wheel drive
  • The powerful and refined 3.0 litre diesel engine remains the only six-cylinder in the large van segment
  • The optimised ASSYST PLUS maintenance computer lowers operating costs, and incorrect fuel protection for diesels prevents expensive mistakes

Lower fuel consumption, two newly developed transmissions for the now available front-wheel drive, reduced in-engine friction and the only six-cylinder engine in the competitive lineup: Mercedes-Benz Vans has improved the powertrain in many respects for the third generation of the Sprinter. All in all, the improvements result in an engine and transmission portfolio that meets all expectations in terms of exemplary economy and powerful driving characteristics. All diesel engine variants in Europe are available with a manual or automatic transmission, and meet the Euro 6/VI standard. In the USA and Canada the engine range is supplemented with a powerful petrol engine developing and a 9-speed automatic transmission.

Gear ranges create the optimum balance between fuel consumption and agility

The technical highlights of the new Sprinter include two newly developed transmissions for front-wheel drive. The 9-speed automatic torque converter transmission is a first in the large van segment. The gear ranges are graduated to give an optimum balance between low consumption and agile handling. Other virtues include a low noise level and a high level of ride comfort. Drivers are able to intervene in the current shift profile manually with "Drive Select" and steering wheel shift paddles.

The likewise newly developed 6-speed manual transmission impresses with good gearshift comfort and no irritating vibrations of the shift lever. This is made possible by the new sensor system with gear recognition.

Manual intervention with "Drive Select" also possible with 7G-TRONIC PLUS

The well-proven 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission can also be controlled using "Drive Select". This is immediately available for all diesel-powered rear-wheel drive variants and all all-wheel drive variants. The transmission impresses with smooth gearshifts, low fuel consumption and low maintenance costs.

Vehicles with selectable all-wheel drive are mainly driven by the rear wheels. The power distribution changes in all-wheel drive mode: 35 percent of the drive torque is sent to the front axle and 65 percent to the rear axle. At the same time the angles of approach/departure have been increased especially for driving on difficult surfaces, for example on construction sites and snow or rubble, with significant advantages in traction and driving characteristics.

Powerful six-cylinder impresses with smooth running and ride comfort

High torque over a wide engine speed range: The most powerful diesel engine with a displacement of 3.0 litres delivers 140 kW (190 hp) and 440 newton metres of torque at 1600 to 2600 rpm. As the only six-cylinder in the large van segment, it not only impresses with its enormous torque, but also with its smooth running and maximum ride comfort.

Four-cylinder family in three output classes for rear and front-wheel drive

Like the 3.0 litre version, the smaller four-cylinder diesel engine has common-rail direct injection. From a displacement of 2.1 litres and with rear-wheel drive, this engine generates a choice of three outputs: 84 kW (114 hp), 105 kW (143 hp) or 120 kW (163 hp). With front-wheel drive the outputs range from 84 kW (114 hp) to 105 kW (143 hp) and 130 kW (177 hp). The most powerful version is exclusively reserved for the camper van segment.

Friction losses in the engines and belt drive have been reduced to optimise the efficiency and service life of the four-cylinder engine family. This results in high torque and great flexibility even at low speeds. The peak torque is always available at low revs and across a wide engine speed range. Depending on body type, wheelbase, roof height, drive configuration and engine variant, the fuel consumption figures of the new Sprinter vary between 6.9 and 9.7 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres (fuel consumption combined/combined CO2 emissions: 181 – 253 g/km, provisional figures).

Nitrogen oxide emissions reduced by 80 percent, AdBlue tank now larger

Well-proven BlueTEC engine technology helps to reduce emissions. Thanks to SCR technology (Selective Catalytic Reduction) including AdBlue as an exhaust aftertreatment process, the proportion of nitrogen oxides after combustion falls by over 80 percent. The AdBlue tank capacity has increased from the 18 litres of the preceding generation to 22 litres. This increases the range. Refilling is also easier now, as the filler pipe in the engine compartment is now more easily accessible. All the engines meet the locally applicable emissions legislation. In Europe this is Euro 6/VI, for example.

Oil quality constantly monitored and no chance of incorrect refuelling

A major contribution to lowered operating costs is made by the improved ASSYST PLUS maintenance computer. Oil contamination in operation is monitored even more precisely, leading to an increase in the actually achievable oil-change intervals. There is no oil dipstick in the engine compartment, as it has been replaced by the oil level check in the instrument cluster.

Detailed improvements also include effective protection against incorrect refuelling. This protection prevents petrol from accidentally entering the diesel fuel tank and engine.

Electrification of the commercial fleet: eSprinter to follow in 2019

In addition to the systematic further development of its highly-efficient diesel engines, Mercedes-Benz Vans will in the future also offer locally emission-free electric drive systems in all segments so as to systematically drive the electrification of commercial fleets forward. A start is being made with the eVito, which can be ordered now and will become available in the second half of 2018. The eVito will be followed by the eSprinter in 2019. The electric models, which are primarily designed for inner-city operations, not only protect the environment but also offer customers tangible added value with their day-to-day suitability and flexibility.

In a dialogue between customers and the experts at Mercedes-Benz Vans, operator concepts are individually adapted to sector-specific needs, fleet size, operating profile or the construction measures required to create an in--house charging infrastructure on the operator's premises, so as to create an end-to-end eco-system. Moreover, electric base vehicles can be precisely adapted to the relevant operating purpose with respect to range or payload. Finally, the new portfolio also impresses with its key financial figures, with operating costs at roughly the same level as for comparable models with a diesel engine.

During the electrification of its commercial product range on the basis of the Vito and Sprinter, Mercedes-Benz Vans is able to fall back on available technologies in the modular system of Mercedes-Benz Cars, thereby benefitting from economies of scale. The investments go into the adaptation of existing technologies and in-house development activities.