Maximum modularity for all customer wishes: The new Sprinter - Intelligent, interactive and innovative

Feb 6, 2018
  • Strong performer in all sub-disciplines: the Sprinter defines the premium class in its segment
  • New connectivity solutions: Mercedes PRO connect services ensure a quantum leap in the efficiency of fleet management
  • Equal to any transport requirement: number of variants increased yet again
  • Clever overall system solution: a combination of different attributes makes the Sprinter the perfect vehicle for tradespeople
  • Important mounting points retained: bodybuilders can rely on a well-established basis

A fascinating design, safety features at a very high level, maximum cost-effectiveness, customer and sector-oriented details and a connectivity package that takes infotainment systems and telematics applications into a new era: in every sub-discipline, the third generation of the Sprinter defines the top class in the large van segment. However, where the founder of this segment actually shows its true strengths is in combining its individual attributes into an overall system solution.

"In the logistics and transport world of the future, variability and the availability of customer-specific solutions are the essential success factor. Just offering customers a good vehicle is no longer enough. As an all-rounder, the new Sprinter must be more than just the sum of its parts. With an unprecedented number of variants, new connectivity services and a new telematics generation, it is a tailor-made end-to-end system meeting an enormous range of commercial transport and mobility requirements. This means that the new Sprinter achieves precisely what its preceding generations demonstrated before it: Once again, it redefines the van segment. This makes it the ultimate in smart hardware, and it will raise its segment, the business of our customers and our own business to the next level", says Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans

Attractive entry-level price from 19,990 euros in Germany

Together with the likewise completely new telematics generation, which celebrates its parallel premiere in the A-Class, the new connectivity solutions of Mercedes PRO connect provide the perfect basis for all conceivable logistical and transport requirements, from the complex management of a large fleet to a small company fleet. The Sprinter not only demonstrates its outstanding adaptability in terms of connectivity and the services based on it, but can also be perfectly tailored to the relevant sector and customer requirements. This also includes an attractive price level from 19,990 euros in Germany (price excludes VAT) for the entry-level version with front-wheel drive. The new Sprinter can be ordered now, and from June it will be available from Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle centres in Europe.

"More than 3.4 million units delivered in 130 countries is a proud record for the first two generations of the Sprinter. This unequivocally confirms that the Sprinter is a global player, and must cover an unbelievable bandwidth of country and industry-specific requirements. This is why we have therefore expanded the already broad Sprinter portfolio even further. We are able to service specific market segments even better with a multitude of new product features. In combination with its connectivity, the new Sprinter opens up more possibilities in efficiency and process optimisation than any previous model from Mercedes-Benz Vans", says Dr. Ulf Zillig, overall Sprinter project manager at Mercedes-Benz Vans

More than 1700 different Sprinter variants available

Panel van, Tourer, pickup, chassis, bus or tractor head as body types, three drive configurations – with front-wheel drive as an option for the first time – cab design, body lengths, tonnages and load compartment heights: these parameters alone allow a further increase in the number of possible Sprinter variants. More than 1700 different versions can be put together, far more than with the preceding model. This maximised modularity defines the core of the new Sprinter concept, reflecting both sector-specific requirements and different customer segments. The sector-specific solutions cover a range from classic courier services over the last delivery mile to goods transport over longer distances and right up to service technicians who use their vehicle as a mobile replacement parts store. The new Sprinter can also be put to work as a camper van or bus, and is used as an ambulance by rescue services. The target groups are just as diverse as the applications. The Sprinter supplies the answers to all transport needs for both tradition-conscious owners and cost-conscious fleet managers. The relatively young group of start-up managers e.g. providing delivery services in the urban environment, and also future-oriented career changers with a clear objective of sustainable mobility, will also find a home at Mercedes-Benz Vans.

Less paperwork for very small or very large fleets

The Sprinter opens up completely new fleet and vehicle management possibilities as well. Innovative connectivity solutions ensure a leap in efficiency and a noticeable reduction in the administrative tasks relating to the fleet. All the optional connectivity services are grouped under Mercedes PRO connect. The web-based service for fleet customers, from small trade enterprises to key accounts, links up the fleet manager with all vehicles and drivers in the fleet via the vehicle management tool. This enables assignments to be managed online and vehicle information such as location, fuel level or maintenance intervals to be retrieved virtually in real time. Clearly laid out and easy to use, the Vehicle Management Tool provides the fleet manager with a full overview of the fleet in a fast and straightforward manner.

Eight packages on market launch of Mercedes PRO connect

Eight packages available ex factory with central fleet, vehicle, driver and location-based services will be introduced on market launch of Mercedes PRO connect. These include e.g. Vehicle Supervision, Vehicle Operations, Fleet Communication, Maintenance Management and Accident Recovery and a digital Driver's Logbook. Vehicle Supervision displays all relevant vehicle data such as status and its usage over a defined period. Vehicle Operations include accessing the location of vehicles almost in real time or providing information about when a vehicle enters or leaves a defined area (geofencing). Sending messages, addresses or contact details between the Vehicle Management Tool and the Mercedes PRO connect app improves fleet communication, while information about upcoming vehicle servicing facilitates maintenance management. Moreover, dynamic route guidance ensures significant advantages over static route planning in advance of a delivery tour.

All in all, the connectivity solutions of Mercedes PRO connect not only improve financial controlling, but also lower operating costs and optimise fleet utilisation. The first services will be available in 19 European markets from June 2018, with the USA following in in the fourth quarter of 2018. With the market launch of these first services, Mercedes-Benz is setting the first milestone in its ex factory solutions under Mercedes PRO connect.

Front-wheel drive and tractor head create further possibilities

There are another two new features that smooth the path to further innovations where conversions and retrofitting are concerned: the well-proven drive concept with rear and all-wheel drive is now supplemented with a new front-wheel drive system. For reasons inherent to the design, the payload of this version increases by 50 kilograms compared to the rear-wheel drive, and an 80 millimetre lower loading sill makes loading/unloading of commercially used vehicles and access/egress from the living and sleeping area of camper vans considerably more convenient. The growing market for travel couriers is also served by the Sprinter as a tractor head variant, which can only be ordered by bodybuilders. In combination with front-wheel drive, this allows maximum scope when designing and using bespoke bodies.

Test phase: Prototypes absolved over nine million kilometres

The classic attributes of this segment founder were well catered for during the development of the new Sprinter. Safety, reliability, robustness and cost-effectiveness are as natural to the Sprinter as the Mercedes star integrated into the radiator grille. To ensure high product quality right from the start of production, the prototypes with their three engines and seven transmission variants underwent test cycles totalling over nine million kilometres. The vehicles were tested in eight locations in four countries, and under very different conditions ranging from intense cold in Finland and high altitudes in the Andes to extreme heat in the USA.

Bodybuilder Centre consolidates in-house and external expertise

Thanks to the increased model variety and enormous adaptability of the new Sprinter, practically any customer requirements can be met down to the last detail. In these cases the Bodybuilder Centre founded by Mercedes-Benz Vans in 2006 will come up with an individual solution. This is where Mercedes-Benz technicians work together closely with leading conversion partners. This combined effort produces e.g. refrigerated delivery vehicles, box bodies for dry goods, tippers, platform bodies and tailgates for the panel van. Plus luxurious camper vans that fulfil the dream of a home on wheels.

50 percent of all newly registered Sprinter worldwide are fitted out or converted by a specialist bodybuilder, and in Europe the figure is no less than 60 percent – these figures show how important the work of the Bodybuilder Centre is for the role of the third Sprinter generation as a market-leader and innovation driver. Accordingly, attention was paid during development to ensure that important dimensions and anchoring points e.g. for the installation of shelving or complex bodies remain unchanged. The results show suppliers of special solutions can also continue working with the new Sprinter with no time delay.