Perfect workplace with low TCO: Efficient and well-conceived down to the last detail

Feb 6, 2018
  • Good value retention and easy maintenance: the new generation impresses with classic Sprinter strengths
  • Ergonomic and comfortable: clever equipment features and maximum functionality support the driver as the most important resource of all

Efficient vehicles with a high utility value are a basic precondition for success in the tough competitive environment of the transport and logistics sector. Some of the most important key figures making up the total operating costs of a fleet are e.g. the purchase price, fuel costs and maintenance and repair costs. Beyond these, a broader view of the total cost of ownership (TCO) also takes into account other factors such as vehicle/fleet administration and not least the driver's workplace, as ergonomics and performance enhancing comfort are also of central importance for people and their working efficiency. Minimising downtimes is also very important. The Sprinter is a master of all these disciplines, meeting every expectation of a perfect fleet vehicle.

The Total Cost of Ownership – where the new Sprinter scores points

Engineers at Mercedes-Benz Vans have made use of further optimisation potentials in the classic engine and transmission variants. The efficiency measures to improve fuel consumption range from reducing in-engine friction and optimising the injection system to the use of tyres with minimised rolling resistance. In addition, a particularly economical front-wheel drive variant has been added to the well-proven rear and all-wheel drive of the new Sprinter. Thanks to the modular construction, the wheel bearings and upper ball joints can be separately replaced to lower repair costs. Optimising the front axle kinematics to minimise tyre wear is a further contribution to lowering the TCO. Significant improvements to the springs and damping components are another example of the development principle that customer benefit is the driving force, where sector-specific expertise plays a decisive role. Customer trials reflecting day-to-day transport requirements also provided the basis for significantly improved long-term durability. As a second development stage, electrification of the powertrain and the market launch of the eSprinter are also planned in 2019.

Additional galvanising improves corrosion protection

When it comes to value retention, the new Sprinter shines right from the start as the legitimate successor to the first two generations, with outstanding residial values. This positive assessment is the result of numerous individual measures that make the new Sprinter one of the best value-retaining vans. Examples of these optimisation measures include additional galvanising of the underbody and side walls for a lasting improvement to corrosion protection. The optional, robust underbody panelling also provides reliable protection against stone impact damage.

The clever detailed features also include "Hibernation Mode": Whenever a longer operating break is planned (e.g. garaging for the winter), the vehicle can be put into hibernation with energy consumption reduced to a minimum. Once Hibernation Mode is switched off, the Sprinter can be started without difficulty even after longer downtimes.

Service interval of up to 60000 kilometres or two years

For the Sprinter variants with a diesel engine and rear-wheel drive, maintenance intervals up to a maximum of 60000 kilometres or two years are envisaged in the European markets. The newly introduced front-wheel drive variant is due for a service after a maximum of 40000 kilometres or two years. Optimisation of the servicing process also brings a noticeable improvement in efficiency. Optional connectivity services can e.g. send information about the condition of wearing parts to the fleet manager while on the road, so that preventive servicing can be planned to avoid expensive downtimes.

The necessary software in the MBUX multimedia systems can be updated to the latest version online. This makes a workshop visit unnecessary. The connectivity services also establish direct contact with Customer Service after a breakdown or accident. Experienced large van professionals based at the Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicle Centre use their sector-specific expertise and advisory skills to ensure that not only the servicing process runs smoothly. When making the buying decision and choosing the right model, they precisely tailor the Sprinter with its more than 1700 possible variants to the customer's requirements and transport needs.

The newly developed service brake contributes to a reduction in maintenance costs. Low-wear brake linings and brake discs improve long-term durability. Improved responsiveness and lower operating forces also make day-to-day use more comfortable.

The cab as a workplace – intelligently conceived working environment with a feelgood factor

Ergonomically optimised and comfortable: All in all, these aspects make the cab a workplace in which the driver and co-driver can perform their duties efficiently and feel comfortable. Ergonomically the new Sprinter builds on the segment-defining standards set by its predecessors, and achieves further progress with new equipment features. There is no need to search for the key when entering the cab, for example, as the new Sprinter can be started at the touch of a button (Keyless Start). Optimised air conditioning systems ensure pleasant interior temperatures in all model variants – whether the Sprinter panel van, Tourer or bus.

Ergonomically shaped seats with memory function

The newly designed seats allow a posture that relieves back strain, and can be precisely adjusted to suit the needs of the driver. And not least, they have been awarded the seal of approval by "Aktion Gesunder Rücken (AGR) e.V." (a campaign promoting spinal health). The optional memory function for electric seat adjustments particularly shows its advantages in pool vehicles with several users.

Installation and removal of the rear seats is now more ergonomic, intuitive and efficient. Thanks to Easy Mounting in the new Sprinter Tourer, as rollers under the removed seats make handling much easier while preventing damage to trays and flooring. A locking indicator makes oversights during installation immediately visible.

More comfort in the cockpit is ensured by optional features such as a smartphone holder with a USB charging function, cupholder inserts in the centre console, a convenient centre console for the centre seat of the double front passenger bench seat and clothes hooks on the partition. The modular stowage concept can be adapted to the needs of the driver and the requirements of different business sectors. There is a choice of open and closed compartments plus a lockable compartment. Modern assistance systems and telematics also assist the fleet manager with route planning, e.g. reducing the time requirement for delivery tours, thereby allowing improved efficiency in vehicle scheduling.

The new 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission in combination with front-wheel drive not only noticeably improves cost-effectiveness, but also ride comfort. The smoothly shifting gears are graduated to give an optimum balance between low consumption and agile handling, and allow multiple gearshifts.

The wheel arches can be fully loaded with cargo for the first time

The new Sprinter guarantees major improvements in use of the load compartment. With a capacity of 17 cu. m. it is in the top rank in the large van segment. Thanks to robust cladding the wheel arches can now also be loaded with cargo, thus increasing the cargo area. Inside roof racks optimise use of the load compartment height. The Sprinter with the new front-wheel drive is also very convenient to load and unload. Loading and unloading are made easier by an 80 millimetres lower loading sill compared to the rear-wheel drive variant.

Customers seeking a better balance between loading width and tyres now have a further ex factory choice with the new Sprinter: super-single tyres as an alternative to twin tyres at the rear axle are now permitted for gross vehicle weights of up to five tonnes. In this combination, the smaller wheel arches increase the loading width from 978 to 1229 millimetres. Whatever the model and tyres, the rear doors of the new Sprinter can be opened to the side walls even more easily. There is no longer a mechanically released catch in the 90-degree position, and the door can be conveniently opened with one hand.

However, ergonomics and comfort do not come to an end in the interior or with the handling characteristics, for in the new Sprinter they also include areas that are seldom the focus of attention but can become extremely important. The vehicle jack support point is mounted further outside, the spare wheel is more easily accessible and the vehicle tool kit has been optimised – this makes it quicker and easier to change a wheel. There is also an optional feature that protects against filling diesel models with incorrect fuel, thereby preventing this troublesome and expensive mishap.