There's an electric Mercedes Sprinter van on the way
February 7, 2018 Amy Wilson/Automotive News
Gallery: New Sprinter
...but it's not clear when, or even if, the new eSprinter will be sold in
Mercedes-Benz will add a battery-electric variant of the Sprinter as it
updates the commercial van line for its third generation. But it's not yet
clear when, or even if, the new eSprinter will be sold in the U.S.
The redesigned combustion-engine Sprinter will go on sale in the U.S. by the
end of 2018, and Mercedes will begin producing most U.S. versions at a new
plant about to open in Charleston, S.C. The plant will ramp up production in
the second half of this year.
Mercedes touts new connectivity services and improvements that will make the
Sprinter's cab a better workplace as key advances for the redesigned van. It
also will have comfort and safety features similar to a car, the company
Comprehensive Internet connectivity in the redesigned Sprinter will make
fleet management significantly easier, Mercedes said. Through the new
Mercedes PRO connect feature, a manager can be linked to all vehicles and
drivers in a fleet to manage assignments online and retrieve vehicle
information such as location or fuel level in near real time.
The Sprinter also will get the new Mercedes-Benz User Experience natural
language interface in its high-end dashboard option. That is one of four
dashboards available for the van.
The redesigned Sprinter line is more variable than before, with a potential
total of more than 1,700 different configurations worldwide. The number of
configurations possible in the U.S. market will be announced later, Mercedes
Safety and assistance systems available for the redesigned Sprinter include
a self-cleaning rearview camera that displays an image in the rearview
mirror, a 360-degree view parking camera system and a rain sensor that helps
improve visibility during the window-wiping process.
A new front-wheel-drive option is being added, but it won't be available in
North America due to local market needs and requirements, Mercedes said.
Rear-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive variants will continue to be available
in the U.S.
Mercedes will share more information on pricing, trim levels, packaging,
specifications and powertrains closer to the redesigned Sprinter's launch
later this year.
Mercedes sold 27,415 Sprinters in the U.S. in 2017, down 3.2 percent from
the year before. Daimler AG sells the Sprinter under both the Mercedes-Benz
and Freightliner brands in the U.S. The Sprinter's U.S. retail network
consists of 289 dealerships, including 247 Mercedes-Benz Vans dealerships.
"Mercedes to electrify, make next Sprinter a better workplace" originally
appeared in Automotive News on 2/6/2018
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