Mercedes-Benz Unveils New 2018 Sprinter and Announces Electric Variant

The third-generation Mercedes-Benz commercial van will be available in the United States by the end of 2018.

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Mercedes-Benz Unveils New 2018 Sprinter and Announces Electric Variant © Mercedes-Benz Unveils New 2018 Sprinter and Announces Electric Variant

The new 2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter made its world debut at the brand's new logistics center in the city of Duisburg, Germany, about 260 miles northwest of its Stuttgart headquarters. The third-generation of the popular van aims to deliver maximum versatility, a progressive exterior, and interior design, but most importantly, lower operating costs to fleet operators.

The new Sprinter lineup will also see the addition of a new front-wheel-drive platform, which should fulfill the automaker's desire to reach a broader commercial audience with a wide range of transportation needs. According to the automaker, the front-wheel-drive model will deliver better traction for lightly loaded vehicles, especially during inclement weather. In addition, it will boast additional load capacity and a lower loading sill due to the modified rear axle and wheel arches, something which should appeal to small and large businesses alike. Mercedes will continue to produce the current rear-wheel and all-wheel drive Sprinter.

The 2018 Sprinter shown in one of its 1,700 possible configurations., MBUSA

Another first for the versatile van is the deployment of "Mercedes PRO Connect," which will offer fleet managers an internet-based platform to fulfill their logistical and transport requirements. The system allows operators to access a vehicle's location, fuel load, and service records on demand. This, in combination with its 1,700 possible configurations should nip at the heels of Ford and its best-selling Transit van

The interior of the new 2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter., MBUSA

The new interior is reminiscent of Mercedes' new design language that's shared across the passenger car lineup. A large 10.25-inch high definition touchscreen boasts the new MBUX multimedia system, which houses the Bluetooth, navigation, and radio controls, in addition to a rear-view and 360-degree camera. Purpose-built Sprinters can be outfitted with different kinds of driver seats ranging from bolstered, flat, suspension, and even memory foam seats. In passenger configurations, the Sprinter can seat a maximum of 20 people (19 plus driver).

Powertrain details for the North American market have not been released, but the European Sprinter will be powered by a 2.1-liter four-cylinder diesel engine with three available horsepower outputs for rear- and front-wheel drive, and a 3.0-liter V6 diesel with 190-horsepower. Single and dual-rear-wheel setups will be available. Lastly, Mercedes-Benz also announced that an electric, emissions-free variant dubbed the eSprinter will enter the European market sometime in 2019, but did not give any details on future North American availability. 

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