Stuttgart, Germany - This is the first official picture of the third-generation Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van, previewed this week at the first-ever North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta, Georgia.
That’s because, for the first time, the Sprinter will be made outside Germany, at a new plant in Charleston, North Carolina, as well as the two original Sprinter plants in Dusseldorf and Ludwigsfelde.
The sketch shows a longer-nosed van with more car-like features, including clearly-drawn horizontal headlights with LED daytime running lights and fancier wheels than its predecessor, slightly at odds with its traditional the high roof and slab-sided body - although, to be fair, there is just so much you can do with what is essentially a box on wheels.
No drivetrain details have yet been released, but Mercedes-Benz Vans boss Volker Mornhinweg emphasised the its comprehensive introduction of driving assistance systems and connectivity services in combination with new telematics, which he hailed as a leap forward for in efficiency for vehicle and fleet management.
We can‘t help thinking that van drivers may not see it that way.
However, the new Sprinter will also be able to tackle an even wider variety of jobs thanks to a considerably extended range of variants. As Mornhinweg put it, the new Sprinter is the first on-the-road example of his company’s efforts to transform itself from purely a vehicle manufacturer to a provider of comprehensive mobility solutions.
Market rollout of the new Sprinter will begin in in Europe during the first half of 2018, with other markets to follow. Further technical details of the vehicle will be announced in the coming months.