Duisburg, Germany - Mercedes-Benz is facing up to an ever-changing world with this advanced new third-generation Sprinter, which becomes part of the so-called “internet of things” with a comprehensive range of internet-based packages that assist with everyday fleet logistics.

The redesigned Sprinter also treats buyers in this sector to the company’s brand new MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) multimedia system, featuring intuitive voice control and HD touchscreen interfaces measuring up to 26.7cm. 

This optional system can be used in combination with a new range of Mercedes Pro Connect vehicle management services that aim to optimise communications between fleet managers and drivers, allowing assignments to be managed online and vehicle information to be accessed in real time. 

Mercedes-Benz will offer eight such packages packages, including Vehicle Supervision, Vehicle Operations, Fleet Communication, Maintenance and Repair Management and a digital Driver's Logbook. 

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg as far as client choices are concerned.

Although the South African line-up and range of available options have yet to be confirmed, it’s worth noting that European customers will be able to choose from more than 1700 different configurations, with Mercedes offering a multitude of engine and drive combinations, body lengths, tonnages and body designs - including panel van, Tourer, pick-up, chassis cab or bus.

Furthermore, front-wheel-drive will now be offered as an entry-level drive system, in addition to the traditional rear and all-wheel-drive options. These FWD versions boast a 50kg improvement in payload and 80mm lower loading sill. 

Other technical highlights include a class first nine-speed automatic transmission option and a newly developed six-speed manual. 

There’s a vast range of turbodiesel engine options, including the 3-litre V6 with 140kW/440Nm and a 2.1-litre four-cylinder unit in numerous states of tune, between 84kW and 130Nm.

And there’s no forgetting the electrified future either, with Mercedes-Benz planning to launch the battery-powered eSprinter for short-haul operations in 2019. 

Depending on the application, the Sprinter will offer seating for between two and 20 occupants, with the ‘Tourer’ versions offering a new design that allows seat rows to be installed and removed more easily, while the more luxurious variants will offer USB charging sockets and stowage room for smartphones in every single row.

The new Sprinter is set to go on sale in South Africa during the first quarter of 2019. 

IOL Motoring