Mercedes has confirmed some of the specifications for the new model, detailing the improvements that aim to make it better to work with and a sounder financial proposition.
In official testing the 2013 Sprinter has recorded a 44.4mpg average, making it the most fuel-efficient full-size Mercedes van yet. The company also claims that it is the first van of any kind to meet the strict Euro 6 emissions requirements soon to come into force.
The drivetrain uses the AdBlue additive, injecting it into the exhaust gases to drastically reduce harmful particulate emissions specific to diesel engines. The AdBlue liquid is stored in its own tank and needs only occasional refilling.
A group of diesel engines from 94bhp to 187bhp is joined by a 1.8-litre supercharged natural gas engine, which develops 154bhp and is also Euro 6 compliant. Owners can benefit from the lower purchase cost of LPG at the pumps.
Safety for the vehicle has been boosted by a selection of new technologies. Crosswind Assist is fitted as standard and helps to reduce the effect of crosswinds; particularly relevant for the panel van although other forms of Sprinter will also have it.
Optionally buyers can specify Collision Prevention Assist and Blind Spot Assist. The former is designed to prevent or mitigate some low-speed accidents, while the latter might be particularly useful on motorways in conjunction with Lane Keeping Assist – also optional.
In terms of practicality the new Sprinter’s chassis is now lower to the ground, taking the load floor with it and therefore making it easier to load and unload cargo.
Maintenance should be cheaper for the new van, with careful use extending the internally-calculated service intervals to as much as 37,000 miles.
Sales will begin in June this year, with prices unconfirmed for now.