Mercedes-Benz showcased its 2010 Sprinter van lineup – including a new fourth model – during a presentation for journalists at its Daimler Vans Manufacturing facility in Ladson, S.C., on Wednesday (April 7).
The presentation, which included a factory tour, was part of a two-day media event aimed at educating and familiarizing the public with the rebranding of Sprinters under the Mercedes-Benz three-point star logo, which occurred earlier this year.
The 2010 Sprinter model lineup includes the cargo van, the passenger van and a cab chassis – all of which are powered by a 3.0-liter BlueTEC diesel engine that utilizes a super-clean Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) system.
On Wednesday, Claus Tritt, vice president of operations for Daimler Vans USA, announced a new fourth model – a shuttle van version.
Best in Class honors for the Sprinter, Tritt said, include accessibility for its standing interior height of 6-foot-4, “which makes it a perfect workshop”; turning radius (54.6 feet); and safety for its three-point lap/shoulder seat belts. He said the Sprinter combines Mercedes-Benz design themes with commercial vehicle characteristics. “We brought sexy back to the commercial vehicle market,” he said.
Thirteen upfitter companies are affiliated with the Sprinter, including Coachmen and Airstream. “This relationship is very important to us because it provides a full tool box,” said Tritt.
Also on display at the media event was the Airstream Interstate 3500, a Sprinter van with a unibody construction. The Class B motorhome is equipped with a Mercedes-Benz turbodiesel engine. The 3500 seats eight when traveling; and sleeps two. The compact Interstate Class B has a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds, adding to its versatility.
Since 2001, the Sprinter has been sold in the United States by Freightliner, a leading manufacturer of medium and heavy-duty trucks in North America. Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) began offering the Sprinter line through select Mercedes-Benz dealers this year. There are currently a total of 117 Sprinter dealers, and the network is growing, Tritt said. Both MBUSA and Freightliner are divisions of Daimler AG, the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles.