New Mercedes-Benz Sprinter planned for 2017 or 2018

New Mercedes-Benz Sprinter planned for 2017 or 2018

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  • More than three million Sprinters sold since 1995
  • 2.1-litre engine likely to remain
  • New model expected to offer better payload

With the current generation of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter being launched in 2006, the German manufacturer is looking at replacing it with an all-new model by the end of 2017 or early 2018.

The next-generation Mercedes-Benz Sprinter will be built at Dusseldorf, but the capacity will be far higher as production of the Volkswagen Crafter is being transferred to a new factory in Poland. Previously, the two vans shared the same chassis and production line, although they featured different engines.

Big production changes

More than three million Sprinters have been produced since 1995, making it one of the best-selling vans of ever (see Best-selling panel vans of all-time). The current generation was facelifted in 201, and continues to sell well thanks to the strong build quality, residual values, specification and aftersales support.

Mercedes-Benz is currently building a brand-new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter factory in South Carolina, as the existing factory in North America (also in South Carolina) is running at full capacity. Growth in demand over the past couple of years has forced the German manufacturer to import vehicles from Dusseldorf, which are subject to high duties and transportation costs.

Next generation Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

So far, Mercedes-Benz has revealed no information about the new product. It’s likely that the Sprinter’s current 2.1-litre engine will remain as it already complies with the Euro-6 emission standard, although the power ratings are expected to be upgraded and fuel economy improved even further.

One of the areas that will clearly need addressing is the payload. At present, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter can offer a maximum payload of 1,478kg at 3.5t, which is well below the sector average of 1,600kg (See Best vans for payload at 3.5t). Given that this is becoming an increasingly important issue, it’s likely that the engineers at Mercedes-Benz will follow in the footsteps of Iveco, by reducing the kerbweight in order to increase the payload.

Pricing and availability

Prices are expected to increase marginally from the current figures of between £25,698 and £67,110 plus VAT. Parkers is expecting to have to have a full review published by the third quarter of 2016, with the first models arriving in Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles dealerships by the fourth quarter of 2016 or the first quarter of 2017.

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