Remember the days when vans were cool? You know, you would cruise down the strip in your mom’s minivan and pick up all of your friends to head out to the coolest hangout spots… Oh wait, vans were never cool, what were we thinking? Well, that is until Mercedes decided to get into the van-making business.
At the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz rolled into the show with its all-new customized Viano VISION DIAMOND. This ultra-luxury van, which is not yet available in the U.S., puts most modern-day limos to shame with its features. Add in the fact that it is large enough to move around in comfortably, unlike limos, which typically have standard headroom, and you have essentially a luxury home on the go.
Mercedes did not release too much information on this machine, but there is enough information obtainable just by looking at it to determine that this thing is flat out awesome. The Viano VISION DIAMOND would certainly eliminate any kids embarrassment of riding to school in a minivan, if this just so happened to be said minivan.
Click past the jump to check out our full review on the Viano VISION DIAMOND.
On the outside the Viano VISION DIAMOND looks similar to the standard Viano van, with a few major exceptions. It features a two-toned paint job with a hand-painted shimmering gold line separating the two colors. On the front end, this luxury van features a blacked-out grille with chrome louvers. On the B-pillar, Mercedes painted a diamond to signify this special edition.
On all four corners are five-spoke custom rims, which are painted black and silver to match the Viano VISION DIAMOND’s two-toned paint.
Once you step inside this luxury machine, you really get a feel for the work that Mercedes put into it. Let’s start with the boring stuff first. Up front in the driver’s area, the interior is rather “blah.” It is all black and essentially looks like a standard Viano, except with nappa leather on the seats, instrument panel, steering wheel, gear shifter, and the A- and B-pillars.
As you move into the passenger’s quarters, the Viano VISION DIAMOND becomes a completely different vehicle. First is the stark contrast in colors, as the passenger’s quarters are completely engulfed in a sea of pearl white and posh materials. All of the rear windows, including the partition between the driver’s and passenger’s areas, feature Mercedes’s “Magic Sky Control,” which changes the darkness of the windows with the touch of a single button.
There are Champagne glass holders throughout the passenger compartment, as well as an automatic champagne cooler. The seats are both heated and cooled, as well as featuring a massage feature. You can kick back in style, as the passenger seats feature calf benches and footrests, as well.
This luxury van also comes with silver champagne flutes that appear and disappear at the touch of a button. There is also a five-bottle champagne rack in the rear that also chills the bubbly to its optimal temperature.
There is also a Bang & Olufsen BeoSound Viano sound system in the rear, which you can control using either an iPad 2 or an iPhone 4, which come with the van. These i-devices also control the interior lighting and the 40-inch flat-screen TV. The iPad and iPhone are secured by a docking station in the center console between the two passenger’s seats.
Even more impressive, the Viano VISION DIAMOND comes with a W-LAN system that allows its riders to connect to the internet or join in on a web-based conference. Not only are you riding in style, but you never miss a bit of business.
Engine and Drivetrain
There is no mention of the engine or drivetrain by Mercedes, so we can assume this luxury van comes with the same engine as the regular Viano. This would give this luxury van a 3,498 cc V-6 engine, pushing out 190 kW (254 horsepower) at 5,900 rpm and 340 Nm of torque (250 pound-feet) at 2,500 to 5,000 rpm. There is no mention of a transmission, but we can assume it is an automatic with at least five speeds.
There is no price set for the Viano VISION DIAMOND yet, but the base price for the Viano if RMB 868,000 ($137,771). It is safe to assume that this model has at least $100K in additional equipment, so a price of 1,493,171 ($237,000) can be expected, at least.
When Can I get One?
This vehicle is still in conception phase, so there is no telling when and if it will hit production. Regardless of its release date, you will not be able to get it in the U.S., but you can always get a customized Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.
The Viano VISION DIAMOND lives on its own little island in minivan land, so there is absolutely no competition for it to date.
We absolutely love it. It is about time some auto manufacturer had the gall to build a minivan that doubles as a luxury transporter. Yeah, there are custom coach shops that can do this, but to see a manufacturer do it is simply impressive. Then again, so is the anticipated price tag…