A Sprinter with striking looks
Visually, the Sprinter Van immediately makes a clear-cut and striking impression. Fully in line with current Mercedes-Benz design, the radiator grille appears more upright and self-assured, lending the Sprinter a confident presence. The three radiator louvers are swept back from top to bottom and are perforated. This increases the air flow and clearly establishes a close visual link to a consistent design language from the new vans and trucks from Mercedes-Benz.
On Mercedes-Benz models, the Mercedes star rests on a vividly highlighted base. A beveled surround highlights the signature Mercedes-Benz radiator grille. Freightliner models feature the familiar Freightliner badge at the top of the new chrome grille.
The new headlamps feature sharper contours and lend the Sprinter a serious yet energetic look. A striking feature is the masking of the reflector housings. Defined edges define the headlamps into individual segments, emphasizing the Sprinter’s eyes and providing the entire front end with a substantially more cutting-edge appearance. In the bottom of the housing there is space for the optional LED light strips of the daytime running lamps. The hood is higher, resulting in improved protection for pedestrians. It also features more pronounced contours, lending the Sprinter a look of authority.
The same applies to the bumper featuring a more pronounced upward sweep under the headlamps and bolder lines. The air inlet in the middle is now set back, providing the Sprinter’s face with added dynamism and creating an impression of greater poise on the road. The opening continues to function as a step to facilitate cleaning of the windscreen. The purposeful impression created by the new Sprinter is heightened by the detailed attention paid to design on the underside of the bumper, whose appearance is reminiscent of an SUV.
BlueTEC engine technology: clean, economical, tried and tested
Since 2010, all Sprinters in the U.S. have been powered by innovative BlueTEC diesel engines, marking the first-ever use of super-clean BlueTEC technology in the commercial van market. The BlueTEC diesel engine is as clean as a modern gasoline engine. A Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) injection system reduces nitrogen oxides to harmless nitrogen and water in a downstream catalytic converter. The BlueTEC engine technology has also been demonstrating its capabilities in Mercedes-Benz trucks and buses for almost ten years now.
Highly economical BlueTEC four-cylinder engine
The Sprinter features a class-leading 2.1-liter four-cylinder diesel engine as standard equipment, which has an approximate take rate of 50% in the USA. It produces 161 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque at 1,400-2,400 rpm. With an 83 mm bore and a 99 mm stroke, the engine features an undersquare configuration in the interests of high tractive power. The two overhead camshafts actuate a total of 16 intake and exhaust valves. The camshafts are driven by a combination of gearwheels and a short chain. The common rail injection system operates at a maximum injection pressure of 29,001 psi (2,000 bar). The fuel is injected by means of magnetic injectors and sevenhole injection nozzles. Charging takes place at all times via a two-stage exhaust-gas turbocharger system.
Maximum torque is available right from low engine speeds and over a broad engine speed range. The engines attain both a high specific power output and high torque. This downsizing is crucial to low fuel consumption, accompanied by low emissions and optimum weight.
A Lanchester balancer with two counter-rotating shafts, the camshaft drive positioned further to the rear and a two-mass flywheel all contribute to the engine’s extremely smooth running characteristics. A combination of exhaust gas recirculation with twostage cooling and the SCR technology with DEF injection for the BlueTEC engines and a particulate filter ensures clean exhaust emissions. For model year 2015, a SULEV version of this engine is available as the only diesel with this designation.
BlueTEC six-cylinder engine: brilliant technology, high comfort
The optional V6 diesel motor (188hp, 325 lb-ft) with a displacement of 3.0 l is a feat of engine construction. The undersquare engine (bore x stroke: 83 x 92 mm) is based on an aluminum crankcase with a V angle of 72 degrees. Offset rod journals and a balancer shaft result in an extremely smooth-running engine. Its technical refinements include a total of four duplex chain-driven overhead camshafts and common rail injection with piezo injectors and eight spray holes per nozzle. This is also the exclusive engine for the optional 4x4, new for MY2015.
Accessory equipment fine-tuned for maximum efficiency
The exceptionally low fuel consumption of the new Sprinter is not attributable solely to the engine technology. The engineers at Mercedes-Benz have also fine-tuned the Sprinter’s accessory equipment for maximum economy.
Seven-speed automatic transmission for the 4-cylinder
The 4-cylinder Sprinter features a 7-speed automatic transmission with torque converter – the only 7-speed automatic transmission to feature in a van in North America, is refined for maximum fuel economy. The improved damping technology results in a lower tendency to generate noise and hum. The reduced slip on the lockup clutch gives a more direct connection to the accelerator pedal and therefore provides greater agility.
The development engineers have additionally adapted the automatic transmission’s shift points precisely to the engine characteristics, also optimizing the oil’s heat-up behavior in the cold running phase in this respect, along with the torque converter’s hydraulic circuit. This results in faster heating-up of the oil, therefore minimizing frictional losses after cold starting.
Rear axle with reduced friction for greater economy
The developers have tweaked all the available points of detail in order to achieve maximum efficiency for the Sprinter. A key example here is the driven rear axle. In the interests of low-friction and economical running, modifications have been undertaken here right down to the microgeometry of the differential’s tooth flanks, the precision of installation has been further improved and the oil flow has been optimized to reduce churning loss while the axle is running. These measures have been applied to all axle variants.
Other Fuel-Efficient Measures
The generator management system has been optimized for even greater efficiency. The same applies to the further enhanced fuel pump, which controls the supply pressure and flow rate according to the prevailing requirements. The ECO power steering pump is only activated when power assistance is actually required.
The 2015 Sprinter: an excellent track record right from the word go
The Sprinter has an excellent track record to its name. It has demonstrated its reliability in comprehensive trials, from endurance tests at top speed to extreme short-distance tests in Scandinavia at icy temperatures with a high proportion of idling and a large number of stops. In all, the Sprinter has covered around five million miles in endurance tests, including tough deployment by customers in real-life traffic. These operations spanned a highly diverse spectrum of driving profiles, including service with a company which covers up to 170,000 miles annually, using alternating drivers in a relay system.
The new optional Sprinter 4x4 system, with available low range
The 4x4 version of the MY2015 Sprinter goes on sale in the U.S. in the first quarter of calendar year 2015. Both 144” and 170” wheelbases will be available in both low and high roof configurations, and available body styles for the U.S. will include the Passenger Van, Crew Van (mixed 2-row passenger and cargo application), and Cargo Van (both 8,550 and 11,030 GVWRs). The exclusive powertrain for the 4x4 option will be the most powerful of the two BlueTEC clean diesel powertrains available in the U.S. Sprinter, which is the 3.0L V6 BlueTEC with 188 hp and 325 lb-ft.
The Sprinter 4x4 will be a commercial van that can reach new levels of versatility and driving conditions with maximum traction. While the Sprinter 4x4 is not officially considered an off-roader, its capability will certainly be appreciated on construction sites, oil fields, and in foul weather – just to name a few scenarios. The all-wheel drive system can be activated at the push of a button, for which torque is then distributed at a ratio of 35:65 between the front and rear axle. At this point, the Electronic Traction System (4ETS) takes over, and the tech takes care of the rest for the driver in various conditions. This combination of all-wheel drive technology and active safety is only available in the Sprinter in this segment.
The Sprinter 4x4 can also be equipped with an optional low range gear that makes it even more sure-footed in difficult terrain. When the driver pushes the low-range button, the gearing is shortened by 42%. Tractive power increases accordingly.
Lifted body, low added weight
The Sprinter 4x4 may not be an off-roader, but its body was lifted by 4.3 inches (110 mm) at the front and 3.1 inches (80 mm) in the rear. The slope climbing ability is up to 20 percent higher than in the Sprinter with conventional drive. Depending on the body style, the all-wheel drive system of the Sprinter 4x4 merely adds about 265 lbs. (120 kg) in weight, which means only a minimal effect on payload. Thus far, previous versions of the Sprinter 4x4 have been sold in markets such as Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Italy, Austria, and France.
Five assistance systems help to avoid accidents
A key focus in developing the Sprinter for the model year 2014 product revision was on a whole range of new assistance systems – including world premieres in the van segment. New available features that premiered on the new Sprinter were Collision Prevention Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Highbeam Assist and Lane Keeping Assist. This array of new assistance systems underscores Mercedes-Benz Vans’ pioneering role in safety technology and as a driving force behind innovative developments. New for model year 2015 is Crosswind Assist, which is a standard feature on 2500 models.
The additional assistance systems spawn a crucial benefit: the electronic aids will help to prevent many accidents. The developers at Mercedes-Benz are convinced that this new generation of assistance systems in the van segment will have an extremely positive impact on accident statistics.
Crosswind Assist for vans
The Sprinter is the first van in the world to feature Crosswind Assist – a milestone in safety technology and part of the standard, available in North America in MY2015 as standard equipment on 2500 models. At highway speeds, Crosswind Assist helps compensate for the effects of gusts of wind on the vehicle, within the bounds of physical possibilities. The need for counter-steering in response to sudden gusts is markedly reduced, relieving the strain on the driver. Crosswind Assist is based on the standard-fit Electronic Stability Program (ESP®) and is activated at speeds of 50 mph (80 km/h) and over.
Braking intervention counteracts drifting
Crosswind Assist detects forces acting on the vehicle as a result of crosswind and gusts by reference to the data supplied by the sensors for yaw rate and lateral acceleration which form part of the standard ESP® system. In response to such effects, the assistance system specifically brakes individual wheels on the side facing towards the wind. This leads to a steering effect and prevents the vehicle from drifting dangerously off course as a result of yawing or rotary movement.
Crosswind Assist helps the driver to remain on course in the event of sudden crosswind – e.g. on bridges or when overtaking trucks. The influence of the wind is noticeably reduced.
The sensors of the ESP® system are able to identify the strength of constant crosswind as well as sudden gusts and additionally record the angle of attack. The reaction by Crosswind Assist also accounts for the vehicle’s speed, vehicle load, load position and the driver’s steering behaviour. If the driver carries out manual countersteering, Crosswind Assist will automatically reduce its level of intervention accordingly.
The assistance system is tailored to the individual Sprinter model and its surface area. An indicator lamp informs the driver of intervention by the assist function, thereby also keeping him informed about the driving situation.
Collision Prevention Assist: warns the driver of impending collisions
Failure to maintain the necessary distance from other vehicles is one of the most dangerous factors relating to accidents on the road. Analyses carried out by the accident research team at Mercedes-Benz have revealed that a substantial proportion of all rear-end collisions can be avoided or their severity at least reduced substantially with the aid of radar-based assistance systems.
This is where the optionally available Collision Prevention Assist system comes into play – another first in this class. Collision Prevention Assist is designed to help prevent serious rear-end collisions and includes a proximity warning function and adaptive Brake Assist. It warns the driver when the distance from the vehicle ahead is too small and, at a further escalation level, when there is an acute danger of collision.
The radar-based proximity warning assistant helps the driver to maintain an appropriate safe distance from the vehicle in front. A radar sensor in the front bumper continuously measures the distance from the vehicle ahead in the same lane and the relative speeds of the two vehicles. The proximity warning assistant calculates the necessary safe distance on the basis of this information. Collision Prevention Assist is operational from a speed of approximately 12 mph.
Static proximity warning function
A visual warning (warning lamp in the instrument cluster) is triggered as soon as a vehicle ahead is detected and the distance to the vehicle ahead drops below a specific limit, indicating that the distance is not safe.
Dynamic proximity warning function
The dynamic proximity warning function is triggered as soon as the driver’s vehicle approaches the detected vehicle ahead with a high difference in speed. In this case, both a visual and an acoustic warning is given. Both warnings allow the driver to carry out emergency braking or evasive maneuvers. The driver can switch off this assistance function as necessary.
Brake Assist pro: emergency braking precisely when required
Similar to ESP®, this function cannot be switched off by the driver. It is continuously active in the background, monitoring the current operating conditions and the current driving situation. Support from Adaptive Brake Assist is triggered after the dynamic proximity warning when the distance between the Sprinter and the vehicle ahead closes too rapidly and driver initiates panic braking.
Adaptive Brake Assist is able to support emergency braking according to the relative speed/relative acceleration and the distance from the identified object. When the driver fails to apply sufficient brake power, Adaptive Brake Assist provides additional boost to generate just enough additional deceleration to help avoid an accident. This also gives the traffic behind the longest possible response time to avoid a rear-end collision.
The driver can override the intervention by adaptive Brake Assist at any time, i.e. if the driver initiates harder braking than the system identifies as necessary, the driver’s action will take priority. Conversely, intervention will be stopped if the driver carries out an evasive maneuver, takes his foot off the brake pedal or presses the accelerator pedal.
Blind Spot Assist: safe lane changing
Lane-changing in urban traffic, passing on the highway – all these situations require drivers to make safety-critical decisions in a matter of seconds. The Sprinter possesses large exterior mirrors with a wide field of vision. The optional new feature Blind Spot Assist – another first for the van segment – additionally helps the driver by warning them of other vehicles in the blind spot during lane changing.
The Blind Spot Assist function is operational from a speed of approx. 20 mph. It is based on a total of four close-range radar sensors. These are installed on the right and left behind the side rub strips in the area of the B-pillar and the rear corner pillar and cover the area of the neighboring lanes. When the sensors identify a car or motorcycle in the blind spot while the vehicle is on the move, a red warning signal appears in the exterior mirror on the respective side. When the assistance system detects that the driver has activated the indicator and thus intends to change lane despite the warning, he receives an additional warning in the form of an acoustic signal and the red warning symbol begins to flash. The driver deactivates this assistance function.
Lane Keeping Assist: keeping the vehicle on course
Even more dangerous than careless lane changing is involuntary lane changing – when the driver is distracted or inattentive, for example. The optional Lane Keeping Assist function is available to provide a timely warning here.
Lane Keeping Assist incorporates sophisticated technology. A camera behind the windscreen films the road ahead. An integrated electronic control unit measures the recorded data continuously, identifying the road surface and markings by reference to differences in contrast. If the van threatens to cross the side marking without the indicator having been activated or without parallel changes to the accelerator or brake pedal position, the control unit will conclude that the vehicle is leaving its lane unintentionally and will warn the driver with an acoustic signal.
Lane Keeping Assist is active from a speed of approximately 40 mph. The driver can switch this assist system off as necessary – when driving along narrow and winding country roads, for example. Conversely, Lane Keeping Assist helps the driver to stay on course when there is little room for maneuvering – at highway construction sites, for example.
Highbeam Assist: optimum illumination of the road ahead
The best possible visibility is crucial to safe driving. Driving in the dark is particularly demanding in this respect. With this in mind, the Sprinter comes with large and powerful headlamps. All models are optionally available with particularly powerful bi-xenon headlamps.
The Highbeam Assist feature is a first in the Sprinter’s class. It guarantees optimum illumination of the road by switching high beam on or off according to the given situation. The path of the road, pedestrians or dangerous spots are now recognizable even earlier and more reliably. At the same time, Highbeam Assist also reduces the possibility of oncoming traffic or vehicles ahead being blinded.
The system is based on a camera on the inside of the front windscreen which observes the traffic situation in front of the vehicle. When the camera detects vehicles or motorcycles travelling towards or ahead of the Sprinter, the high beam is automatically dipped to low beam. Highbeam Assist is able to distinguish between moving and stationary objects. When the road is clear once again, the assistance system switches back to high beam. The camera system also responds to road lighting by deactivating high beam automatically – when passing through populated areas, for example. Highbeam Assist operates at vehicle speeds above 22 mph, and is available for both halogen and bi-xenon headlamps.
Sprinter Van: safety on board as standard
These major systems aside, safety is always on board every vehicle from Mercedes- Benz as standard. In the case of the Sprinter, for example, this means a safe and predictable chassis, precise steering and highly effective, fade-resistant disc brakes on all wheels. A bulb failure indicator warns of any defective lights and a seat belt reminder function prompts the driver to buckle up at the beginning of his trip.
The latest-generation ADAPTIVE ESP® already combines a diverse array of functions.
The vehicle dynamics control system includes:
- anti-lock brake system (ABS),
- acceleration slip regulation (ASR),
- electronic brake force distribution (EBD),
- hydraulic Brake Assist (BAS),
- Load Adaptive Control (LAC) load-dependent control system,
- Roll Over Mitigation roll-over protection and Roll Movement Intervention (ROM/RMI),
- Enhanced Understeering Control system (EUC),
- automatic brake disc drying system (Brake Disc Wiping) when driving in the rain
- and anticipatory preparation of the brake pads in critical driving situations (Electronic Brake Prefill).
If the buyer of a Sprinter selects a trailer coupling or the corresponding preinstallation option for this item, the Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) system also comes as standard.
If an accident is unavoidable, despite the Sprinter’s high level of active safety, the occupants will benefit from the yielding and energy-absorbing body structure. A height-adjustable three-point seat belt with belt tensioner and belt force limiter, twoway head restraints and also front airbags are there to keep the driver safe.
Optional extras ensure safety tailored to individual needs
Beyond the extensive scope of standard equipment, additional safety options are available to enable customers to adapt their Sprinters to their individual operational requirements. Bi-xenon headlamps, fog lights, a headlamp cleaning system and a heated windscreen provide for a further improvement of visibility.
Available rearview camera, backup warning system and the PARKTRONIC system facilitate maneuvering, while the standard Start-off Assist system helps when moving off on uphill slopes. The available rain sensor with Headlamp Assist relieves the driver of the task of switching the appropriate systems on and off. Available window airbags and thorax bags enhance passive safety, while the standard tire pressure monitoring system (on 2500 models) ensures the correct pressure on variants with single tires.
Key focus: driver-fitness safety
Equally as important as the safety equipment on board is driver-fitness safety. A wellrested and relaxed driver is better able to manage or even avoid dangerous situations. The workplace behind the steering wheel is consequently a central focus in the development. As a result, every van features a spacious driver’s cab and comfortable seats with good lateral support and height adjustment for the driver. The seat position is well chosen in relation to the steering wheel, pedals and the cockpit as a whole. Instruments are clearly arranged and the buttons, switches and control units are always positioned within easy reach.
The mirror housings are aerodynamically optimized to reduce build-up of dirt. High levels of ride comfort and low background noise combine with effective heating and ventilation to make even the longest trips a pleasure. Numerous well-conceived storage facilities accommodate everyday items. Precision steering and a comparatively small turning circle round-off the range of features for maximum safety and relaxed driving.
Infotainment includes Becker MAP PILOT navigation system
State-of-the-art consumer electronics and navigation equipment are acquiring an ever increasing importance in vans, too. The standard headunit features a 5.8-inch color display and Bluetooth connectivity with telephone keypad and phone book, an SD card slot, a USB 2.0 interface and an AUX input in the cockpit. When the optional backup camera is installed, the image from this camera is shown on the display. Guide lines are now provided on the display, to further facilitate maneuvering. A new option is the Becker MAP PILOT navigation unit. This is a fully integrated navigation module with an intuitive user interface.
The Becker MAP PILOT box is integrated inconspicuously in the new Sprinter’s glove compartment. The map data for the customer’s region is factory-installed. The box can be removed and incorporates a USB port, enabling the navigation module to be customized and updated online via a computer. A pre-installation kit for the Becker MAP PILOT is also available, e.g. for fleets wishing to make alternate use of vehicles with only one navigation unit.
The new Sprinter: one-stop solution
Versatility is a hallmark of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Two diesel engines and a host of body, weight and rear axle variants add up to several hundred variants. In addition, special bodies and interior equipment from selected and certified system partners are available ex-factory as part of the "Sprinter Preferred Upfitter Program".
Meeting the diverse needs of Sprinter customers is especially important, since 75 percent of all Sprinters are sold with some type of upfitter modification that’s designed to ensure the quality and safety of all modifications. There are currently over 80 approved upfitters in the program.
To become a Preferred Upfitter, several Sprinter engineering specialists review each upfitter’s plans, visit their facility while work is in progress and inspect finished vans. Approved upfitters get advance product information, exclusive access to certain options and ship‐to or ship through service. Each upfitter also receives special programming of the electronics system that is tailored to the customer’s need and vehicle functionality.
Total Cost of Ownership – a key advantage
Sprinter is the commercial van benchmark in terms of top service levels, safety, and TCO (total cost of ownership). Considered by some to be the Swiss Army knife of Commercial Vans, the Sprinter offers an unmatched TCO which constitutes a major competitive advantage. Vincentric® named the Sprinter a winner of the “Best Fleet Value in America award” in 2012, 2013 and 2014, and when adding the efficiency of either the standard and powerful 4-cylinder BlueTEC with 161 hp and 266 lb-ft or 6- cylinder BlueTEC powertrain (exclusive 4x4 powertrain), it’s an unbeatable combination. As of model year 2015, the Sprinter now has extended service intervals up to 20,000 miles (MY2014 extended service intervals were up to 15,000 miles), which is another major TCO enhancement.