As any respectable modern manufacturer, Mercedes started to develop new technologies to increase the efficiency of its vehicles. One of the models selected to be fitted with its latest technology is the Vito E-Cell, a spacious and practical van designed for those who put interior space and cargo volume at the top of their auto needs list.
The fuel powered Mercedes Vito is one of the most appreciated vans in its class and can even be considered the segment’s leader. Given the fact that the E-Cell version is significantly more efficient than its sibling and offers the same amount of cargo space, it could prove to be a pretty smart choice, especially for commercial operators that are constantly searching for the most cost efficient method of transport.
At the heart of the Mercedes Vito E-Cell sits a pack of high-performance lithium-ion batteries which have a combined capacity of 36kWh. The battery pack powers a 60 kW electric motor and offer a range of 130 km. Unfortunately, the Mercedes Vito’s payload capacity was affected by its electric drivetrain and was dropped to 730 kg from 900 kg.
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.
Mercedes is prepping its lineup for a complete overhaul in the next few years, even for its less than spectacular Viano, which is the passenger version of the Vito commercial panel van. The first generation Viano has been on the market since 2004 and was due for a new look.
At first glance, these first spy images of the Viano look to be a hot AMG version with a raised hood and a bigger grille marking the most grandiose of changes. But, before anyone gets too excited, this is just a mule for the next generation Viano and that raised hood and bigger grille are there to make room for the new engine and cooling systems, which were too big to fit under the old setup.
Expect to see the new Viano/Vito make its public debut in late 2013 or 2014, quite possibly next to a Renault version since Mercedes and Renault are working together on both cars and transporters.
Updated 03/09/2012: The future Mercedes Viano has been caught testing again, this time wearing a black paint under the camouflage.
The airy, spacious feel of an MPV coupled with the exclusive appointments of a luxury saloon and the technical and visual attributes of a sports car - the new Viano X-CLUSIVE brings together this extraordinary combination. The name says it all: the Viano special model appeals to all the senses without compromising its basic values of spaciousness and variability.