Mercedes-Benz plans to launch the next-generation Sprinter van in February.
This model will be the third generation since its introduction as the company’s flagship van in 1995. Mercedes has sold more than 3.4 million globally since its introduction, including a record 200,500 Sprinters last year in 130 markets. Sales dipped slightly in the U.S. last year to 26,025 vans.
The German automaker has provided a sketch of the van and photos of mock-ups of its cabin and cargo space. Mercedes also offered some details, saying it sees the new Sprinter not just as a vehicle, but also as a digital platform for the movement of goods and provision of services.
“We will now open up the digital era in this segment with this new model,” Mornhinweg said. It “will help our customers make their business more efficient in a connected world — in the form of hardware in the vehicle and with new, connected services.”
Here’s what we know about the 2019 Sprinter van.
What engine choices will the 2019 Sprinter van have?
Mercedes-Benz said it will offer the Sprinter with three engine choices: diesel, gasoline and electric. But which will depend on geography. In the U.S. the van will have diesel and gasoline engine options, a first. Europe will have diesel and electric options. The electric version will likely come to the U.S., Mornhinweg said, but the timing hasn’t been determined.
What body options will the 2019 Sprinter have?
The new Sprinter will have configurations that work for nearly every commercial van use as well as serve as a recreational vehicle platform. It will come as a regular cab — the most popular body for a delivery van — and as a crew cab.
There will be four different body lengths and three roof heights. There will be a traditional panel cargo van and passenger versions with different window configurations. Mercedes will sell it with right- or left-hand-drive depending on the region.
What drivetrains will the 2019 Sprinter van have?
Globally, the new van will have options for front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. Only the rear-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive models will be offered in the U.S.
What safety features will the new Sprinter have?
The new version will have some of the autonomous safety features such as adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking of Mercedes passenger cars.
Will the new Sprinter be optimized for specific industries?
Some versions will be equipped for grocery and prepared food delivery with different climate zones in the cargo area. One configuration will provide seating for up to 20 passengers. The company is building in connectivity for ride-sharing, car-pooling and deliveries.
What else is different about the new Sprinter?
It is the first vehicle from Mercedes-Benz Vans to use the automaker’s “adVANce” philosophy of commercial vehicle design and architecture. It builds in digital connectivity hardware throughout the van so that it becomes part of the internet of things. Mercedes believes this will allow the van to be tailored to new, customer-specific applications.
When will the new Sprinter go on sale?
While it will debut in February, sales won't start until later in 2018. U.S. deliveries will begin closer to the end of next year.
Where will the Sprinter be built?
Mercedes corporate parent Daimler is building a new plant in North Charleston, S.C., to build the Sprinter for the U.S. market. Production is expected to begin late this year. Sprinter vans are now built in Germany. However, due to an old tariff known as the chicken tax, Mercedes removes the drivetrain and other mechanical components from the strictly cargo versions before shipping them to Ladson, S.C., for reassembly. Otherwise, the cargo vans would be slapped with the 25 percent tariff.
Is there more information about the electric Sprinter?
Mercedes didn’t provide details except to say that it will have a 41.4 kilowatt-hour battery pack and a range of about 100 miles based on the electric variant of a small van sold in Europe.