Mercedes-Benz launched the 2015 model-year Sprinter full-size van in the fourth quarter of 2014, and followed with a 4x4 version in the first quarter of 2015.

The 4x4 model is available on all Sprinter configurations, though it must be mated with the 3.0L V-6 diesel powertrain. New for the 2015 model year is the safety feature Crosswind Assist, standard on 2500 models, including the 4x4 version.

As the only factory-option four-wheel-drive system on the market for a commercial van in the U.S., according to Mercedes-Benz, the Sprinter 4x4 is designed to shuttle cargo and crew in off-pavement and severe-weather applications.

But it wasn't until March 23-25 that Mercedes gave the Bobit fleet team the opportunity to put this theory to a true real-world test.

Starting in Revelstoke, British Columbia, we followed the Columbia River north to the Mica Dam, and from there, we took it off road — where only logging trucks dare to tread.