Mercedes-Benz Vans has boosted the available gross vehicle weight rating of its European Sprinter by 990 pounds, to 5.5 metric tons or 12,122 pounds. The Stuttgart, Germany-based builder also said it has raised power ratings for its engines.
The higher rating is aimed primarily at operators who require special bodies or conversions of standard van bodies, said Norman Kunz, head of Sprinter product management. European Sprinter payloads currently range from 2.95 to 3.41 metric tons, or 6,502 to 7,416 pounds, depending on the model. A metric ton equals 2,204 pounds.
The top GVW rating for the North American Sprinter is 11,030 pounds. “The changes you’re seeing in Europe are under consideration for the U.S. market, but no official decision has been made yet,” said spokesman Brian Cotter.
The new variant for Europe was developed in response to requests from bus and truck operators, Kunz said.
"Customers operating in weight-sensitive areas in particular have often expressed a demand for a version with a higher payload,” he said. “Such areas include the building sector or public service vehicles, for example.
“More payload is equally a boon for passenger transport. Wherever a particularly good ratio is desired between kerb weight and payload, we now have an appropriate solution at hand."
Previously, special arrangements were often necessary for ambulances, fire service trucks and other special vehicles, when the conversion resulted in a gross weight above the previous limit of 5 tons, explained Peter Strobach, head of the Mercedes-Benz Bodybuilder Centre. The new variant precludes the need for such arrangements.
"Our 5.5-ton Sprinter avoids additional work for our customers from the body and conversions," he said. "The required body can now be ordered in the customary, routine manner, with no need for individual approvals."
Mercedes-Benz Vans will offer new engine ratings for the European Sprinter as of summer 2016. The entry-level diesel now produces 84 kW (114 hp) as opposed to the previous 70 kW. The next-highest power rating has been upgraded from 95 kW to 105 kW (143 hp).
The Sprinter also remains available with the 120 kW (163 hp) and 140 kW (190 hp) engine variants. Torque on all engines has also been raised. All ratings comply with the Euro 6/VI emissions standards, which will become mandatory for vans in the mid-range weight class from September.